Welcome! My name is Siyao Li, and I am a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania.

About me

I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. For the 2020-2021 academic year I was a GPEP predoctoral fellow at Georgetown University's Mortara Center for International Studies.

My research focuses on the politics of foreign direct investment and trade, and business-government relations. My dissertation book project investigates why and how foreign direct investment into weak institutional environments achieve property protection through host government institutions, especially in terms of technology assets. The paper version of my dissertation is a finalist for the GWU-CIBER Best Paper on Emerging Markets Award. My other papers are published at Journal of Conflict Resolution and Journal of European Public Policy.

My research has been generously supported by the Mortara Center for International Studies, the Institute for Humane Studies, UPenn's GAPSA-Provost Fellowship for Interdisciplinary Innovation, the Teece Award for empirical interdisciplinary scholarship, the Browne Center for International Politics, the Center for the Study of Contemporary China, and the Center for East Asian Studies.

I am also pursuing a dual Master’s degree in Statistics at the Wharton School. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in University Scholars with concentrations in politics and economics, summa cum laude from Baylor University.

Please feel free to reach out at:


Ronald O. Perlman Center for Political Science and Economics

133 S. 36th St

Philadelphia, PA