Administrative Staff

Michael  Szonyi (宋怡明)

Michael Szonyi (宋怡明)

Professor of Chinese History

Michael Szonyi is Director of the Fairbank Center at Harvard University and Professor of Chinese History in Harvard’s Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations.  His research uses a combination of traditional textual study and contemporary fieldwork to explore the local history of southeast China from the Ming dynasty to the twentieth century. His previous books include Practicing Kinship (Stanford, 2002) and Cold War Island: Quemoy on the Front Line (Cambridge, 2008). 

Julia Cai

Julia Cai

Program Manager, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies
Manager, Programs and Administration, Harvard China Fund

Julia Cai manages the Harvard China Fund's student programs, faculty grants and other departmental initiatives, as well as student funding and Associates in Research for the Fairbank Center.

Karen  Christopher

Karen Christopher

Finance/Administrative Associate, Asia Center

Karen Christopher has worked in the Asia Center’s financial office since February 2000, assisting staff, affiliates, faculty, and students with financial and administrative issues. While the Fairbank Center is her first priority she also supports the other Asia-related research centers.

James Evans

James Evans

Communications Coordinator

James Evans coordinates digital communications, media relations, publicity outreach and graphic design at the Fairbank Center. Previously, James worked in public affairs for Weber Shandwick in Beijing and London, and has a background in public policy and digital communications across both China and Europe. 

Mark J. Grady

Mark J. Grady

Events Coordinator

Mark Grady joined the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies as its events coordinator in December 2013. Previously, he worked as a government contractor managing events for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in domestic and international locations, including Beijing and Guangzhou, China.

Nancy Hearst

Nancy Hearst


Nancy Hearst is the librarian in the Fairbank Collection of the H.C. Fung Library. She makes periodic trips to China and Hong Kong to select new acquisitions. She also does free-lance editing and proofreading for China-related books, and English polishing for a number of state and party organizations in Beijing. Nancy has worked at Harvard for a long time.

Ying-Ming Lee

Ying-Ming Lee

Library Assistant

Ying-Ming Lee has been working at the Fairbank Center Library since 1998 after several years of library work at the Harvard-Yenching Library.

Jennifer Rudolph

Jennifer Rudolph

Executive Director

Jennifer Rudolph, Executive Director of Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and Executive Director of the Harvard China Fund, received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Chinese history from the University of Washington and A.B. from the University of Chicago.

Shirley Sun

Shirley Sun

Program Coordinator

Shirley Sun comes to the Fairbank Center from Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research, where she worked as a research assistant. She received her Ed.M. in Urban Education from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. As program coordinator, she manages the visiting scholar and postdoctoral fellowship programs.