Shawn Shieh is Director and Editor of China Development Brief (English).  He also serves as a civil society consultant for the U.S.-based International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, the United Nations Development Program and the Asian Development Bank.

Dr. Shieh received his Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University, and was a professor of political science at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY for 14 years. He has been living in Beijing and researching and writing on Chinese NGOs since 2006. His most recent publications are State and Society Responses to Social Welfare Needs in China: Serving the People (Routledge, 2009), and “An Emerging Civil Society: The Impact of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake on Grassroots Associations in China” (The China Journal, January 2011).  In 2011, looking to play a more direct role in promoting China’s civil society sector, he left academic life and went to work in the Chinese NGO, China Development Brief. As editor of CDB (English), he has authored and edited a number of publications, including New Trends in Philanthropy and Civil Society (2011), “The Roles and Challenges of International NGOs in China’s Development” (2012), Directory of Chinese NGOs: Civil Society in the Making (2013), and “Mapping China’s Public Interest NGOs” (2013). He is currently writing a book on social activism in China that profiles founders of Chinese NGOs, and has a blog devoted to NGOs in China at

Dr. Shieh has given talks on Chinese and international civil society at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, the Ford Foundation’s China Office, the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of China, the Ministry of Civil Affairs of the PRC, the National Committee of U.S.-China Relations, the Woodrow Wilson Center, and the China Office of the United Nations Development Programme.

About China Development Brief

CDB is China’s longest-running independent platform reporting on the civil society, social development and philanthropic sectors. It was started by Nick Young, a British journalist, in 1996 and during the late 1990s and early 2000s evolved into a Chinese NGO that began publishing its own Chinese-language reports.

In 2008, CDB began publishing a regular quarterly first through the Economic Daily Press and later through the Intellectual Property Rights Press. In 2011, it started CDB(English) to translate its reporting into English so that the international community could better understand important trends occurring in China’s civil society, philanthropic sector.

Aside from its quarterly, CDB has also published several Directories and Special Reports, including 250 NGOs in China (2001), 200 International NGOs in China (2005), NGO Advocacy in China (2006), New Trends in Philanthropy and Civil Society in China (Summer 2011), The Role and Challenges of International NGOs in China’s Development (2012), Chinese NGO Directory (2013) and The Diversification of Public Advocacy in China (2013). CDB’s Chinese-language website is, and its English-language website is