Charles Freeman is one of the foremost international authorities on Chinese economy and trade and has been helping companies navigate complex markets in the Asia-Pacific for 25 years. His career has included senior stints in government, business, law and academia, with a heavy focus on China, giving him a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities in the world’s largest country.
During his government career, Charles served as assistant U.S. trade representative for China affairs, a role in which he was the principal U.S. trade negotiator with China. He also served as legislative counsel in the United States Senate, where he concentrated on East Asian economic and trade issues.
Since leaving government, Charles has consulted on Chinese business and policy matters for some of the world’s leading companies during market entry, expansion, challenge and crises phases alike. He also served as PepsiCo’s vice president for global public policy and government affairs, and helped shepherd the company’s China business through a complicated business transition.
Apart from his consulting work, Charles has also served as chair in China Studies at the Washington, D.C.-based think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Earlier, he was based in Hong Kong with the International Herald Tribune and worked as a securities lawyer and venture capitalist investing in emerging markets, including China.
Charles serves on the board of directors of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and Harding Loevner Funds, an internationally-focused mutual fund. He is also senior non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., and a senior advisor to CSIS.
Charles earned his doctor of law degree from Boston University’s School of Law and bachelor’s degree in Asian Studies from Tufts University. He did post-graduate work at Fudan University in Shanghai and studied Mandarin Chinese at the Taipei Language Institute.