Biography

Dr. Robert Lawrence Kuhn is a public intellectual, international corporate strategist and investment banker, and a renowned expert on China. He was awarded the “China Reform Friendship Medal” by China’s President Xi Jinping at the celebration of the 40th anniversary of China’s historic reform and opening up (December 2018). The medal, China’s highest award, honors 10 foreigners who contributed to China’s reform and opening up over the four decades. Only five of the 10 foreigners are living; Dr. Kuhn is one of two Americans.

Dr. Kuhn is a commentator on CNN, BBC, CCTV, CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox Business, and other media; senior political/economics commentator on China Global Television Network (CGTN); and a columnist in China Daily and South China Morning Post.

For 30 years, Dr. Kuhn, with his long-time partner, Adam Zhu, has worked with China’s state leaders and advised the Chinese government. He spoke at the launch ceremony of President Xi’s book, The Governance of China; he provided live commentary on CNN for Xi’s policy address during his U.S. state visit (2015); and he introduced to foreign audiences Xi as “core” of the CPC (2016). He gives regular commentary on US-China relations, including on the trade war (2018). For the 19th CPC National Congress (October 2017) and 13th National People’s Congress (March 2018), Dr. Kuhn was interviewed extensively, including 24 times on CNN and BBC, and provided in-depth analysis for China Daily and the South China Morning Post. 

Dr. Kuhn is the author of How China’s Leaders Think (featuring President Xi), and The Man Who Changed China: The Life and Legacy of Jiang Zemin (China’s best-selling book of 2005). He wrote the Introduction for Understanding the CPC, the book series by China’s ruling party, the Communist Party of China (2015).

Shanghai Media Group (SMG), Dr. Kuhn and Adam Zhu are co-producers of the award-winning, five-part series China’s Challenges, broadcast internationally (PBS stations in the U.S.) and in China. Dr. Kuhn, writer and host; Peter Getzels, director. China’s Challenges won China News Awards (first prize, 2013, 2018; second prize, 2015), Emmy (Los Angeles, 2016), and Telly Awards (2017, 2018). A third season (“Xi Jinping Thought” and China 2020/2050) will air in 2019.

Dr. Kuhn is the creator, co-producer and host of “Closer to China with R.L.Kuhn” on CGTN (co-created by Adam Zhu), the weekly series with unique access that features China’s thought leaders and decision makers, broadcast globally and in China. Closer To China focuses on China’s politics and government, CPC/Party, economics and society, reform and development, and international affairs and relations, with emphasis on Xi’s policies and philosophy. 

A special documentary on President Xi’s “targeted poverty alleviation” campaign, co-produced by CGTN, Dr. Kuhn & Adam Zhu, is in production. Dr. Kuhn, host and writer; Peter Getzels, director.

Dr. Kuhn was one of only two Americans, with Henry Kissinger, named as SMG’s first “China Visionaries”. Dr. Kuhn was selected by Oriental Outlook magazine (Xinhua News Agency) as one of the all-time, top-ten influential supporters of China’s ruling party/CPC (he is the only one living).  

An international corporate strategist and investment banker, Dr. Kuhn works with major multinational corporations, CEOs and C-Suite executives, in formulating and implementing China strategies by applying his “politico-strategic framework”. He was president/co-owner of the largest middle-market M&A firm in the U.S. (sold to Citigroup in 2000). 

Dr. Kuhn is creator, writer and host of Closer To Truth (Peter Getzels, producer/director), the long-running PBS/public television series on science, philosophy and fundamental questions (broadcast continuously since 2000, over 275 TV episodes; more in production). Dr. Kuhn is author or editor of over 30 books on China, corporate strategy, finance, science and philosophy (including, with the philosopher John Leslie, The Mystery of Existence: Why is there Anything At All). 

Dr. Kuhn is chairman of The Kuhn Foundation which supports science and philosophy, classical music, and informed relations between the U.S. and China. The Kuhn Foundation produced the feature documentary “Khachaturian” on the life and music of the Armenian-Russian composer Aram Khachaturian, which won the Best Documentary award at the Hollywood Film Festival.

Dr. Kuhn has a B.A. Human Biology (Johns Hopkins); Ph.D. Anatomy/Brain Research (University of California at Los Angeles, UCLA); MBA (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT).

Dr. Robert Lawrence Kuhn

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