Launching the Policy Innovation Unit

Commentary | February 14, 2013

EastWest Institute President John Mroz announced the appointment of Dr. Greg Austin to lead the Institute’s first Policy Innovation Unit, a new initiative, whose purpose will be to identify and produce a stream of policy papers on new and emerging areas of global risks, threats and challenges, using EWI’s large worldwide network of experts from a diverse number of fields as vital sources. The papers will identify and propose innovative solutions, involving both private and public sector collaboration. Papers already underway have the working titles of “Anticipating Global Economic Shock” and “Strategic Stability in Cyberspace.” Mroz praised Dr. Austin’s five-year track record of accomplishment as EWI Vice President and his unusual ability to advocate successfully in both East and West. The Policy Innovation Unit will also work with existing EWI programs to help them bolster their policy recommendations.

“As the global community is facing unprecedented challenges, we need to begin to marshal expertise in new ways and make sure it has the necessary influence,” said Austin. “EWI is perfectly situated to do that by working with leading figures from around the world on these critical issues.”

EWI Chairman Ross Perot, Jr. welcomed the appointment and the return of Austin to the EWI staff. He noted: “Few experts out there are as practical yet visionary as Greg. His new unit brings a long-needed focus to better using our global network to promote solutions to seemingly intractable problems that threaten peace, stability and the ability of nations to grow their economies and create jobs for their people. We are excited to see the impact that the Policy Innovation Unit will bring.”

Prior to his current position at EWI, Austin served for five years as a vice president of the institute. He is also a senior visiting fellow in the department of War Studies at King’s College London. Prior to joining EWI, Austin served as director of research at the Foreign Policy Center in London (2004-2006) and as a consultant to the UK Cabinet Office and four other government departments (2003-2004). He was the Asia program director, then director of research at the International Crisis Group (2000-2002). He is the author, co-author and editor of several books on China’s strategic policy. He has a doctorate in International Relations and master’s degree in International Law. He is currently writing a book on China’s cyber policies for publication later this year.