Julia G. Bentley
Julia G. Bentley
Research keywords: International relations; foreign policy; governance and civil society; China’s global influence, particularly in Southeast Asia
Julia G. Bentley is an external research associate at York Centre for Asian Research and a diplomat whose career has focused on Asia. Her diplomatic postings have included China (twice, during one of which she was cross-accredited to Mongolia), Taiwan and India, where she was cross-accredited to Nepal and Bhutan. She served as High Commissioner of Canada in Malaysia from 2017 to 2020. Combined with other roles including as a teacher, development consultant and head of an international organization, she has spent 22 years in Asia.

In Ottawa, her most recent positions at the Department of Global Affairs Canada were Director for Northeast Asia, and Director General for South Asia, encompassing foreign policy, development, trade and investment.

From 2002 to 2005 she took a leave of absence to create and lead a three-year NGO Capacity Building Program in China, funded by the Ford Foundation and implemented by Winrock International.

She holds degrees in East Asian Studies from Princeton University and the University of Toronto, as well as a post-graduate diploma in modern Chinese history from Nanjing University.

Her research interests are focused on Asia, in the areas of international relations, foreign policy, governance and civil society, as well as China’s global influence, particularly in Southeast Asia.

She is also a senior fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto, where she was seconded by Global Affairs Canada for a year in 2022. She was a resident policy practitioner fellow at the University of British Columbia’s School of Public Policy and Global Affairs from January through April 2023.