John Fisher Zeidman ’79 Memorial Lecture

Each year Sidwell Friends School hosts the John Fisher Zeidman ’79 Memorial Lecture, which brings to campus an extraordinarily distinguished group of experts on various dimensions of Chinese history, culture, and society. The Zeidman Lecture is an important event within the larger China-interest community in Washington, DC.

37th Annual John Fisher Zeidman '79 Lecture

April 24, 2019
8:00 p.m.
China Bureau Chief for the Wall Street Journal
Global Science and Environment Correspondent for the Associated Press
Diplomatic Correspondent for the New York Times

Editor of ChinaFile at Asia

Susan Jakes is an award-winning journalist who has covered contemporary China for the past decade. She is the founder and Editor of ChinaFile, an online magazine published by Asia Society’s Center on US-China Relations. From 2000 to 2007, she reported on China for Time magazine, first as a reporter and editor based in Hong Kong and then as the magazine’s Beijing correspondent.

Charles Hutzler is the China bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal, having rejoined the newspaper in 2013. From 2006, he was bureau chief for the Associated Press in China. Charles has spent more than two decades as a reporter in China, covering politics, the economy, trade, and other topics at both the Journal and the AP. Prior to that, he worked for the AP in the United States, in New Jersey and New York. There, he was part of a team of reporters that won an award for explanatory reporting given by the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing in 2012 for documenting the far-reaching impact of China’s rise. At the Journal, he helped guide a reporting team given a Gerald Loeb award in 2018 for international reporting for a series on China’s emerging high-tech surveillance state. Charles is a graduate of Yale University and was a Fulbright Scholar at the National University of Singapore.

Christina Larson is an award-winning foreign correspondent and science and technology journalist. She focuses on technology in China and on global environmental issues. Now a global science and environment correspondent for the Associated Press, she previously she was a Beijing-based China technology reporter for Bloomberg, and China correspondent for Science magazine. She has written about everything from animal intelligence to artificial intelligence—and using science to solve historical mysteries. 

Her reporting from Asia on the human side of region’s economic boom has also appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, Foreign Policy, Wired, the New Republic, Scientific American, Nature, MIT Technology Review, Fast Company, Smithsonian, Slate, California Sunday Magazine, Yale Environment 360, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, among other publications. 

In addition to filing dispatches from remote corners of China, she has reported from India, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Mongolia, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, United Kingdom, Greece, Jamaica, and Mexico.

Edward Wong is a diplomatic and international correspondent for the New York Times who reports on foreign policy from Washington, DC. He has spent most of his career abroad, reporting for 13 years from China and Iraq for the Times. As Beijing bureau chief, he ran the Times’ largest overseas operation. Edward began reporting for the Times in 1999 and worked for four years on the metro, sports, and business desks before going overseas. His first posting was to Iraq to cover the American invasion and civil war, from 2003 to 2007. He then reported from China for nine years. 

Edward was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University from 2017 to 2018 and taught international reporting at Princeton University as a Ferris Professor of Journalism in 2017. He is an associate at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Edward graduated with honors from the University of Virginia, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature. He has dual master’s degrees in journalism and international studies from the University of California at Berkeley. He was born in Washington, DC, and grew up in Alexandria, Virginia.

Recent Zeidman News

Past Zeidman Lectures

2017 Eric Liu, Founder of Citizen University

2016 Mei Fong, Pulitzer Prize-winning Author and Journalist

2015 Evan Osnos, Author of Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China

2014 Dr. Madeleine K. Albright, 64th Secretary of State of the United States, “The Most Important Relationship of the 21st Century”

2013 Cheng Li, Director of Research and Senior Fellow, John L. Thornton China Center, The Brookings Institution, “China’s New Leadership and Political Trajectory”

2012 Prasenjit Duara, Professor of Humanities at the National University of Singapore, Director of Asian Research Institute and Research in Humanities and Social Sciences, “Chinese Civilization and the Problem of Sustainability”

2011 Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Professor of History, University of California, Irvine, editor of the Journal of Asian Studies, author of China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know, “China’s Changing Place in the American Imagination: 1900–2010”

2010 James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic, and Author of Postcards from Tomorrow Square, “Reports from China”

2009 Losang Rabgey, Director and Co-founder of the NGO Machik; Tashi Rabgey, Co-founder of Machik and Co-Director of the Tibet Center at the University of Virginia; and David Germano, Professor of Religious Studies, University of Virginia; “Tibet: Hope through Engagement”

2008 Rob Gifford, former Beijing Correspondent for National Public Radio and Author of China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power, “China at the Crossroads: Future Directions of a Rising Power”

2007 John Pomfret, Washington Post Los Angeles Bureau Chief and Author of Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and the Story of the New China, “A Gambling Nation: Four Bets China Is Making on Its Future”

2006 Carma Hinton, Filmmaker; Da Chen, Writer; moderated by Anne F. Thurston, Independent Scholar, “Forty Years Later: The Legacy of China's Cultural Revolution”

2005 Huston Smith, Emeritus Professor of Religion and Philosophy, Syracuse University, and Author of The World’s Religions, “China’s Place in World History”

2004 Orville Schell, Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley, “The China Miracle: Long Boom or Bubble?”

2003 Yang Jiechi, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the United States, “China-United States Relations in the New Century”

2002 Maxine Hong Kingston, Chinese American Author, “Readings from The Fifth Book of Peace

2001 James Lilley, Former Ambassador of the United States to Korea and the People’s Republic of China; Steven Mufson, Beijing Correspondent for the Washington Post; “The Tiananmen Papers: Contending Forces Then and Now”

2000 Jonathan Spence, Professor of History, Yale University, Author of Mao Zedong, “Judging Mao: Is the Verdict In?”

1999 Li Zhaoxing, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the United States, “An Exploration of U.S.-China Relations in the 21st Century”

1998 Andrew Nathan, Professor of Political Science, Columbia University, “Taiwan, China, and the U.S.: A Tail Wagging Two Dogs?”

1997 Mary Gardner Gates, Director of the Seattle Art Museum, “Artistic Treasures of Ancient China”

1996 Nicholas Hope, Director of the World Bank's Operations in China and Mongolia, “China’s Economic Development in the Next Century”

1995 Warren Cohen, Professor of History, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, “A New Epoch in Sino-American Relations”

1994 Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalists for the New York Times, “China’s Revolution Today”

1993 Oleg Troyanovsky ’37, Soviet Union Ambassador to Japan, the United States, and China, “Sino-Russian Relations: Past, Present, and Future”

1992 Nien Cheng, Author of Life and Death in Shanghai, “China under Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping”

1991 Perry Link, Professor of East Asian Studies, Princeton University, “Politics and the Chinese Language”

1990 Michel Oksenberg, Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan, “Reflections on the Sino-American Relationship”

1989 Harry Harding, Dean of the Elliot School of International Affairs, George Washington University, “The Challenge of a New Relationship: The United States and China in the 1990s”

1988 Han Xu, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the United States, "Forging Bonds of Friendship between the Chinese and American Peoples”

1987 Arthur Miller, Playwright and Author of Pulitzer Prize-winning Death of a Salesman, “Salesman in Beijing: Directing an American Play on the Chinese Stage”

1986 Harrison Salisbury, Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist for the New York Times, “China’s New Long March to Modernization”

1985 Jonathan Spence, Professor of History, Yale University, “The Dream of Love in Ming China and Shakespeare’s Mind”

1984 John Hersey, Professor of English, Yale University, Author of Pulitzer Prize-winning A Bell for Adano and Hiroshima, "Readings from Treadup of the China Field

1983 John King Fairbank, Professor of Chinese History, Harvard University, “Chinese-American Relations: Problems and Prospects”