Lyle J. Morris

Photo of Lyle Morris
Senior Project Associate
Washington Office


M.A. in international affairs, Columbia University; B.A. in international business administration, Western Washington University

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Lyle J. Morris is a senior project associate at the RAND Corporation, where he focuses on security developments in East and Southeast Asia. He has published recently on maritime security in the Asia-Pacific, U.S. maritime security capacity building in Southeast Asia, Chinese military modernization, and Chinese engagement in Africa. Prior to joining RAND, Morris was the 2010-11 Next Generation Fellow at the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) and a research intern with the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). From 2004 to 2008, Morris lived in Beijing, China, where he studied Mandarin Chinese at Peking and Tsinghua Universities and later worked at Dentsu Advertising and the China Economist Journal. Morris received his master's degree in international affairs from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and a bachelor's degree in international business from Western Washington University.

Selected Publications

Lyle J. Morris, "Obama Doubles-down on Maritime Capacity Building in Southeast Asia," Asia Pacific Bulletin, 2015

Eric Heginbotham, et. al, "The U.S.-China Military Scorecard: Forces, Geography and the Evolving Balance of Power, 1996-2017," RAND, 2015

Hanauer, Larry.; Morris, Lyle J., China in Africa: Implications of a Deepening Relationship, RAND Corporation (RR-9760), 2014

Hanauer, Larry.; Morris, Lyle J., Chinese Engagement in Africa: Drivers, Reactions, and Implications for U.S. Policy, RAND Corporation (RR-521), 2014

Morris, Lyle J., "China's Foreign Policy Balancing Act," The Fletcher Forum, 2013

Morris, Lyle J., "Taming the Five Dragons? China Consolidates its Maritime Law Enforcement Agencies," China Brief, 13(7), 2013

Hanauer, Larry; Morris, Lyle J., "U.S. and China Aren't Playing Zero-Sum Game in Africa," U.S. News and World Report, 2013

Morris, Lyle J., "Incompatible Partners: The Role of Identity and Self-Image in the Sino-U.S. Relationship," Asia Policy, 13, 2012


  • U.S. President Barack Obama hosts a meeting with leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) during a summit held at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, California, February 16, 2016

    The Importance of Sunnylands for U.S.-ASEAN Relations

    The first ever Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit held on U.S. soil took place earlier this month. Its success should be measured by the fact that the U.S. prioritized relations with the region enough to host its first summit. It should be regarded as the beginning of a new era in U.S.-ASEAN relations.

    Feb 24, 2016 The RAND Blog

  • U.S. President Obama departs after his remarks and a tour of the Philippine Navy's BRP Gregorio Del Pilar at Manila Harbor, Philippines, November 17, 2015

    Obama Doubles Down on Maritime Capacity Building in Southeast Asia

    By contributing to coast guard capacity building by donating ships and funding, the United States has found an important and politically viable avenue to bolster maritme security to partners and allies in Southeast Asia.

    Dec 15, 2015 Asia Pacific Bulletin

  • A J-31 stealth fighter of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force landing

    RAND Conference Examines Chinese Aerospace Training and Leadership

    To help foster a better understanding of the aerospace component of China's military modernization efforts, participants from the U.S. Air Force, the DoD, and the public policy research and academic communities gathered for the inaugural China Aerospace Studies Institute conference.

    Jul 10, 2015 The RAND Blog

  • Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (2nd R) and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (R) walk as they arrive to the site of previously burnt ivory, in Nairobi National Park May 10, 2014

    In Africa: U.S. Promotes Security, China Does Business

    Africans require both security and economic growth. Global powers like China and the United States do not need to choose between the two when focusing their foreign policy efforts.

    May 31, 2014 Reuters, The Great Debate blog

  • President Barack Obama and President Macky Sall of Senegal hold a bilateral meeting at the Presidential Palace in Dakar, Senegal, June 27, 2013

    To Help Africa, Do Business There

    Competition from American industry would help drive Chinese firms to be more socially responsible and generate greater benefits for African communities, write Larry Hanauer and Lyle Morris.

    Jun 27, 2013 U.S. News & World Report

  • President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden talk with Vice President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China and members of the Chinese delegation following their bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, Feb. 14, 2012.

    Agreeing to Disagree About Africa

    The Obama-Xi dialogue offers an opportunity to clarify both countries' interests in Africa and remove a potential irritant to U.S.-Chinese bilateral relations, write Larry Hanauer and Lyle Morris.

    Jun 6, 2013 U.S. News & World Report