Keren Zhu

Photo of Keren Zhu
Assistant Policy Researcher; Ph.D. Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Off Site Office


M.Sc. in social anthropology, University of Oxford; B.A. in English, Chinese University of Hong Kong


Keren Zhu is an assistant policy researcher at RAND and a Ph.D. student at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Her research interests include infrastructure development in emerging markets, program evaluation, the Belt and Road Initiative, China's engagement with the world, international development, China-African relations and U.S.-China relations. She is particularly interested in evaluation design for megaprojects under the Belt and Road Initiative. Zhu is an adjunct lecturer at the Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, where she teaches a graduate course on program and policy evaluation.

Prior to joining RAND, she was the international affairs manager at Research and Development International, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, where she worked on humanitarian and development policy research and the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative. As a consultant at the International Labor Organization, she managed their public-private partnership project database and evaluated project effectiveness. She has fieldwork experience in China, Ghana, Benin, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Pakistan.

Zhu is fluent writer in English and Chinese, and she speaks English, Mandarin, Cantonese, and French. She holds a M.Sc. in social anthropology from the University of Oxford and a B.A. in English from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Honors & Awards

  • World Politics and Statecraft Fellowship, Smith Richardson Foundation


Mandarin Chinese; Cantonese; English; French


  • Looking west along the Los Angeles River from the Fletcher Drive Bridge, <a href="">photo</a> by Downtowngal / <a href="">CC BY-SA 4.0</a>

    Los Angeles River Revitalization: Taking Inspiration from Near and Far

    Currently a predominantly concrete channel running through the city, the Los Angeles River has great potential to revitalize Los Angeles's water resources, landscape, and identity. Creating a new vision for the river presents a complex challenge for policymakers, engineers, and urban planners.

    Feb 4, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) shakes hands with Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif (L) at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse on September 8, 2017 in Beijing, China

    What Next for China-Pakistan Relations?

    The recent downgrade in U.S.-Pakistan relations will present both opportunities and challenges for China. Beijing can use the recent strain to promote a new model of international development, but must be wary of becoming the sole external power responsible for maintaining stability in the region.

    Feb 26, 2018 South China Morning Post