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Assistant Director for the Paul and Marcia Wythes Center on Contemporary China, Princeton University

Yan Bennett is the Assistant Director for the Paul and Marcia Wythes Center on Contemporary China. She most recently worked at the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program (now Columbia-Harvard China and the World Program) at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs where she served as the Assistant Director from 2009-2015.

Before coming to Princeton, Bennett was a foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State and served overseas in China and Bosnia-Herzegovina. In China, she served as vice consul and had the opportunity to report on U.S. corporate labor practices, intellectual property issues, and the results of a municipal election in Guangdong Province. In Bosnia, Bennett served as special assistant to the ambassador and supported senior staff in achieving foreign policy and national security objectives. She has received awards for superior performance from the State Department, including a personal commendation from Secretary Powell. As a legal scholar, she has a number of publications on China's legal reform and on the rule of law under the Xi administration.

Bennett has a B.A. in Political Science and received an M.A. in International Affairs from the Elliott School at George Washington University. She holds a JD and practices in the areas of international law, including mergers and acquisitions and trade law.


  • –present
    Assistant Director, Princeton University


  • 2008 
    Syracuse University College of Law, J.D.