Formal headshot of Tom Fingar

Thomas Fingar, PhD

  • Shorenstein APARC Fellow
  • Affiliated Scholar at the Stanford Center on China's Economy and Institutions

Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Stanford University
Encina Hall, C-327
Stanford, CA 94305-6055

(650) 723-9149 (voice)
(650) 723-6530 (fax)

Biography

Thomas Fingar is a Shorenstein APARC Fellow in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. He was the inaugural Oksenberg-Rohlen Distinguished Fellow from 2010 through 2015 and the Payne Distinguished Lecturer at Stanford in 2009.

From 2005 through 2008, he served as the first deputy director of national intelligence for analysis and, concurrently, as chairman of the National Intelligence Council. Fingar served previously as assistant secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (2000-01 and 2004-05), principal deputy assistant secretary (2001-03), deputy assistant secretary for analysis (1994-2000), director of the Office of Analysis for East Asia and the Pacific (1989-94), and chief of the China Division (1986-89). Between 1975 and 1986 he held a number of positions at Stanford University, including senior research associate in the Center for International Security and Arms Control.

Fingar is a graduate of Cornell University (A.B. in Government and History, 1968), and Stanford University (M.A., 1969 and Ph.D., 1977 both in political science). His most recent books are From Mandate to Blueprint: Lessons from Intelligence Reform (Stanford University Press, 2021), Reducing Uncertainty: Intelligence Analysis and National Security (Stanford University Press, 2011), The New Great Game: China and South and Central Asia in the Era of Reform, editor (Stanford University Press, 2016), Uneasy Partnerships: China and Japan, the Koreas, and Russia in the Era of Reform (Stanford, 2017), and Fateful Decisions: Choices that will Shape China’s Future, co-edited with Jean Oi (Stanford, 2020). His most recent article is, "The Role of Intelligence in Countering Illicit Nuclear-Related Procurement,” in Matthew Bunn, Martin B. Malin, William C. Potter, and Leonard S Spector, eds., Preventing Black Market Trade in Nuclear Technology (Cambridge, 2018)."


UPCOMING TALK

China's America Policy: Origins and Implications

In-person event for Princeton and Stanford Alumni, Students, and Friends

Co-hosted by
Asian American Alumni Association of Princeton (A4P) and Stanford Club of Taiwan

Friday, June 7, 2024
3-5 p.m.

YuanRu Gallery 宛儒畫廊
10 Floor, No. 343, Section 5
Nanjing East Road Songshan District
Taipei City, 10569 Taiwan

Register > 

publications

Commentary
January 2024

People’s Republic of China in the Baltic States – A Book Review

Author(s)
cover link People’s Republic of China in the Baltic States – A Book Review
Commentary
November 2021

Is America Really Back?

Author(s)
cover link Is America Really Back?
Commentary
November 2016

A Silk Road for the Twenty-First Century?

Author(s)
cover link A Silk Road for the Twenty-First Century?

Current research

In The News

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen shakes hands with People’s Republic of China Vice Premier He Lifeng in front of U.S. and Chinese flags
Commentary

The United States Should Seek Engagement Without Provocation of China

While China's current policy prioritizes regime security over economic growth, the United States should hold open the door to a shift by Beijing back to a policy package emphasizing openness. Washington should also restore credibility to its One China Policy and lower the rhetorical temperature.
cover link The United States Should Seek Engagement Without Provocation of China
US-China meeting at the Filoli estate prior to APEC 2023 in San Francisco
News

Stopping the Spiral: Threat Perception and Interdependent Policy Behavior in U.S.-China Relations

A new article for The Washington Quarterly, co-authored by Thomas Fingar and David M. Lampton, investigates the drivers of Chinese policy behavior, assesses the role of U.S. policy in shaping it, and suggests steps to reduce the heightened tensions between the two superpowers.
cover link Stopping the Spiral: Threat Perception and Interdependent Policy Behavior in U.S.-China Relations
World leaders sit around a table during the APEC 2023 summit in San Francisco.
News

APEC Summit Dominated by U.S.-China Relations, Policy Challenges

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco, which concluded the 2023 APEC host year for the United States, included a highly-anticipated meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Shorenstein APARC scholars weigh in on the significance of the meeting in the context of China’s geopolitical ambitions, the outcomes of the APEC summit, and other topics.
cover link APEC Summit Dominated by U.S.-China Relations, Policy Challenges

Selected Multimedia