HONOLULU – Brent Christensen is the newest foreign policy advisor at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. He is only the second such advisor in the Center’s 20-year history, replacing retired Ambassador Charles Salmon, who left the Center in 2014 and he is the first active duty U.S. Foreign Service officer to serve in this position.
Christensen will evaluate the Asia-Pacific region’s political and security environment, and leverage his observations to assist the Center’s leadership in designing and implementing outreach programs and courses. His principal task is to help the Center evolve its academic programs to address the region’s latest core challenges and meet U.S. Pacific Command theater engagement objectives.
These objectives include connecting U.S. and international security leaders in the interest of peace, an effort that Christensen said made the advisor’s job appealing.
“DKI APCSS provides a really distinct space dedicated to building relationships between people from nations that often experience political and cultural tensions. There are conversations taking place here that couldn’t take place anywhere else,” Christensen said, adding, “You might say this creates a unique environment of trust.”
Prior to his arrival, Christensen served as deputy director of the American Institute in Taiwan for three years. In this position, he managed the United States’ unofficial mission in Taiwan and supervised its 450 American and local employees. From 2010 to 2012, he contributed to formulation of U.S. policy toward Taiwan as director of the Office of Taiwan Coordination.
Christensen has also served as a counselor for environment, science, technology and health at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and as foreign affairs advisor to former U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe.
His education background includes a master’s degree in East Asian Studies from George Washington University and bachelor’s degree in Chinese from Brigham Young University. He also holds a doctor of dental medicine degree from Oregon Health Sciences University.
DKI APCSS is a Department of Defense institute that addresses regional and global security issues. Military and civilian representatives, most from the United States and Asia-Pacific nations, participate in a comprehensive program of executive education, professional exchanges and outreach events, both in Hawaii and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
The Center supports U.S. Pacific Command by developing and sustaining relationships among security practitioners and national security establishments throughout the region. APCSS’ mission is to build capacities and communities of interest by educating, connecting and empowering security practitioners to advance Asia-Pacific security. It is one of the Department of Defense’s five regional security studies centers.