Timothy R. Heath

Timothy R. Heath
Senior International/Defense Researcher
Washington Office


Ph.D. in political science, George Mason University; M.A. in Asian Studies, George Washington University; B.A. in philosophy, College of William and Mary

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email media@rand.org.

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Timothy R. Heath is a senior international defense researcher at the RAND Corporation. Prior to joining RAND in October 2014, he served as the senior analyst for the USPACOM China Strategic Focus Group. He has over twenty years of experience researching and analyzing military and political topics related to China.

In addition to his publications with the RAND Corporation, Heath has published numerous articles and one book. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, he has extensive experience analyzing China's national strategy, politics, ideology, and military, as well as Asian regional security developments. He has a Ph.D. in political science from George Mason Unversity and an M.A. in Asian studies from The George Washington University. 

Recent Projects

  • The Return of Great Power War: Scenarios of Systemic Conflict Between the United States and China
  • China's Quest for Global Primacy: An Analysis of Chinese International and Defense Strategies to Outcompete the United States
  • China's Military Interventions: Patterns, Drivers, and Signposts
  • China and the International Order
  • Science Based Scenario Design: A Proposed Methodology to Support Political-Strategic Analysis

Selected Publications

, ""Is China Planning to Attack Taiwan? A Careful Consideration of Available Evidence Says No"," War on the Rocks, 2022

"U.S.-China Strategic Rivalry: Great Power Competition in the Post-Industrial Age," in Lowell Dittmer (ed.), New Asian Disorder: Rivalries Embroiling the Pacific Century, Hong Kong University Press, 2022

Timothy R. Heath, Winning Friends and Influencing People: Naval Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics, China Maritime Studies Institute , 2020

Timothy R. Heath, ""Dispute Control: China Recalibrates Use of Military Force to Support Security Policy's Expanding Focus"," Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies, 43(1-2), 2018

Timothy R. Heath, William R. Thompson, ""Avoiding U.S.-China Rivalry is Futile: Why the Best Option is to Manage Strategic Rivalry," Asian Policy, 13(2), 2018

Timothy R. Heath, "China's Evolving Approach to Economic Diplomacy," Asia Policy, 22(2), 2016

Timothy R. Heath, China's New Governing Party Paradigm: Political Renewal and the Pursuit of National Rejuvenation, Ashgate, 2014

Timothy R. Heath, "What Does China Want? Discerning the PRC's National Strategy," Asian Security, 8(1), 2012

Honors & Awards

  • Innovation Award, RAND Corporation
  • Army Achievement Medal (Fourth Award), U.S. Army
  • Civilian of the Year, Pacific Command


Chinese; French

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: AlArabiya.net; al-Watan, Egypt; ARD News, Germany; Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, CSIS; BBC World Service; Bloomberg Television EMEA; Channel News Asia; CNBC Online; CTV News, Canada; Defense & Aerospace Report; The Diplomat; Dwnews, China; FOX News Channel; Gray DC; Here and There, Santa Fe Public Radio; Independent Journal Review; La Razon; Maritime Security; Morning Edition; Newsy; Phoenix TV, China; Radio Free Asia; The Red Line; The Ross Kaminsky Show; Sinovision; South China Morning Post; The Spectator, UK; TaiwanPlus; tbs eFM 101.3MHz - Seoul, S. Korea; Voice of America; Voice of America Chinese; Voice of America Russian; WhoWhatWhy; World Politics Review; WXPI Pittsburgh