New faculty spotlight: Siyao Li

August 26, 2022

"Siyao Li"Dr. Siyao Li is an incoming Assistant Professor of International Affairs with a focus on international political economy. Her research focuses on the politics of foreign direct investment and trade, and business-government relations.  

Li's book project, Closing the Institutional Gap: Protecting Technology in Foreign Direct Investment, investigates why and how foreign direct investment into weak institutional environments achieves property protection through host government institutions, especially in terms of technology assets. 

“I’m excited to be joining such a diverse community of faculty and students at GSPIA and to use my expertise to educate the next generation of leaders in public service,” said Li. 

Li’s interest in international political economy began before she went to graduate school, when global economic integration was advancing noticeably. China’s investments into the US were reaching all-time highs, and ambitious trade and investment agreements were being formed among countries. 

“I remember printing out all 5000 plus pages of the Trans-Pacific Pacific agreement for the scholar that I was working for at that time, and sensing the excitement that surrounded achieving economic cooperation among countries with diverse interests. Events like this made me interested in studying the political actors and processes underlying international economic cooperation,” she said. 

Li has lived in different cultural contexts in Asia, Europe, and the US, and worked in the public policy space in Washington DC, before arriving at Pitt. This fall, she will be teaching PIA 2474 Contemporary China and International Political Economy

To current students, she says, “Don’t hesitate to come say hi if I can be of help in achieving your goals in GSPIA!” 

Every Friday for the next month, we’ll be spotlighting each new faculty member joining us for the Fall 2022 semester. Stay tuned to meet next week’s new faculty member!