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Tiger Profile: Edith Terry

Terry is a writer based in Hong Kong since 2000, with an eclectic career spanning business, journalism and think tank. She is the author of How Asia Got Rich: Japan, China and the Asian Miracle (Routledge, 2003). After growing up in Indonesia, Taiwan and the Philippines as the daughter of a US diplomat, she dived into the study of Asia at Yale University and the study of Chinese after graduation at Middlebury and crossing paths if not years with Steve Markscheid and Timothy Brook, who have also been involved with the Tiger Talk series. After graduating from Yale, Edith entered the master’s program in East Asian Studies at Stanford University, returning to Middlebury for third-year Chinese.

Following Stanford, Edith pursued a career involving China, first at the Library of Congress Chinese Collection, then at the National Council for US-China Trade (later the US-China Business Council), as a reporter and editor for The China Business Review. In 1980, she moved to Beijing with one of the first US trading companies to establish permanent offices following US-China normalization in 1979. Her experiences in the early era of economic reforms led to the publication of one of the first books on doing business in China, The Executive Guide to China (John Wiley & Sons, 1984). She next worked for Business Week magazine in New York and Toronto, Canada. In New York she was also a reporter for the Far Eastern Economic Review. In the 1980s, she was the Toronto Globe and Mail Newspaper’s first women correspondents, covering East Asia from Tokyo.

In 1992-94 she was Journalist in Residence and visiting fellow at the East-West Center, followed by stints as a visiting fellow at Keio University, the Institute for Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, and the Economic Strategy Institute in Washington, DC. She returned to journalism with the South China Morning Post where she wrote a column on Hong Kong and ran the opinion pages. Since 2004, she has been an independent consultant with a wide range of clients and interests from Hong Kong politics and US-China relations to the arts.

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