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Full Biography


Jennifer Turner has served as Director of the Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum for 25 years. She is a widely-quoted expert on U.S.-China environmental cooperation, as well as climate-related challenges and governance issues facing the world’s most populous country. As head of the Center’s Global Choke Point multimedia reporting initiative, Turner's work combines on-the-ground research with visual storytelling. Together with the Wilson Center’s Serious Games Initiative she has been developing an educational digital game, The Plastic Pipeline, to raise public awareness on the plastic product lifecycle and policies and citizen action to slow plastic waste leakage into the ocean. 

Full Bio

Jennifer Turner has been the director of the China Environment Forum at the Woodrow Wilson Center for 25 years where she creates meetings, exchanges and publications focusing on a variety of energy and environmental challenges facing China, particularly on water, energy and green civil society issues. Between 2010 and 2020 she led the Wilson Center’s Global Choke Point Initiative. Working together with Circle of Blue, she co-produced multimedia reports, films, and convened on water-energy-food confrontations in China, India, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States. Her other major initiatives include: Cooperative Competitors: Building U.S.-China Clean Energy Partnerships, From Farm to Chopsticks: Food Safety Challenges in China, and Storytelling is Serious Business Workshops For Chinese Environmental Professionals. Jennifer serves as Senior Editor for the Wilson Center’s  InsightOut publication and the China Environment Forum column on the New Security Beat blog. She received a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Comparative Politics in 1997 from Indiana University, Bloomington. Her dissertation examined local government innovation in implementing water policies in China.

Major Publications

  • "China's Growing Ecological Footprint," coauthored with Linden Ellis, (The China Monitor, March 2007)
  • China's Filthiest Export," coauthored with Juli Kim, (Foreign Policy in Focus, February 2007)
  • Reaching across the Water: International Cooperation Promoting Sustainable River Basin Governance in China, coauthored with Kenji Otsuka (Woodrow Wilson Center, May 2006) (trilingual report)
  • "Building a Green Civil Society in China," coauthored with Lü Zhi, State of the World 2006 (WorldWatch Institute, 2006)
  • "Greening the Dragon: The Environmental Costs of China’s Economic Growth," The Ripon Forum, November/December 2005
  • "Small Government, Big (Green?) Society: Emerging Partnerships to Solve China's Environmental Problems," Harvard Asian Quarterly, 2004
  • "Beyond the Bureaucracy: Changing China's Policymaking Environment," (coauthored with Eric Zusman) in China's Environmental Challenges,(editor, Kris Day) (New York: Columbia University Press, forthcoming)
  • "Cultivating Environmental NGO-Business Partnerships in China," China Business Review, November 2003
  • Crouching Suspicion, Hidden Potential: U.S. Environmental and Energy Cooperation with China, co-author, ECSP China Environment Forum (Wilson Center, 2002)
  • Authority Flowing Downward? Local Government Entrepreneurship in the Chinese Water Sector, Ph.D. Dissertation, Indiana University, 1997
  • "Trickle Down? Administrative and Financial Decentralization in the Water Sector in the PRC" in Groundwater Law: The Growing Debate, ed. Marcus Moench, Gujart, India: VIKSAT-Pacific Institute Collaborative Groundwater Project, 1995. (co-authored with James Nickum).