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Nathaniel Ahrens


Nathaniel Ahrens is a non-resident fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He is researching organizational challenges to dealing with complex problems through the lens of long-term futures of U.S.-China relations, and the effect that emerging technologies have on the moral and ethical aspects of the relationship.


Ahrens is also the executive director and founder of the American Mandarin Society. Previously, he was director of China Affairs at the University of Maryland, deputy director and fellow with the Hills Program on Governance at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and an adjunct fellow with the CSIS Freeman Chair in China Studies. In 2010, Ahrens was a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he focused on Chinese innovation and climate policy. Prior to his time in Washington D.C., Ahrens worked for nearly a decade in China. He holds aMaster of International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins SAIS, an A.B. from Vassar College, and studied at Beijing Language and Culture University from 1995-1996.

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