Retired Army Colonel David Shanahan joined the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in December 2004 while still on active duty. He served in roles as Transnational Studies Department Chairman, acting deputy director, and assumed duties as deputy dean upon his Army retirement in April 2006.His academic interests are in Globalization and Security Sector Reform and he has both lectured and participated in Center outreach events on these topics.
Prior to his arrival at the Center, he was assigned for three years as the Chief of Staff of U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) at Ft. Shafter, Hawaii. There he oversaw the post 9/11 evolution of USARPAC’s role in providing the base to U.S. Pacific Command Joint Task Force Homeland Defense. During his tenure, USARPAC readied and deployed the preponderance of its assigned forces in operational support to the Global War on Terrorism. As well, he oversaw implementation of the U.S. Army’s many transformation initiatives in the Pacific most notably the formation of two stationing of Stryker Brigades.
Col. Shanahan was commissioned as an Infantry Officer upon his graduation from the U.S. Military Academy (USMA) in 1976. He served in a succession of infantry troop assignments culminating with command of 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. While in troop leading positions, he participated in numerous joint and combined training exercises within the United States as well as Japan, Korea, Australia, Philippines, Spain, Germany, and Panama.In 1995, he was assigned to the Pentagon, initially to the Army Staff, and later to Joint Staff’s Directorate for Force Structure Resources and Assessments (J8). In 1998, he was assigned to Heidelberg, Germany, where he assumed command of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Allied Land Forces Central Europe Support Group.Col. Shanahan was operationally deployed to: the Sinai in 1990-91 as part of the Multinational Force and Observers; to Hurricane Relief operations on Kauai in 1992, and in support of both the Stabilization Force and Kosovo Force (KFOR) in the Balkans. In KFOR, for seven months in 1999-2000, he commanded a multinational force of 2000 soldiers and civilians comprising 13 nationalities.
He is a graduate of U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 1990; U.S. Army War College fellowship at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1995; and he is a graduate of APCSS Executive Course 04-3. He has a Bachelor of Science in engineering from USMA, 1976, and a Master of Arts in international relations from the Naval Postgraduate School, 1986.