Sophal Ear

Associate Professor, Diplomacy & World Affairs

Sophal Ear's research and teaching focuses on international political economy, non-traditional security, and international development, including how to rebuild countries after wars. He specializes on Southeast Asia and is a leading authority on Cambodia.


Education: B.A. University of California, Berkeley; M.P.A. Princeton University; M.S., M.A., Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

March 23, 2015 - Sophal Ear selected for "40 Under 40: Professors Who Inspire

Sophal Ear, Ph.D., is a tenured Associate Professor of Diplomacy & World Affairs. Previously, he taught political economy and how to rebuild countries after wars at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and international development policy at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. He has consulted for the World Bank, was Assistant Resident Representative for the United Nations Development Programme in East Timor, and Advisor to Cambodia's first private equity fund Leopard Capital. A TED Fellow, Fulbright Specialist, Delphi Fellow of BigThink, Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Young Global Leader of the World  Economic Forum, and Fellow of Salzburg Global Seminar, he serves on the boards of the Nathan Cummings Foundation (New York, NY), Partners for Development (Silver Spring, MD), the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (Washington, DC), the Southeast Asia Development Program (Phnom Penh, Cambodia), Diagnostic Microbiology Development Program (Los Altos, CA), the Journal of International Relations and Development (Palgrave), the International Public Management Journal (Taylor & Francis), Journal of South-East Asian American Education & Advancement (University of Texas), and Politics and the Life Sciences (Allen Press). He advises the Faculty of Development Studies at the Royal University of Phnom Penh and is a Councilor to the Cambodian Center for Human Rights. He is the author of Aid Dependence in Cambodia: How Foreign Assistance Undermines Democracy (Columbia University Press, 2013) and co-author of The Hungry Dragon: How China's Resources Quest is Reshaping the World (Routledge, 2013). He wrote and narrated the award-winning documentary film "The End/Beginning: Cambodia" (47 minutes, 2011, news blurb) based on his TED Talk and has appeared in several other documentaries. A graduate of Princeton and Berkeley, he moved to the United States from France as a Cambodian refugee at the age of 10.