The Eisenhower Institute

Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch

Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch, founding president of the US-China Education Trust, is the first Asian American to hold ambassadorial rank in U.S. history.  She has had an extensive career in international affairs and government service, beginning as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sabah, Malaysia, in 1964.  In 1988, Ambassador Bloch served at the U.S. Agency for International Development as Assistant Administrator for Food for Peace and Voluntary Assistance and as Assistant Administrator for Asia and the Near East, positions appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. She also was the Chief Minority Counsel to a Senate Select Committee; a Senate professional staff member; the Deputy Director of the Office of African Affairs at the U.S. Information Agency; a Fellow of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, and an Associate of the U.S.-Japan Relations Program of the Center for International Affairs at Harvard.

After 25 years in government service, Ambassador Bloch moved to the corporate sector in 1993, becoming Group Executive Vice President at the Bank of America, where she created the Corporate Relations Department, heading the bank's Public Relations, Government Affairs, and Public Policy operations. From 1996 to 1998, Ambassador Bloch moved into philanthropy, serving as President and CEO of the United States-Japan Foundation, a private grant making institution, with $100 million in assets. Beginning in 1998, Ambassador Bloch shifted her focus to China, first becoming Visiting Professor at the Institute for International Relations and Executive Vice Chairman of the American Studies Center at Peking University, and subsequently affiliating with Fudan University in Shanghai, as well as the University of Maryland as Ambassador-in-Residence at the Institute for Global Chinese Affairs.

A native of China who came to the U.S. at age nine, Ambassador Bloch grew up in San Francisco and earned a bachelor's degree in Communications and Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1964, and a master's degree in Government and East Asia Regional Studies from Harvard University in 1967. She was awarded an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters from Northeastern University in 1986 and an honorary doctorate in International Affairs from Gettysburg College in 2013.

Ambassador Bloch serves on a number of boards, including: Asia Institute for Political Economy, the University of Hong Kong, the Atlantic Council, Council of American Ambassadors, the Foreign Policy Association, US Asia Pacific Council, and the Fund for American Studies Board of Regents. She was elected as a Fellow to the National Academy of Public Administration and serves on the Expert/Eminent Persons Register of the ASEAN Regional Forum, the Woodrow Wilson Council, and the Global Advisory Council of the World Affairs Council.  She is a Trustee Emerita of the Asia Society, Councilor of the Meridian International Center, Honorary Member of the Board of Directors of the Friends Society of the Asian Division, Library of Congress, and member of the Council on Foreign Relations and American Academy of Diplomacy.  She also serves on the Edumasters International Advisory Committee and the Editorial Board of Berkshire Publishing Group's Encyclopedia of China.

She has received numerous awards, and her publications include: Women and Diplomacy, Bonds Across Borders, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007; Nepal: End of Shangri-la, Liberal Democracy Nepal Bulletin, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2005, America's Love-Hate Relationship with China, American Forum Journal of the Fudan University Center of American Studies, 2003, Commercial Diplomacy, Living with China: US-China Relations in the 21st Century, an American Assembly book, New York: W.W. Norton, 1995. Japanese Foreign Aid and the Politics of Burden Sharing, Yen for Development, New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 1991.

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