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Joshua Freedman

Class of 2014-2015

About Joshua

Josh Freedman was a visiting scholar in 2014-15 in the College of Humanities and Development Studies at  China Agricultural University in Beijing , where he researched and wrote about social and economic issues in China. He remained in Beijing after his Luce year to work at China Policy , where he led the firm’s social policy research division. In 2017, Josh returned to the United States to begin his Ph.D. in Government at Harvard University, focused on Chinese politics, US politics, and contemporary political ideas. His current research looks at the role of science and expertise in Chinese politics, and at the rise of think tanks and internal consulting organizations within modern state bureaucracies.
Before coming to China, Josh was a policy analyst in the Economic Growth Program at the New America Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, DC. In this role, he researched and wrote about economic and social policy in the United States. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Reuters, Quartz,, and a variety of other print and online publications. Josh was also a contributing writer for Forbes magazine online, covering the political economics of higher education. Josh graduated with a B.A. in Public Policy (concentration: Ethics) from Stanford University in 2011, where he received the Ann C. Seminara award for Outstanding Senior in Public Policy and the Outstanding Senior Practicum award for a project on high school graduation standards in California. While in school, he interned at National Journal magazine, conducted research on political corruption connected to the nonprofit sector, and worked as an undergraduate teaching assistant in the Public Policy Program. He served as editor-in-chief of The Unofficial Stanford Blog, the independent student blog, and wrote, acted, and produced comedy as part of Stanford’s sketch comedy troupe. 
When not thinking about the economy or philosophy, Josh enjoys making people laugh: He performs standup and improv comedy – now in both Chinese and English – and is a frequent contributor to McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, an online humor magazine. His satirical essay, “It’s Not You, It’s Quantitative Cost-Benefit Analysis” was selected for inclusion in the book, “The Best of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.” Josh hails from the oft-maligned state of New Jersey and consumes an inordinate amount of Chinese food.

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