Henry S. Rowen

Senior Fellow

Henry S. Rowen passed away on November 12, 2015.

Rowen was a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution as well as 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 was also 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 was an expert on international security, economic development, and high-tech industries in the United States and Asia. His most recent research focused 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

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.


with Henry S. Rowen, Donald Aiken, David Goldsteinvia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, December 19, 1997

Donald Aiken, senior scientist, Union of Concerned Scientists; David Goldstein, senior scientist, energy, National Resources Defense Council; and Henry Rowen, senior fellow, Hoover Institution, and director, Asia/Pacific Research Center, discuss the effects of the December 1997 treaty agreeing to cut its greenhouse gas emissions seven percent below 1990 levels by the year 2012.

The Big Cats

by Henry S. Rowenvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, July 30, 1997

After the Second World War, the nations of East Asia were all poor--in economic terms, mere mewing cats. Hoover fellow Henry S. Rowen explains just how they turned into roaring tigers.

The Short March

by Henry S. Rowenvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

When will China become a democracy? The answer is, around 2015, says Hoover fellow Henry S. Rowen.