Sophal Ear, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School where he teaches courses on political economy and post-conflict reconstruction. Prior to joining NPS, he taught international development at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. He is a TED Fellow (2009), Fulbright Specialist (Chulalongkorn University, 2010), Council on Foreign Relations Term Member (2011), Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum (2011), a Fellow of Salzburg Global Seminar (2012), an Independent Trustee of the Nathan Cummings Foundation (2012), and a Trustee of Partners for Development (2013). Dr. Ear also serves as Vice-Chair of Diagnostic Microbiology Development Program, a non-profit that builds laboratory capacity in the developing world. He advises the Master of Development Studies Program at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, and is on the Boards of the Journal of International Relations and Development (Palgrave), the International Public Management Journal (Taylor & Francis) and Journal of South-East Asian American Education & Advancement (University of Texas). 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) based on his 2009 TED Talk. Previously, he worked for the World Bank and the United Nations, and was an advisor for the private equity funds Leopard Capital (Cambodia) and MPIF (Macau). A graduate of Princeton and Berkeley, he moved to the United States from France as a Cambodian refugee at the age of 10.
Assistant Professor (Tenure-Track). Department of National Security Affairs, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, June 2007-present. Teaching graduate-level â€œIntroduction to Stabilization and Reconstructionâ€ (NS3026), â€œCapstone Seminar on Stabilization and Reconstructionâ€ (NS4026) in post-conflict countries and â€œResearch Methodsâ€ (NS3011) classes in the Summer and Fall Quarters as well as short Regional Security Education Program focusing on Southeast Asia on U.S. Navy ships/carriers. Secret-level Clearance based on an Access National Agency Check with Inquiries (ANACI) Investigation completed May 19, 2008.
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Public Administration, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, August 2006-May 2007. Taught graduate-level course on â€œPolicy and Administration in Developing Countriesâ€.
Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley. Political Science. May 2006.
Dissertation: The Political Economy of Aid, Governance, and Policy-Making: Cambodia in Global, National, and Sectoral Perspectives.
Committee: David K. Leonard (Dissertation Chair), Bruce E. Cain, A. James Gregor, and Teh-Wei Hu (School of Public Health).
Ph.D. Examinations Passed
Orals Qualifying Exam (Advanced to Candidacy): January 2003.
East Asia (with emphasis on Southeast Asia): October 2002.
Methodology: May 2002 (course option).
Comparative Politics: March 2002.
M.A. University of California, Berkeley. Political Science. May 2002.
Essay: HHas More Aid Worsened Governance Since 1995? A Large-N Study of Six Quality of Governance IndicatorsH. (Reviewers: Pradeeb Chibber, Jim Robinson, and David K. Leonard).
M.S. University of California, Berkeley. Agricultural and Resource Economics. December 2001.
M.P.A. Princeton University. Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Field: Economics and Public Policy. June 1997.
(Taught by Ben Bernanke, Ken Rogoff, and Angus Deaton among others)
B.A. University of California, Berkeley. Economics and Political Science (highest honors in both majors, distinction in general scholarship). May 1995.
Political Science Honors Thesis: HThe Khmer Rouge Canon 1975-1979: The Standard Total Academic View on CambodiaH (Advisor: A. James Gregor)
Economics Honors Thesis: HCambodia's Economic Development and History: A Contribution to the Study of the Cambodian EconomyHH (Advisors: Martha Olney and Alain de Janvry)
Center for Khmer Studies, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, Cambodia
CKS Fellow, 2004-2005.
Royal Academy of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Blakemore-Freeman Fellow, 2003-2004.
Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Research Fellow, Summer 1996.
* Post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction
* Development administration and public policy
* Comparative politics and political economy of Southeast Asia
* Research methods
TEDActive 2014, TED Fellows Retreat 2013, TEDActive 2011, TED2010, TED2009
Areas of Expertise
Political Science, Public Policy, Political Analyst, Southeast Asia, post-conflict reconstruction, Political Economy of Development, Comparative politics, Methodology, Agriculture and resource economics, East Asia and Pacific
An idea worth spreading
That linking labor to trade has worked in Cambodia, in other words, that a little less sweat flowed from Cambodia's sweatshops, and that you can support its success by buying garments that are Made in Cambodia.
I'm passionate about
Cambodia, Southeast Asia, development, post-conflict recon,growth, governance, accountability, justice, rule of law, Avian Influenza & global response to it, emerging infectious diseases surveillance,
Talk to me about
Cambodia, Southeast Asia, development, post-conflict recon,growth, governance, accountability, justice, rule of law, Avian Influenza & global response to it, emerging infectious diseases surveillance
People don't know I'm good at
My TED story
I learned about TED last year, on a plane back to Monterey where I live. Bud Enright was riding next to me. The next thing I know, we become friends, and he tells me about this conference he's attending with all these amazing people speaking. I can't believe it. I'm now part of TED too.