Elizabeth Wishnick, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist


Dr. Elizabeth Wishnick is a senior research scientist in the China and Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Division at CNA. Dr. Wishnick is also a senior research scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University, and an affiliate researcher at the Center for Arctic Resilience in the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. From 2005–2022, she was a tenured professor of political science at Montclair State University.

At CNA, Dr. Wishnick contributes her dual-regional expertise on China and Russia, including professional proficiency in both languages, to research and analysis of Chinese foreign policy, Sino-Russian relations, Asian security (including Taiwan), and Arctic geopolitics. Dr. Wishnick has been an educator for more than 25 years and has participated in training for US and foreign officials. For five years, she taught a course on intelligence and national security where she applied insights from intelligence analysis training materials to class simulations.

Dr. Wishnick is the author of two peer-reviewed books, three monographs on geopolitics in Central Asia and the Arctic for the Strategic Studies Institute of the US Army War College, and more than 60 academic and policy articles, as well as a policy blog, www.chinasresourcerisks.com. Her current book project, China's Risk: Oil, Water, Food and Regional Security (forthcoming from Columbia University Press), addresses the security consequences of energy, water, and food risks in China for its Eurasian neighbors. She is also the author of Mending Fences: Moscow's China Policy from Brezhnev to Yeltsin (University of Washington Press, 2001 and 2014).

Her work has appeared in Foreign Affairs and The Washington Post, and she has been featured on the PBS NewsHour. Dr. Wishnick spent three years living and working in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan and received two Fulbright Awards, one for Hong Kong, and another for China, Russia, and Kazakhstan. She has also traveled extensively in Russia for research.

Dr. Wishnick received a B.A. from Barnard College, a M.A. in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and Stanford University and a public policy fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.


July 22, 2020

Elizabeth Wishnick says, "Chinese experts recognize that Russia will never accept China as an equal partner in the Arctic, because if you had a partnership in the Arctic, the question would be who would be the number one partner."

Business Insider: "China's First Homemade Icebreaker Heads to the Arctic as Trump Looks for 10 More of Them From 'a Certain Place'"