May 19, 2020 | Press Release

China Experts Emily de La Bruyére And Nate Picarsic Join Foundation for Defense of Democracies as Senior Fellows; Expands FDD’s Growing China Research

May 19, 2020 | Press Release

China Experts Emily de La Bruyére And Nate Picarsic Join Foundation for Defense of Democracies as Senior Fellows; Expands FDD’s Growing China Research

Washington, D.C., May 19, 2020 – China experts Emily de La Bruyère and Nathan Picarsic, specialists on China’s geopolitical ambitions and its military, economic, and technological strategies, have joined the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) as senior fellows.

Emily and Nate join FDD at a time of growing bipartisan concern about the Chinese Communist Party’s aggressive actions toward the rules-based global order including threats to America’s democratic allies, human rights abuses, global health risks, pervasive corruption, influence over international organizations, cyber intrusions, military coercion, abusive trade practices and dominance over vital supply chains and critical 21st century technologies.

Mark Dubowitz, FDD’s Chief Executive, welcomed their contribution to FDD’s work on China. “FDD’s centers on American power focus on countering the threats from adversaries like the Chinese Communist Party to global security, health and prosperity. To further expand this work, we’re delighted to welcome Emily and Nate, two of Washington’s top China experts, to our team. Their groundbreaking ability to mine Chinese-language sources to develop actionable policies will be invaluable as FDD works closely with U.S. policymakers and allies to address the CCP threat.”

Emily de La Bruyère has extensive Chinese language research and program management experience. She has pioneered novel data collection and analysis tools tailored to Beijing’s strategic and institutional structures. She received her BA from Princeton University and MA from Sciences Po, Paris as a Michel David-Weill Fellow. Nathan Picarsic has closely monitored trends of Chinese impact across key economic and military balance areas for over a decade. He holds a B.A. from Harvard College and has completed executive education programs through Harvard Business School and the Defense Acquisition University. Emily and Nate were the first Western analysts to document Beijing’s China Standards 2035 national plan. They are at the cutting edge of US analysis on China’s military-civil fusion strategy and platform geopolitics, as well as implications for the global security and economic order.

As the co-founders of Horizon Advisory, a strategy consulting group focused on the implications of China’s competitive approach to geopolitics, Emily and Nate regularly provide critical research and analysis on security, technological, and economic change for decisionmakers across industry and government. Their work draws on an unprecedented mining of primary source, Chinese-language materials. Their analyses, including their recent Coronavirus Series and China Standards Series, have been cited in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Tech Crunch, CNBC, the National Interest, and other prominent publications.

Emily has testified before Congress on U.S.-China relations and Chinese strategic aims, including before the Senate Banking Committee and the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Emily and Nate’s ongoing work on US-China relations and the battle to define the post-COVID global order has also recently been briefed to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s China Center as well as to a range of US government agencies.

“The beltway debate is heating up over China’s role in the post-COVID world order,” added Jonathan Schanzer, FDD’s Senior Vice President for Research. “Nate and Emily bring deep expertise and experience to augment FDD’s efforts in exposing and challenging the full spectrum of illicit activities by the Chinese Communist Party. We look forward to expanding our efforts with their cutting-edge research.”

Emily and Nate expressed their enthusiasm in joining FDD:

“For decades, the CCP has worked asymmetrically to subvert the US, and multilateral, systems, competing in and for areas that we treat as cooperative. As the US begins to recognize this reality, we are working to inform strategic responses. FDD is uniquely positioned to drive action – to defend democratic values alongside our allies, partners, and the private sector.”

“FDD’s diverse research centers and programs offer a ready framework and well-respected approach for combatting threats to US values and democratic norms. The research and policy expertise at FDD – across military, finance, and cyber domains – provides an experienced, flexible, multidisciplinary lens to contemporary threats like that posed by the Chinese Communist Party. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with the leaders and experts who have made FDD a vibrant research enterprise and leader in informing US national security policy.”

They will contribute to FDD’s ongoing China work in the foundation’s Center on Economic and Financial Power, Center on Military and Political Power and Center on Cyber and Technology Innovation.

Emily recently joined FDD’s event, China’s Global Ambitions: Below the Belt and Road, which explores the domestic motivations for Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, as well as the political, economic, developmental, technological, and security impacts and imperatives. The event video is available HERE.


The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) is a Washington, DC-based non-partisan research institute focusing on foreign policy and national security. Visit our website at and connect with us on TwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

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