Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
China Initiative
Lyle Goldstein

+1 401 441 0093

Lyle Goldstein

Director of the China Initiative
Visiting Professor of International and Public Affairs


Lyle J. Goldstein is the Director of the China Initiative and Visiting Professor at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University. At Brown, he is investigating the costs of great power competition with both China and Russia in association with the Costs of War Project at Watson. He is also assisting in the further development of Watson’s China Initiative.

Goldstein serves concurrently as Director of Asia Engagement at the Washington think-tank Defense Priorities, which advocates for realism and restraint in U.S. defense policy. In this role, he is overseeing a range of studies that evaluate U.S. foreign policy and defense strategy in the Asia-Pacific region, including with respect to such key flashpoints as the Korean Peninsula, the South China Sea, the Sino-Indian border, and also the status of Taiwan. He maintains expertise in both Chinese and Russian military strategic development, and also has expertise on particular issues in the China-Russia relationship, including especially the Arctic and also Central Asia.

In Oct 2021, Goldstein retired after 20 years of service on the faculty at the U.S. Naval War College (NWC) after being promoted by his peers to the rank of Full Professor. During his career at NWC, he founded the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) and has been awarded the Superior Civilian Service Medal for this achievement.  He has written or edited seven books on Chinese strategy and continues to work on a book length project that examines the nature of China-Russia relations in the 21st century. 

Goldstein has his PhD from Princeton, an MA from Johns Hopkins SAIS, and his BA from Harvard.  He is fluent in both Chinese and Russian languages, and is now studying Korean. He tweets regularly on both Chinese and Russian strategic matters at @lylegoldstein.