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Sophal Ear

Associate Professor, Diplomacy & World Affairs

Sophal Ear's research and teaching focuses on international political economy, security, and 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

Professor Ear joined Oxy in August 2014 after teaching political economy and post-conflict reconstruction at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and a post-doc in 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. Prof. Ear was elected to a three-year term in November 2015 to the Crescenta Valley Town Council which encompasses an unincorporated area of 20,000 residents in Los Angeles County. A TED Fellow, Fulbright Specialist, Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, he is a Trustee of the Nathan Cummings Foundation (New York, NY), Refugees International (Washington, DC), Partners for Development (Silver Spring, MD), the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (Washington, DC), the Southeast Asia Development Program (Phnom Penh, Cambodia), and Diagnostic Microbiology Development Program (Los Altos, CA). He also serves on the Boards of the Journal of International Relations and Development (Palgrave), the International Public Management Journal (Taylor & Francis), Journal of South-East Asian American Education & Advancement (Purdue University), and Politics and the Life Sciences (Cambridge University Press).  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 at the age of 10 after seven years in France as a Cambodian refugee.