This fellowship for Asia-Pacific studies was established in 2020 to honor long-time member John E. Merow. Made possible by a provision in Merow’s estate along with additional funding from the Merow Foundation, the fellowship honors his abiding interest in the Asia-Pacific region and his many contributions to the Council. The fellowship focuses on producing rigorous analysis and practical proposals to help U.S. policymakers navigate the complicated politics and challenges related to the Asia-Pacific region.
John E. Merow (1929–2019)
John E. Merow was a distinguished member of the Council on Foreign Relations from 1977 until his passing in 2019. After serving as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, Merow graduated from Harvard Law School and in 1958 began his six-decade tenure at the international law firm Sullivan & Cromwell. First an associate, he rose to partner, then vice chairman, and became the firm’s chairman and senior partner in 1987. He led Sullivan & Cromwell through a challenging time of international expansion that included opening offices in Australia and Japan. He transitioned to senior counsel in 1994, a position he held until his death.
Throughout his career, Merow worked with major multinational corporations and financial firms in public and private financing, project finance, mergers and acquisitions, and general corporate administration. In addition to his work at Sullivan & Cromwell, Merow also served as managing director of Brock Capital Group LLC. He sat on the boards of the United States Council for International Business, Aleris International, Commonwealth Industries, Seligman Group Investment Companies, Tri-Continental Corporation, Metropolitan Opera Club, and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s global investments and grants organizations. He was chairman of Kaiser Aluminum, the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, the Foreign Policy Association, the American Australian Association, and the Municipal Art Society of New York, and was vice chairman of the United States-New Zealand Council. For his service and contributions to U.S.-Australia relations, he was named an honorary Officer in the Order of Australia.
John E. Merow Senior Fellow for Asia-Pacific Studies
Sheila A. Smith