David Kenley, PhD

Elizabethtown College

Elizabethtown, PA  17022

(717) 824-0357


Dr. David Kenley is Director of the Center for Global Understanding and Peacemaking and Professor of Chinese History at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania.  As Director of the Center, he supervises three interdisciplinary programs:  International Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, and Asian Studies.  He also manages much of the campus-wide co-curricular programming and has worked to bring numerous Nobel Prize winners and other such distinguished lecturers to campus. 

Committed to shared governance, Dr. Kenley has provided ongoing leadership to Elizabethtown College and has chaired many of the most influential committees on campus.  Most recently, he has been the Vice President of the Faculty Assembly and chair of the Resources and Strategic Planning Committee.   In these positions he meets regularly with the Board of Trustees, convening with the Finance and the Advancement sub-committees. In his role as director, he is responsible for assessment and staff supervision, including annual goal setting and evaluation.

In addition to his leadership positions, Dr. Kenley continues to teach and remains an active scholar in his field.  An expert on Chinese migration and overseas identity, his research has taken him all over the world.  Currently he is studying the development of the Barrio Chino community in early twentieth-century Havana.  Committed to the concept of the scholar-teacher, Dr. Kenley is the author of three books and dozens of scholarly articles, chapters, and reviews. 

During his time in academia, Dr. Kenley has been active in numerous national and international professional organizations.  He is the former president of the Mid-Atlantic Region Association for Asian Studies and is an active participant in the international Association for Asian Studies, the American Association for Chinese Studies, Phi Alpha Theta, the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia, the Council of Independent Colleges, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators.  He has successfully secured numerous grants and awards from the U.S. Department of Education, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Freeman Foundation, the United Service Foundation, and the Council of Independent Colleges. 

Dedicated to off-campus collaboration, Dr. Kenley has shared his skills with several community organizations.  He volunteers with Μusic at Gretna and frequently works in partnership with the World Affairs Council and the Center for Community Peacemaking.  A respected speaker, he has addressed various audiences in the local community and around the world.  Through some of his professional associations, he provides pro-bono training in curriculum development to both colleges as well as K-12 school districts.

A full-time faculty member for 17 years, Dr. Kenley was an Associate Professor at Marshall University prior to his tenure at Elizabethtown College.  He received his PhD in Chinese history from the University of Hawaii.  Dr. Kenley is fluent in Mandarin and has lived in and traveled throughout Asia.