Wilson Center Experts
John Pomfret is an award-winning journalist who has spent two decades as a foreign correspondent for The Washington Post. He has reported on China for the Post both as bureau chief in Beijing and as a senior diplomatic correspondent in Washington. He’s written a critically-acclaimed book on China, “Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and the Story of the New China,” and is currently at work on a second book on the shared story of the Americans and the Chinese. Pomfret came to China first in 1980 as an exchange student. Since then he has spent more than a decade living in China. Pomfret also spent eight years covering wars, large and small. in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Congo, Sri Lanka, Iraq, southwestern Turkey and northeastern Iran.
Pomfret ran the Post’s Outlook section for two years and served as its bureau chief in Los Angeles. He is currently on a Fulbright Senior Scholar’s grant, living in Beijing.
Pomfret speaks, reads and writes Mandarin. He has worked as a bartender in Paris and practiced Judo in Japan.
Pomfret’s journalism awards include the 2003 Osborne Elliot Award for the best coverage of Asia by the Asia Society, the 2007 Shorenstein Award from Harvard and Stanford universities for lifetime coverage of Asia, and the 2010 Edward Weintal Prize from Georgetown University for Diplomatic Reporting.