Our Team

  • Annie Cantara
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    Annie Cantara

    annie site 262x262 - Our TeamAnnie Cantara is the Design and Production Manager for the Think Tank at the Paulson Institute, where she works to conceptualize, design, and produce graphics for print, online, and multi-media publications. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Annie majored in Comparative Human Development and held the position of managing editor of the university’s independent student newspaper, The Chicago Maroon.

    Annie Cantara
  • Evan Feigenbaum
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    Evan Feigenbaum

    evan site 262x262 - Our TeamEvan A. Feigenbaum is Vice Chairman of The Paulson Institute at the University of Chicago, an independent center established by former US Treasury Secretary and Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO Hank Paulson. He leads the institute’s political economy and investment-related programs, including the Institute’s think tank, which focuses principally on the Chinese economy with an emphasis on market-based structural reforms. He is also Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

    Initially an academic, with a PhD in Chinese politics from Stanford University, his work has since spanned government service, think tanks, the private sector, and three regions of Asia – East, Central, and South.

    From 2001 to 2009, during the George W. Bush Administration, he served at the US State Department as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central Asia, Member of the Policy Planning Staff with principal responsibility for East Asia and the Pacific under Secretaries of State Colin L. Powell and Condoleezza Rice, and as an adviser on China to Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick, with whom he worked closely in the development of the US-China senior dialogue.

    During the intensive final phase of the US-India civil nuclear initiative, from July to October 2008, he co-chaired the coordinating team charged with moving the initiative through the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors and the Nuclear Suppliers Group, and then to Congress, where it became the US-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act. He negotiated agreements with the governments of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, including Kazakhstan’s so-called “Madrid Commitments” to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and also has extensive policy experience with North and South Korea and Japan. He received five Superior Honor Awards from the State Department (three individual awards and two group awards).

    Outside of government, Evan has been Head of the Asia practice group at the markets and business consultancy Eurasia Group, a global political risk firm working principally for financial institutions and corporate clients; Senior Fellow for Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations; taught at Harvard University as Lecturer on Government in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and at the US Naval Postgraduate School as Lecturer of National Security Affairs; and was executive director of the Asia-Pacific Security Initiative at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is the author of three books and monographs, including most recently The United States in the New Asia, and China’s Techno-Warriors: National Security and Strategic Competition from the Nuclear to the Information Age, which was selected by Foreign Affairs magazine as a best book of 2003 on the Asia-Pacific, as well as numerous essays in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The National Interest, International Security, Survival, The China Quarterly, The Atlantic, Newsweek, The New York Times, Financial Times, and other journals, magazines, and newspapers. He is a former columnist for the Business Standard, India’s leading financial newspaper, and a current columnist for South Asia Monitor, published by India’s Society for Policy Studies, and appears regularly as a commentator on Asian markets, business, politics, and regional security on CNBC and other networks.

    Evan Feigenbaum
  • Damien Ma
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    Damien Ma

    damien site 262x262 - Our TeamDamien Ma is Fellow and Associate Director of the Think Tank at the Paulson Institute, focused on investment and policy programs and leads on various research projects and activities. He is the co-author of the book, In Line Behind a Billion People: How Scarcity Will Define China’s Ascent in the Next Decade. He is the editor of The Economics of Air Pollution in China by Ma Jun, the chief economist of the Chinese central bank. He currently also serves as an adjunct lecturer at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

    Previously, Damien was a China and Mongolia Senior Analyst at Eurasia Group, the political risk research and advisory firm. He specialized in analyzing the intersection between Chinese policies and markets, with a particular focus on energy and commodities, industrial policy, elite politics, US-China relations, and social policies. His advisory and analytical work served a range of clients from institutional investors and multinational corporations to the US government. Prior to joining Eurasia Group, he was a manager of publications at the US-China Business Council in Washington, DC. He also worked at the public relations firm H-Line Ogilvy in Beijing, where he served major multinational clients.

    In addition, Damien has published widely, including in the The Atlantic online, New York Times, Foreign Affairs, The New Republic, Foreign Policy, and Bloomberg, among others. He has also appeared in a range of broadcast media such as the Charlie Rose Show, BBC, NPR, and CNBC. He also served as an adjunct instructor at Johns Hopkins SAIS in Washington, DC.

    Damien is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was named a “99under33” foreign policy leader in 2012 by the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese.

    Damien Ma
  • Joy Dantong Ma
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    Joy Dantong Ma

    joy site 262x262 - Our TeamJoy Dantong Ma is a Research Associate in the Think Tank at the Paulson Institute, where she is responsible for the design, content, and management of investment-related products. Previously, she conducted economic research for the Wall Street Journal in Beijing, where she initiated the “Heard in the Hutong” project. Joy holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and attended undergraduate studies in Beijing, where she majored in economics and journalism.

    Joy Dantong Ma
  • Dinny McMahon
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    Dinny McMahon

    dinny site 262x262 - Our TeamDinny McMahon is a Fellow at the Paulson Institute and author of the book China’s Great Wall of Debt: Shadow Banks, Ghost Cities, Massive Loans, and the End of the Chinese Miracle, which is due to be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in the first half of 2018. Dinny spent 10 years working as a financial journalist in China. Between 2009 and 2015, he was with the Wall Street Journal in Beijing where he wrote about China’s banking and financial sector, focusing on rising debt levels, urbanization, and the role of the state sector in the economy. Previously Dinny wrote for Dow Jones Newswires in Shanghai where he focused his reporting on the yuan and China’s foreign exchange market. He also contributed to the Far Eastern Economic Review. Prior to joining the Paulson Institute, Dinny spent two years as a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC.

    Dinny has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales in Sydney. He also attended the Johns Hopkins SAIS program in Nanjing for Chinese and American Studies.

    Dinny McMahon
  • Matt Sheehan
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    Matt Sheehan

    matt site 262x262 - Our TeamMatt Sheehan is a Nonresident Fellow at the Paulson Institute’s in-house think tank. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, he was formerly the China correspondent for The Huffington Post. For five years, he lived and worked between the Chinese cities of Xi’an and Beijing, and the Bay Area. In addition to covering China, Matt has also worked and written about the developing ties between California and China and is completing a book manuscript on that topic.

    Matt Sheehan
  • Jillian Smith
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    Jillian Smith

    jillian 1 262x262 - Our TeamJillian Smith is the Marketing Specialist for the Think Tank at the Paulson Institute, where she works to promote MacroPolo’s brand, products, and experts, while growing and engaging its user base. A graduate of Youngstown State University, Jillian also completed a semester at Shanghai University and holds a bachelor’s degree in Foreign Affairs. Previously, Jillian was a research fellow at the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia, where she analyzed the impact of US sanctions on businesses in Russia.

    While at Shanghai University, Jillian simultaneously worked for the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai as a communications intern and wrote a column for her school newspaper. Jillian has also interned at the US Department of Commerce in Washington, DC and at the US Travel Association, a nonprofit advocacy group serving multinational clients.

    Jillian Smith
  • Houze Song
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    Houze Song

    houze site 262x262 - Our TeamHouze Song is a Research Fellow at the Paulson Institute, where he works primarily on the Institute’s think tank activities. He previously worked as a researcher at the Columbia Global Center (East Asia). Before that, he worked as a research manager at the Unirule Institute, where he assisted the chairman Mao Yushi with research and project management. He holds an MA in quantitative methods and an MPA in international economics, both from Columbia University, and a BA in economics from Peking University.

    Houze Song
  • Neil Thomas
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    Neil Thomas

    neil 262x262 - Our TeamNeil Thomas is a Research Associate in the Think Tank at the Paulson Institute, where he works on Chinese politics and international political economy. Neil previously worked for The Australian National University, both as a Morrison Scholar at the Australian Centre on China in the World and as a Research Project Officer at the Crawford School of Public Policy. He has also spent time at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center, Danwei Media, and The Texas Tribune, and has written for publications including The China Story Journal, East Asia Forum, International Journal of Public Policy, Australian Financial Review, and Kennedy School Review. Neil holds a Master in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he was an IGA Student Fellow at The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and a Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science from the University of Western Australia, where he was a UWA Fogarty Scholar.

    Neil Thomas
  • Job Opportunities
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    Job Opportunities

    Student Fellows Program and Internships

    The Think Tank offers Student Fellow positions and internships to work with the MacroPolo team on extensive research and writing projects, digital content and products, and technical and multimedia efforts. These are great opportunities to join an energetic and entrepreneurial team to help build a leading platform on China’s political economy.

    Although general research is required, Student Fellows also have the chance to lead on significant projects and potentially co-publish substantial work. Previous cohorts have worked on investment case studies and supported product launches for MacroPolo.

    The Student Fellows program is conducted in partnership with the University of Chicago and is available to applicants who are currently enrolled at either the undergraduate or graduate level. Internships are available to all applicants and are dependent on specific needs, projects, and qualifications.

    Qualified applicants should have a demonstrable interest in economics/finance, political science, policy, or other social sciences, as well as comfortable working with data and doing qualitative and quantitative research. Familiarity with China and Chinese language is strongly preferred.

    These are paid positions and are available on a rolling basis throughout the academic year and summer. Interested candidates should send their CV and other relevant materials to info@macropolo.org.

    Job Opportunities