Van Jackson, Ph.D.

Areas of Expertise – Northeast Asia, Strategic Studies, Military Trends and Modernization, International Relations Theory

Dr. Van Jackson photoDr. Van Jackson is an Associate Professor in the College of Security Studies at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (DKI-APCSS) in Honolulu, where he specializes in Korean and Japanese affairs, U.S.-Asia relations, maritime transparency, defense strategy, and international relations theory. He is also an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) in Washington, as well as a Senior Editor for War on the Rocks. From 2014 through September 2015, Dr. Jackson was a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow in residence at CNAS, researching the intersection of Asian security and defense strategy. He was concurrently a Visiting Scholar and Adjunct Assistant Professor with the Asian Studies Program in Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Dr. Jackson has testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, and has consulted with the National Intelligence Council, State Department Office of Policy Planning, and National Security Council. He is the author of the forthcoming book Rival Reputations: Coercion and Credibility in U.S.-North Korea Relations (Cambridge University Press).

From 2009 to 2014, Dr. Jackson held positions in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) as a strategist and policy adviser focused on the Asia-Pacific, senior country director for Korea, and working group chair of the U.S.– Republic of Korea Extended Deterrence Policy Committee.

During his time in OSD, Dr. Jackson’s responsibilities ranged from long-range strategy, policy planning, and studies of military innovation to crisis management and direct negotiations with numerous Asian government ministries. He was a contributor to the 2013 Strategic Choices Management Review, the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review, and OSD’s implementation of the U.S. policy of rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific. From 2009 to 2012, Dr. Jackson advised the White House and Secretary of Defense on crisis management and strategic courses of action through two Korean Peninsula crises, represented the Department in direct negotiations with North Korea addressing its nuclear program, and helped establish the first extended deterrence consultation mechanisms with South Korea and Japan. He is the recipient of multiple awards in OSD, including the Exceptional Civilian Service Medal.

Dr. Jackson previously taught courses on Asian security, grand strategy, and bridging the theory-policy divide at Georgetown University and the Catholic University of America, and has been a rotating lecturer in the Naval Postgraduate School’s Regional Security Education Program. In 2014 Dr. Jackson was also appointed as a Track II adviser to the Alliance Vision Group headed by the State Department’s Office of Policy Planning and South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has delivered guest lectures at a number of schools nationally, including the U.S. National War College, U.S. Naval War College, and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. From 2011 to 2013, Dr. Jackson was also a nonresident James A. Kelly Fellow in Korean Studies with the Pacific Forum at the Center for Strategic & International Studies. He has published widely in academic journals, including Foreign Policy Analysis, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, Asian Security, Comparative Strategy, and contemporary Security Policy. His commentary and policy analysis has appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Hill, Far Eastern Economic Review, War on the Rocks, Real Clear Defense, and The Diplomat, among others. He holds a PhD in world politics from the Catholic University of America and was formerly selected as one of the “Top 99 under 33” foreign policy leaders by Diplomatic Courier magazine. Dr. Jackson started his career in the U.S. Air Force as a Korean linguist and intelligence analyst.

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