Henry S. Rowen

Senior Fellow
Research Team: 

Henry S. Rowen, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, was a professor of public policy and management at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business and a member of that university's Asia/Pacific Research Center. He is currently codirector of Stanford's Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

He was assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs in the US Department of Defense from 1989 to 1991. He was also chairman of the National Intelligence Council from 1981 to 1983. Rowen served as president of the RAND Corporation from 1967 to 1972 and was assistant director of the US Bureau of the Budget from 1965 to 1966.

From 2001 to 2004 he served on the Secretary of Defense Policy Advisory Board. In 2004–5, he served on the Presidential Commission on the Intelligence of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Rowen is an expert on international security, economic development, and high-tech industries in the United States and Asia. His current research focuses on the rise of high technology in Asia.

His most recent publication is "China: Big Changes Coming Soon" (Policy Review, December 2011/January 2012). His other publications (coedited) are MAKING IT: The Rise of Asia in Information Technologies (Stanford University Press, 2007); The Silicon Valley Edge: A Habitat for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (2000); Behind East Asian Growth: The Political and Social Foundations of Prosperity (1998); and Defense Conversion, Economic Reform, and the Outlook for the Russian and Ukrainian Economies (1994), with Charles Wolf and Jeanne Zlotnick.

Among his articles are "Kim Jong II Must Go," Policy Review, no. 121 (October/November 2003); "The Short March: China's Road to Democracy," National Interest, Fall 1996; "Inchon in the Desert: My Rejected Plan," National Interest, Summer 1995; "The Tide underneath the 'Third Wave,'" Journal of Democracy, January 1995; and "Vietnam Made Him," National Interest, Winter 1995/96.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1925, Rowen earned a bachelor's degree in industrial management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1949 and a master's in economics from Oxford University in 1955.

His research papers are available at the Hoover Institution Archives.

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Recent Commentary

Wuhan, China

China: Big Changes Coming Soon

by Henry S. Rowenvia Advancing a Free Society
Friday, December 2, 2011

Big changes are ahead for China, probably abrupt ones. The economy has grown so rapidly for many years, over 30 years at an average of nine percent a year, that its size makes it a major player in trade and finance and increasingly in political and military matters.

Beijing, China

China: Big Changes Coming Soon

by Henry S. Rowenvia Policy Review
Thursday, December 1, 2011

Economic growth and political upheaval

The Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall

by Henry S. Rowenvia Advancing a Free Society
Monday, July 4, 2011

We are coming up on the 50th anniversary of the building of the Berlin Wall, August 13, 1961, a day that I remember well.  That afternoon, the telephone rang in my office and on the other end was President Kennedy.    He was trying to reach Secretary of Def

California flag
Featured Commentary

A New York Solution for Bailing Out California

by Henry S. Rowenvia Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"Ford to City: Drop Dead."...

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The Next Big Things

by Henry S. Rowenvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, June 19, 2007

As China participates in the information revolution, a few of the subtler themes. By Henry S. Rowen.

Featured Commentary

A U.S. Embassy in Pyongyang

by Henry S. Rowenvia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, October 26, 2006

The United Nations sanctions on North Korea are useful, but unless China and South Korea change their policies, these sanctions will not have much effect on Pyongyang's weapons programs…

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The Trouble with Kim Jong Il

by Henry S. Rowenvia Hoover Digest
Sunday, January 30, 2005

We need a better class of dictator running North Korea. Challenges the administration faces in dealing with Kim Jong Il. By Henry S. Rowen.

Kim Jong Il Must Go

by Henry S. Rowenvia Policy Review
Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Time to refocus U.S. policy on change in the North

Why China Will Become a Democracy

by Henry S. Rowenvia Hoover Digest
Saturday, January 30, 1999

China? A democracy? According to Hoover fellow Henry S. Rowen, the question is not whether, but when.

Illustration by Karen Stolper

Weapons of Mass Destruction:

by Henry S. Rowenvia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 30, 1998

How many nations possess nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons--or might soon do so? Hoover fellow and former Assistant Secretary of Defense Henry S. Rowen knows the answer. It isn't particularly reassuring.