PacNote #13 – Thank You for Your Support in 2021

As we look to celebrate the new year, Pacific Forum would like to express its sincere gratitude to its global network for its generous support in 2021.

Despite ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19, Pacific Forum has remained steadfast in its mission of promoting peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific. Through its implementation of critical Track 1.5/Track 2 dialogues, execution of over 40 public webinars, and publication of original research and timely policy commentaries alike, we have continued to inform and connect decisionmakers and academics across the globe. Similarly, we have remained committed to mentoring the next generation of foreign policy professionals through the Young Leaders Program, Hawaii Asia-Pacific Affairs Leadership (APAL) Program, and fellowship opportunities designed to provide emerging voices with the analytical skills, research perspectives, and guidance needed to contribute to the development of practical policy solutions.

We are immensely encouraged and heartened to receive support from so many who are equally dedicated to promoting collaboration, transparency, and innovation amid a growing number of increasingly complex challenges facing the region.

We invite you to look back on our crosscutting research and public programs from the past year. Links to over 60 online publications have been included below for your reference, and recordings from a host of timely webinars conducted in partnership with institutions across the Indo-Pacific can be accessed on our YouTube channel.

In closing, we encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and to subscribe to our mailing list, to receive the latest updates from the organization in the coming year.

We look forward to engaging with you and continuing our work in 2022. Happy New Year, and Mahalo!


  1. South Koreans’ Negative View of China is Nothing New, but is Getting Worse by Jaewoo Choo
  2. Comparative Connections Summary: January 2021
  3. Getting China Policy Right by Ralph A. Cossa
  4. 2021: A Year of Immense Frustration in and with Japan by Brad Glosserman
  5. North Korea Doubles Down on a Dead End by Thomas Byrne and Jonathan Corrado
  6. Myanmar’s Military Arrests the Civilian Government—and Democracy by Jonathan T. Chow and Leif-Eric Easley
  7. Pacific Forum Job Announcement by Robert P. Girrier
  8. Rebooting the UN-US Partnership: Global Goals Require Indo-Pacific Focus by Mark S. Cogan and Dr. Stephen Nagy
  9. The Quad’s Future is Tied to Soft Security by Jagannath Panda and Ippeita Nishida
  10. The New US Diplomacy with China: ‘Keep Your Promises’ by Sungmin Cho
  11. The US Indo–Pacific Strategy: Don’t Overlook the Pacific Islands Region by Patrick Dupont
  12. China Policy from Trump to Biden: More Continuity than Change by Eric Feinberg
  13. Women, Peace and Security Under a Biden-Harris Administration (Part One: Participation) by Maryruth Belsey Priebe and Jennifer Howe
  14. Biden vs Trump on China Policy: Similar Substance, but Style Matters by Eric Feinberg
  15. Women, Peace and Security under a Biden-Harris Administration (Part Two: Prevention and Protection) by Maryruth Belsey Priebe and Jennifer Howe
  16. Biden Seeking Middle Ground on China Policy by Robert Sutter
  17. Japan and South Korea’s Alternative Paths in the Indo-Pacific by Andrew Yeo and Kei Koga
  18. Women, Peace and Security Under a Biden-Harris Administration (Part Three: Relief and Recovery) by Jennifer Howe and Maryruth Belsey Priebe
  19. A Moment of Truth (Again) for ASEAN by Ralph A. Cossa
  20. Strengthening Transboundary River Governance is Key to ASEAN Centrality by Satu Limaye and Ross Tokola
  21. Who Kim Jong Un’s “Worst Ever” Declaration was Aimed At by Bruce W. Bennett
  22. Russia and Myanmar: Moscow’s Expanding Influence? by Chris Cheang
  23. How Women, Peace and Security Gives the US and Australia an Edge in the Indo-Pacific by Joan Johnson-Freese and Jacqui True
  24. Comparative Connections Summary: May 2021
  25. US-China Crisis Communications—Thinking Beyond the Air and Sea by Joel Wuthnow
  26. Why Australia Needs an Indo-Pacific National Strategy by Paul Monk
  27. How the ASEAN Regional Forum Can Promote Security and Prosperity by Mohamed Jawhar Hassan
  28. Thanks to COVID and China, the Quad is a Sealed Deal by Amrita Jash
  29. Ideating an India-France-UK Trilateral for the Indo-Pacific by Eerishika Pankaj
  30. “Moderate” Strategies on China Put Necessary Defense Measures at Risk by Robert Sutter
  31. The Structural Limits of the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative by Jagannath Panda
  32. China: The Forgotten Nuclear Power No More by David Santoro
  33. Kim Jong Un’s Failures Could be Washington’s Gain by Daniel Mitchum
  34. Advancing a Rules-Based Maritime Order in the Indo-Pacific by Jeffrey Ordaniel
  35. South Korea’s Military Inferiority Complex Must End by John Lee
  36. 10 Things Every Sailor and Marine Should Know Before Deploying to Southeast Asia: A Regional Primer by John Bradford and Blake Herzinger
  37. Southeast Asia’s Maritime Security Should be a US-Japan Alliance Agenda by John Bradford
  38. Afghanistan: A Strategic Watershed? by Tony Abbott
  39. How Public-Private Cooperation Helped Unlock US Assistance on Agent Orange by Phan Xuan Dung and Charles Bailey
  40. Comparative Connections Summary: September 2021
  41. After the Shock: France, America, and the Indo-Pacific by Bruno Tertrais
  42. Has Washington Found its Feet in Southeast Asia? by Catharin Dalpino
  43. The Quad’s Growing Unity in Rhetoric and Goals by Rob York and Akhil Ramesh
  44. How AUKUS Advances Australia’s Commitment to Collective Defense by Ashley Townshend
  45. False Dawn: The Resumption and Re-ending of the Inter-Korean Hotline by Aidan Foster-Carter
  46. After AUKUS, “present at the creation” in the 21st century by Brad Glosserman
  47. China’s Challenges and Effective Defense: America’s Conundrum by Robert Sutter
  48. New Zealand and AUKUS: Affected without being included by Robert Ayson
  49. Xi Jinping’s top five foreign policy mistakes by Denny Roy
  50. Fold, call, or raise? China’s potential reactions to AUKUS by Yun Sun
  51. What AUKUS means for European security by Marie Jourdain
  52. The Growing Crisis of Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing by Peter C. Oleson
  53. What should Washington expect from US-China strategic stability talks? by David Santoro
  54. What AUKUS means for Malaysia’s technological future by Elina Noor
  55. What’s in a word? Calling it “containment” makes a huge difference by Brad Glosserman
  56. America and China: Seeking an Updated Foundation for Enduring Engagement by Ron Huisken
  57. Building on AUKUS to Forge a Pax Pacifica by Henry Sokolski
  58. Why the UK was the Big Winner of AUKUS by David Camroux
  59. “JAUKUS” and the emerging clash of alliances in the Pacific by Artyom Lukin
  60. AUKUS’ short- and long-term implications for Taiwan by Fu S. Mei

Issues & Insights

  1. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP 1 – The Climate of Civil Disobedience: Liberal Studies as a Political Instrument under Hong Kong’s Secondary Education Curriculum by Jason Hung
  2. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP 2 – The United States’ Indo–Pacific Strategy and a Revisionist China: Partnering with Small and Middle Powers in the Pacific Islands Region by Patrick Dupont
  3. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP 3 – A New Era of US Policy Toward the Korean Peninsula by Joshua Nezam
  4. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP 4 – What the Biden-Harris Administration means for WPS in the Indo-Pacific Region by Maryruth Belsey Priebe and Jennifer Howe
  5. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP 5 – No One is Satisfied: Two Theories of the US-China Global Rivalry and the International Order by Younn Shwe Sin Htay
  6. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP 6 – The Opportunity is There: South Koreans’ Views of China and the Future of the US-ROK Alliance by John Lee
  7. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, SR 1 – 21st Century Technologies, Geopolitics, and the US-Japan Alliance: Recognizing Game-changing Potential Edited by Brad Glosserman, Crystal Pryor, and Riho Aizawa
  8. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP 7 — Women, Peace and Security: A Competitive Edge for Australia and the US in the Indo-Pacific by Joan Johnson-Freese and Jacqui True
  9. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP 8 — The ASEAN Regional Forum: Challenges and Prospects by Mohamed Jawhar Hassan
  10. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP 9 — Framing Violence: US and Chinese State-Funded News Outlets during the Hong Kong Protests by Hanmin Kim
  11. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP 10 — South Korea’s Demographic Advantage is Over: The Regional Context and the Economic and Security Implications by Tom Byrne and Jonathan Corrado
  12. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP 11 — How Chinese COVID-19 Vaccines Will Impact China-Indonesia Vaccine Diplomacy by Jason Hung
  13. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP 12 — Strengthening Regional Energy Governance in the Mekong Subregion by Chen-sheng Hong
  14. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, SR 2 — Advancing a Rules-based Maritime Order in the Indo-Pacific Edited by Jeffrey Ordaniel and John Bradford
  15. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, CR1 — The United States and Viet Nam: Charting the Next 25 Years in Bilateral Security Relations by Jeffrey Ordaniel
  16. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, CR 2 — The United States and Indonesia: Re-converging Security Interests in the Indo-Pacific by Jeffrey Ordaniel
  17. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP13 — European Contributions to Indo-Pacific Maritime Order by David Scott
  18. Issues & Insights Vol. 21 SR 3 — Foes to Partners: 25 Years of U.S.-Vietnam Relations Edited by Jeffrey Ordaniel and Ariel Stenek
  19. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, CR 3 — US-Taiwan Deterrence and Defense Dialogue: Dealing with Increased Chinese Aggressiveness by Ralph A. Cossa
  20. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP14 — Imagined Currencies: How the DPRK Uses Cryptocurrency to Blunt Sanctions by Michael Buckalew
  21. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, SR4 — The United States and Singapore: Indo-Pacific Partners Edited by Jeffrey Ordaniel and Ariel Stenek
  22. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, WP15 — More Harm than Good: Why Chinese Sanctions over THAAD have Backfired by Daniel Mitchum
  23. Issues & Insights Vol. 21, SR5 — Strategic Trade Controls in Southeast Asia: A Pandemic Update Edited by Crystal Pryor and Ellise Fujii

PacNote #12 – Pacific Forum Fellowship Opportunities

Pacific Forum is accepting applications for resident and non-resident James A. Kelly Korean Studies Fellowship and WSD-Handa Fellowship. The non-resident Vasey Fellowship is also open for application. The deadline to apply is October 31.

Applications are currently open for:

Since 2002, Pacific Forum has hosted over 100 resident fellows from 21 countries. Pacific Forum’s fellowship programs offer promising scholars and young professionals the opportunity to serve as researchers with Pacific Forum and develop hands-on expertise on Indo-Pacific policy issues.

Resident fellows are based in Hawaii to conduct research under the mentorship of Pacific Forum staff and to help with ongoing projects and programs. Pacific Forum is closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and following the latest guidance from the Office of the Mayor, City and County of Honolulu and the State of Hawaii emergency order currently in effect. Resident Fellows may be adjusted to be a hybrid program with a virtual start on Jan. 1, 2022, with the possibility of conversion to an in-person resident fellowship at Pacific Forum offices in Honolulu if and when conditions permit.

Non-resident fellows conduct research from their home country under the mentorship of Pacific Forum staff and affiliates. Learn more about the Pacific Forum’s fellowships here:

The James A. Kelly Korean Studies Fellowship promotes academic study, research, and professional career paths focused on Korean Peninsula studies. It recognizes the exemplary efforts of Jim Kelly to improve US-ROK relations and encourage the DPRK to denuclearize and join the international community of nations. The overall objective of the fellowship is to promote stronger US-ROK, US-DPRK, and inter-Korean relations. To apply for the Kelly Fellowship, please complete the Resident and/or Non-resident Kelly Fellowship online application form.

The WSD-Handa Fellowship Program was established through the generosity of the Worldwide Support for Development and Dr. Handa Haruhisha to increase East Asian, US, and European participation in Pacific Forum programs. WSD-Handa Fellows should already have some knowledge of East Asian security and economic developments and should use this fellowship as an opportunity to take a more in-depth look into these issues and offer solutions for improvement. To apply for the WSD-Handa Fellowship, please complete the Resident or Non-resident WSD-Handa Fellowship online application form.

The Lloyd and Lilian Vasey Fellowship program is named after Pacific Forum founder, the late Lloyd R. “Joe” Vasey and his wife Lilian. The Vasey Fellowship affords promising scholars from outside the US the opportunity to serve as researchers at the Pacific Forum and to develop hands-on expertise on US-Asia policy issues and gain an appreciation of Indo-Pacific economic and security affairs and policymaking challenges. To apply for the Vasey Fellowship, please complete the  Non-resident Vasey Fellowship online application form.

The deadline to apply is Oct. 31. For any questions or concerns about Pacific Forum fellowship programs, please contact

PacNote #11 – Announcing Two New Issues & Insights Conference Reports

Pacific Forum, with the support from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), organized the U.S.-Viet Nam Security Dialogue and the U.S.-Indonesia Security Dialogue. Written by Jeffrey Ordaniel with co-principal investigators David Santoro and Robert Girrier, the just-released Issues & Insights Conference Reports contain key findings and recommendations from the discussions.

The United States and Viet Nam: Charting the Next 25 Years in Bilateral Security Relations

Washington and Hanoi left behind their past as Cold War adversaries and upgraded their relations into a comprehensive partnership in 2013. The relationship has since flourished considerably and rapidly. The next logical step is to elevate the relationship into a strategic partnership, i.e., a deepened security engagement. That process has already begun, but more work is needed, and urgently, given the increasingly tense situation in the South China Sea. The region continues to face growing security challenges – from irredentist claims and blatant sidestepping of the rule of law in many of the region’s maritime spaces, to the threat of pandemics and cybersecurity. So far, most Track 2 U.S. engagements with Viet Nam have centered on issues pertaining to development, empowerment, and historical reconciliation. The time is now ripe for a security-focused dialogue involving the two countries’ top strategic thinkers to build on current gains, underscore opportunities for deeper defense cooperation, generate sound and actionable policy and operational recommendations, and highlight the importance of a tighter partnership to the peace and stability of Southeast Asia and the broader region.

To this end, Pacific Forum, with support from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and in collaboration with the Diplomatic Academy of Viet Nam (DAV), organized the inaugural Track 2 U.S.-Viet Nam Security Dialogue on May 18-20, 2021. The dialogue was aimed at building a body of knowledge on U.S.–Viet Nam security relations that DTRA and other interested U.S. Government agencies could use to conduct better military engagements, and provide a more responsive and complementary capacity-building, with greater impact to improve deterrence.

Read Issues & Insights, Vol. 21, CR1 The United States and Viet Nam: Charting the Next 25 Years in Bilateral Security Relations here:

The United States and Indonesia: Re-Converging Strategic Interests in the Indo-Pacific

The United States and Indonesia, the world’s second and third largest democracies, form a consequential relationship in the Indo-Pacific. However, despite common values and shared interests, U.S.-Indonesia relations have yet to realize their full potential, especially on the security front. Many strategic imperatives should drive closer U.S. security engagements with Indonesia. These include Jakarta’s leadership role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other key regional institutions, its outsized role in promoting the security of vital sea-lines of communications and trading routes, its location as the archipelagic nation connecting the Pacific and Indian Oceans, its shared interest with the United States in countering violent extremism and other trans-national threat networks, and its activist and independent foreign policy. These realities, when leveraged, can facilitate a more coordinated and effective response to a multitude of geopolitical, economic, and security challenges in the region, and can advance the United States’ Indo-Pacific vision.

The Biden Administration has made clear that the Indo-Pacific is a “top priority,” an enduring theme through several U.S. administrations. U.S. officials have also stressed that the United States will seek to “build a united front of U.S. allies and partners to confront China’s abusive behaviors and human rights violations.” While this framing alone is unlikely to generate in-depth Indonesian cooperation, Jakarta is interested in working with the United States to stand up to China when needed and take a leading role in ensuring Southeast Asia’s strategic autonomy.

To this end, Pacific Forum, with support from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and in collaboration with the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS Indonesia), organized the inaugural Track 2 U.S.-Indonesia Security Dialogue on June 1-3, 2021. The dialogue was aimed at building a body of knowledge on the bilateral security relations that DTRA and other interested U.S. Government agencies could use to conduct better military engagements, and provide a more responsive and complementary capacity-building, with greater impact to improve deterrence. The organized panels were aimed at increasing awareness and understanding in Indonesia and in the United States of the two countries’ converging and diverging interests, defense and foreign policy doctrines, and views on key regional and global security issues.

Read Issues & Insights, Vol. 21, CR2 The United States and Indonesia: Re-Converging Strategic Interests in the Indo-Pacific here:

PacNote #10 – Remembering Robert “Skipp” Orr

The Pacific Forum mourns the passing of long-time friend of Pacific Forum and International Advisory Board member Robert “Skipp” Orr, former U.S. ambassador to the Asian Development Bank, who passed away on August 12 in Kamakura, Japan due to heart failure.

Skipp enjoyed a long and distinguished career in business, government and academia and was a key figure in the U.S.-Japan relationship. As noted in a Japan Times obituary, he is credited with opening up Japan’s cell phone market in the 1990s as a Motorola Inc. executive, and he served as president of Boeing Japan Co. from 2002 to 2007. During his time at Boeing, the 787 Dreamliner was developed, with 35% of the components made in Japan. Between 2007 and 2010, he was chairman of the board of the Panasonic Foundation. He also served as vice chairman of the National Association of Japan-America Societies.

In 2010, then-U.S. President Barack Obama appointed Orr as executive director, with the rank of ambassador, to the Asian Development Bank. He served as ADB ambassador until Dec. 31, 2015, the longest serving ambassador during the Obama administration.

Orr graduated from Florida Atlantic University in 1976 and went on to earn a master’s degree in government from Georgetown University and a doctorate in political science from the University of Tokyo. His interest in government led him to work as a legislative assistant to former Democratic congressman Paul Rodgers in 1976. While in Washington, he also worked as a staff member for the House Foreign Affairs Asia subcommittee. In 1981, he joined the U.S. Agency for International Development, working on Asian issues.

Between 1985 and 1993, Dr. Orr was a political science professor and director of the Institute of Pacific Rim Studies at Temple University Japan. He also ran the Kyoto Center for Japanese Studies and the Stanford Center for Technology and Innovation at the Stanford Japan center in Kyoto for two years.

In 1991, his book “The Emergence of Japan’s Foreign Aid Power” won the Ohira Prize for best book on the Asia-Pacific region.

During his career, Orr played senior leadership roles in a number of other organizations, including the Council of American Ambassadors and the Pacific Forum. His door was always open to friends when visiting, either in Tokyo or Manila.

On Nov. 3, 2018, the Japanese government recognized his many contributions to the US-Japan relationship, conferring upon him the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette. The presentation ceremony took place on June 4, 2019, at the residence of the Japanese ambassador to the United States.

Ralph Cossa, Pacific Forum President Emeritus and Worldwide Support for Development-Handa Haruhisa Chair in Peace Studies expressed his sorrow at Orr’s death: “Skipp was a dear friend and devoted New York Yankee fan, who was always there when we needed him to lend a helping hand or share his insights. He will be sorely missed.”

PacNote #9 – Recruiting a Senior Program Director in Indo-Pacific Foreign and Security Policy

The Pacific Forum is recruiting a senior program director to work on, and expand, its research and programmatic activities on Indo-Pacific foreign and security policy.

The ideal candidate will have an advanced degree and/or relevant professional experience, one or more area(s) of expertise, an established network within US and Indo-Pacific foreign and security policy, a publication record, strong programmatic and organizational skills, an entrepreneurial and team-player spirit, a willingness to conduct extensive travel in the United States and abroad, English language proficiency, as well as the legal right to work in the United States. A major plus is a demonstrated ability to attract funding from government sources and/or private entities.

Applicants should be familiar with political-military affairs and have competence in one or several of the following areas: strategic competition with China; Southeast Asia; Pacific Islands; maritime security; cyber and space security; US alliances, partnerships, and regional security architecture; and/or nontraditional security threats. Other areas will be considered as well.

This is a perfect position for a dynamic mid-level scholar interested in building on a record of success and developing his or her own programs in a leading, growing, and extremely active think tank focused on Indo-Pacific foreign and security policy.


This position’s duties include (but are not limited to):

  • Conducting policy-oriented research and analysis on security and foreign policy issues;
  • Publishing findings in articles, book chapters, and other publications;
  • Presenting results at relevant conferences and workshops in the United States and abroad;
  • Assisting in directing and administering the Pacific Forum’s existing programs;
  • Managing the execution of events in the United States and abroad;
  • Developing funding proposals for existing programs and jump-starting new ones based on topical interest;
  • Management and mentoring of Pacific Forum fellows, research interns, “Young Leaders,” and junior staff – developing the next generation of Indo-Pacific security specialists is a major focus of Pacific Forum;
  • Assisting with drafting, proofreading, and editing written material; and
  • Supporting other fellows and staff.

Starting salary will depend on experience but is expected to range from $80,000 to $100,000 and will include benefits and, if applicable, relocation expenses to Hawaii (within reason). Position/Salary is evaluated annually based on performance and ability to attract funding.

Interested candidates should submit the following items:

  1. Letter of interest. The letter, which should be approximately 2-5 pages long, should explain why you are interested in applying for the position and include a brief description of your vocational goals, intended areas of work at Pacific Forum, and potential funding sources;
  2. Curriculum vitae. The CV should reflect your educational background, grants and fellowships awarded, work experience, and publication record.
  3. A letter of recommendation, plus the names and contact information of three professional references.

Please send application materials by August 27 to

About the Pacific Forum:

Founded in 1975, the Pacific Forum is a non-profit, foreign policy research institute based in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Forum’s programs encompass current and emerging political, security, economic and business issues and works to help stimulate cooperative policies in the Indo-Pacific region through analysis and dialogue undertaken with the region’s leaders in the academic, government, and corporate areas.

The Forum collaborates with a network of more than 30 research institutes around the Pacific Rim, drawing on Indo-Pacific perspectives and disseminating its projects’ findings and recommendations to opinion leaders, governments, and publics throughout the region. We regularly cosponsor conferences with institutes throughout the Indo-Pacific to facilitate nongovernmental institution building as well as to foster cross-fertilization of ideas.

The Pacific Forum was listed among the “2020 Best New Think Tanks” in the 2020 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report; having recently returned to its former fully-independent status. This is an annual ranking produced by the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. The Institute also listed the Pacific Forum in the top 100 “2020 Top Think Tanks in the United States” and as one of only 17 US think tanks listed in the top 73 “2020 Think Tanks With the Most Significant Impact on Public Policy” in the world.

For more information:

PacNote #8 – Upcoming Event Opportunity from Navy League of the United States: Indo-Pacific Maritime Security Exchange 2021

Pacific Forum is pleased to share an upcoming hybrid live-virtual event opportunity hosted by our friends at Navy League of the United States. Please see the full announcement below for additional information and how to register.


September 8-9, 2021

Honolulu, HI | Imin International Conference Center

A Hybrid Live-Virtual Event

The Indo-Pacific Maritime Security Exchange (IMSE) is produced by Navy League of the United States Honolulu Council. The enduring IMSE theme is Building Partnerships for Security, Stability and Prosperity. IMSE’s purpose is to provide a forum for senior leaders, subject matter experts, and interested members of the public to engage in dialogue about maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region.

IMSE 2021 will explore Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing – why it is a big problem in the region and how it can be combatted. Assisting in the production of IMSE 2021 are the East West Center, the Daniel K. Inouye Center for Asia-Pacific Security Studies, and Pacific Forum.

Countering threats to maritime security in the region requires the collaborative efforts of like-minded nations in the military, diplomatic, law-enforcement, and commercial arenas. IMSE will examine these efforts by featuring senior maritime leaders and subject matter experts from the region as speakers and panelists examining a broad range of topics to include the strengthening of multi-national maritime military capability, capacity building efforts that include security assistance and cooperation, law-enforcement on the high seas, and diplomatic efforts. The conference will give attendees ample opportunities for informal interaction through several informal networking social events to include coffee breaks, meals, and receptions.

Learn more about IMSE here:
Contact if you want to be a part of this important event.

Speakers Include:

Mark Zimring, Large Scale Fisheries Director, The Nature Conservancy

VADM Linda Fagan, USCG, Vice-Commandant United States Coast Guard

Michael Tosatto, Regional Administrator, Pacific Islands Regional Office, NOAA

Paul Woods, Chief Innovation Oficer and Co-Founder at Global Fishing Watch

L. Alex Kahl, Natural Resources Manager and Advisor, National Marine Fisheries Service

Dr. Asyura Salleh, PhD. Special Advisor for Maritime Security, Yokuska Council on Asia-Pacific Studies

Dr. Tabitha Grace Mallory, Ph.D., Affiliate Professor, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington

A. Bradley Soule, Director of Intelligence at OceanMind

RADM Matthew W. Sibley, USCG, District 14 Commander

CAPT Holly Harrison, USCG, Commanding Officer USS Kimball (WMSL 756)

Mark Young, Executive Director at International Monitoring, Control, and Surveillance Network

ADM John C. Aquilino, USN, Commander USINDOPACOM (Invited)

Dr. Carlyle Thayer, PhD., Emeritus Professor, University of New South Wales

Mr. Bill Sharp, National Taiwan University

Dr. Cheng Sheng Lee, PhD., Executive Director, Center for Tropical and Subtropical Aquaculture, University of Hawaii

Gregory Poling, Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia & Director, Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies

PacNote #7 – Upcoming Virtual Event Opportunity from RSIS

Pacific Forum is pleased to share an upcoming virtual event opportunity hosted by our friends at RSIS. Please see the full announcement below for additional information about the webinar and how to register.


Chaired by Prof Mely Caballero-Anthony 
Professor of International Relations,
Head, Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies,
President’s Chair in International Relations and Security Studies,
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

Thursday, 29 July 2021
10:30 – 12.30 pm (Singapore time, UTC+8)

Convert to your local time here.

Nuclear security is a shared regional concern, and not just for states that are operating nuclear power plants, since all states use nuclear science and technology for various peaceful purposes especially in industrial facilities, health and medicine, climate change adaptation, soil and water management, environmental protection, and agricultural production. However, without adequate regulatory oversight on the use and handling of nuclear and radioactive materials, there is a risk that such materials could be used in criminal, terrorist, or intentional unauthorised acts by a malicious non-state actor, posing a threat to both national security and human security. Nuclear security governance in the Asia-Pacific and civilian nuclear cooperation among states are indeed crucial given the importance of securing the peaceful use of nuclear energy and technology. Nuclear security is an issue that is of increasing salience to ASEAN’s political and security agenda. And in 2018, the East Asia Summit (EAS) highlighted the importance of regional cooperation on nuclear safety and security in the Asia-Pacific.

This webinar will explore national and regional pathways towards building a robust framework for nuclear security governance in the Asia Pacific. It will feature nuclear security experts to discuss sustaining commitments and actions from Southeast Asia, the United States, Japan, South Korea, China, and other key regional nuclear cooperation networks in the Asia-Pacific. They will explore if the progress on building nuclear security cooperation in Southeast Asia can serve as a regional pathway to nuclear security governance in the Asia-Pacific.

Please use this link to register.

The webinar will be conducted via Zoom. You will receive a confirmation email with a unique link to join the webinar. Please do not circulate the link.


Dr Trevor Findlay is Principal Fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne. He has a BA Honours degree in political science from the University of Melbourne and a master’s degree and PhD in international relations from the Australian National University (ANU). He is an Associate Research Professor at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, where he was a tenured professor for ten years, director of the Canadian Centre for Treaty Compliance and held the William and Jeanie Barton Chair. From 2011 to 2015, he was a senior researcher with the Project on Managing the Atom at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He was a member of the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Affairs from 2013 to 2017, serving as chair in 2017. He served for thirteen years in the Australian diplomatic service, followed by academic appointments at the ANU’s Peace Research Centre and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and seven years as Executive Director of the London-based non-governmental organization, the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC). Dr Findlay’s teaching and research specialisations include disarmament, arms control, non-proliferation, nuclear security, global nuclear governance and the future of nuclear energy.

Dr David Santoro is President of the Pacific Forum. He specialises in strategic deterrence, arms control, and non-proliferation. Santoro’s current interests focus on great-power dynamics and US alliances, particularly the role of China in an era of nuclear multipolarity. His new volume U.S.-China Nuclear Relations – The Impact of Strategic Triangles was published by Lynne Rienner in May 2021. Santoro also leads several of the Forum’s track-1.5 and track-2 strategic dialogues.

Mr Tom Corben is Research Associate in the Foreign Policy and Defence Program at the United States Studies Centre. He was previously a resident Lloyd and Lilian Vasey Fellow with Pacific Forum, where he worked on Japanese and Korean domestic politics and foreign policy, and Australia’s engagement with Northeast Asia. Tom has published widely on these issues for a range of platforms, including The Diplomat, East Asia Forum, and The Strategist. He has been a tutor in Australian Foreign Policy at the University of New South Wales and is a Pacific Forum Young Leader. Tom holds a BA (Honours) in Asian Studies and International Relations from the University of New South Wales

Dr Hosik Yoo is Vice President of the Korea Institute of Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Control (KINAC), where he focuses on the implementation of regulation and policy development on nuclear security and nuclear non-proliferation. He has been working in the field of nuclear for more than 30 years. Prior to KINAC, Dr. Yoo served as the nuclear scientist at KAERI (Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute) for developing nuclear fuel. He has authored several papers and reports on nuclear security and nuclear non-proliferation. He advised the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea on issues related to implementation and the international legal framework for nuclear security and nuclear non-proliferation in preparation for the 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016 Nuclear Security Summit.

Dr Zha Daojiong is Professor at the School of International Studies and Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development, Peking University. His areas of expertise include international political economy and China’s international economic relations, particularly the fields of energy and natural resources, development aid and the economics-political nexus in the Asia Pacific region. In recent years, his research has extended to political and social risk management for Chinese corporations engaged in non-financial investments abroad. He is invited to serve as non-resident fellow in a number of public policy think tanks and advisory member on several international exchange associations, including the China chapter of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) and the China Association for International Exchange. He joined the faculty of Peking University in 2007 and held prior positions at the Renmin University of China, the International University of Japan and University of Macau. He studied at the East West Center and the University of Hawaii, where he earned a Doctoral degree in political science.

Dr Masahiro Okuda is Engineer of the Integrated Support Center for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Security (ISCN) of Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA). He is in charge of nuclear security capacity development as an instructor of training courses of ISCN/JAEA. His expertise covers nuclear non-proliferation export control, international relations and international security. Dr Okuda has received Ph.D. in Security Studies from Takushoku University in March 2018.

Ms Naoko Noro is Chief Training Instructor at the Integrated Support Center for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Security, Japan Atomic Energy Agency (ISCN/JAEA). Her expertise includes nuclear security, CBRNE terrorism and international security. Before joining ISCN, Ms Noro was an Associate Fellow at Research Institute of Science and Technology for Society, Japan Science and Technology Agency (RISTEX/JST), Tokyo, Japan. At RISTX, she conducted research on counter-terrorism. She obtained her master’s degree in Security Policy studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University.

Mr Julius Cesar I. Trajano is Research Fellow at the NTS Centre, RSIS. He is also presently a member of the leadership team of the International Nuclear Security Education Network, the Asia-Pacific Nuclear Advisory Panel, and the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific- Nuclear Energy Experts Group. Mr Trajano conducts policy research studies and has publications on non-traditional security issues, particularly on nuclear security and safety governance in the Asia-Pacific, peacebuilding, and human trafficking. Among his latest publications include “The Future of Nuclear Security in the Asia-Pacific: Expanding the Role of Southeast Asia” (International Journal of Nuclear Security, 2020).

PacNote #6 – Upcoming Virtual Event Opportunity from the Yokosuka Council on Asia-Pacific Studies (YCAPS)

Pacific Forum is pleased to share an upcoming virtual event opportunity hosted by our friends at Yokosuka Council for Asia-Pacific Studies. Please see the full announcement below for additional information about the webinar and how to register.


Moderated by Nicholas Millward
YCAPS President & Member of Pacific Forum’s Young Leaders Program

22 May, 2021, 09:00 am (UB), 10:00am (Japan)
21 May, 2021 9:00pm (Washington, DC)

Mongolia, Japan, and the US have constructed strategic partnerships built on mutual understanding and a shared pursuit of global and regional peace and security, as well as the protection of human rights, freedom of speech, national independence, and territorial integrity. The partners recognize that Mongolia-Japan-US ties have grown stronger and closer based on common strategic interests, shared democratic values, good governance, principles of sovereignty, and respect for human rights. They also recognize their shared interest in cooperating more closely, in order to ensure peace, security, and stability in the region. Mongolia has established strategic partnerships with both Japan (2010) and the United States (2019).

In this upcoming webinar we will discuss how these partnerships have progressed and what we think their future trajectory might be. President Elbegdorj will provide his perspective on Mongolia-Japan-US relations, while reflecting on both the challenges and accomplishments of the recent past. The event will end with a Q&A session.

To join please use this link to register with Zoom.
You will need the link and passcode provided in the confirmation email.

President Elbegdorj Tsakhia is a public servant, freedom fighter, and policymaker from Mongolia. In 1990, he was one of the key leaders of the Mongolian Democratic Revolution and since then has continuously served Mongolia. This includes as a Member of Parliament four times, as Prime Minister two times, and as President for two terms. Born in the isolated Western Mongolia as the youngest of eight sons from a humble, traditional nomadic beginning, he has worked as a machinist in a copper mine, a soldier and a journalist in the army newspaper.

As Prime Minister, Member of Parliament, and President, Mr. Elbegdorj prioritized strengthening the rule of law in Mongolia, fostering social justice, fighting poverty, combating corruption, supporting environmental sustainability, and advancing active participatory democracy. He has also initiated and led many social, economic, and governance reforms. Aiming to consolidate democracy in Asia, Mr. Elbegdorj established the Asian Partnership for Democracy initiative within the confines of the Community of Democracies, the largest international organization that drives the global democracy agenda which Mongolia presided in 2011-2013. Under the chairmanship of Community of Democracies, Elbegdorj developed a plan on promoting civil society and advocating women’s rights, particularly political rights.

Currently, Mr. Elbegdorj is continuing his work to improve public policy, governance, and democracy through the Elbegdorj Institute, a think tank that he founded in 2008. During his tenure as President, he also focused on the impacts of climate change, air and soil pollution, the two most significant public health issues in the capital of Mongolia. Through his Green Belt Foundation, he continues this work as well, by bringing together multi-stakeholders to find novel solutions to these challenges. He also supports Mongolian studies and aims to successfully achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in Mongolia.

Mr. Elbegdorj is now Commissioner of the International Commission against Death Penalty (ICDP), Patron of the World Sustainable Development Forum (WSDF) and Member of the World Leadership Alliance – Club de Madrid. He holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government (2002) and a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Land Forces Military Academy of Lviv of former USSR (1988).

Webinar Cost: Free of charge
Co-sponsor: American Center for Mongolian Studies (ACMS), Institute for Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS), Pacific Forum
Moderator: Nicholas Millward, YCAPS President, Member of Pacific Forum’s Young Leaders Program

PacNote #4 – Announcing David Santoro as Pacific Forum’s Next President

The Pacific Forum is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. David Santoro as its incoming President. As Pacific Forum’s current Vice President and Director for Nuclear Policy, David brings a wealth of expertise and experience in foreign and national security policy analysis and program management.

David joined Pacific Forum in 2011 and has since managed several of the Forum’s track-2 and track-1.5 dialogues, notably those on strategic and nuclear policy issues. He has also written extensively on these issues. He is the author of Treating Weapons Proliferation (Palgrave, 2010) and co-editor of Slaying the Nuclear Dragon: Disarmament Dynamics in the Twenty-First Century (University of Georgia Press, 2012), and he has a forthcoming volume on US-China Nuclear Relations: The Impact of Strategic Triangles (2021). His current research focuses on strategic competition with China, nuclear policy issues, and US alliances and partnerships.

David will take the helm in June, succeeding Robert “Bob” Girrier (RADM, USN, ret.), who served as president from June 2018. Following over 30 years of maritime experience, Bob is credited with leading the Pacific Forum through its transition to operations as a completely independent corporate entity and a period characterized by steady program growth. Bob will remain involved with the Forum as a member of its board of directors.

In addition to Bob, David will be following in the footsteps of the late RADM Lloyd R. “Joe” Vasey (USN, ret), the Forum’s founder and inspiration, as well as Joe’s successors: Dr. Amos “Joe” Jordan, James Kelly, and Ralph Cossa.

“We’ve experienced growth over these last three years, despite the challenges of COVID-19, and with David’s experience and reputation, both at the Forum and throughout the region, we’re set up for continued success,” Bob noted, adding that “Pacific Forum’s recent recognition as one of the Top Think Tanks in 2020 (worldwide) is indicative of the trajectory we’re on.”

“I’m thrilled and honored to take over the leadership of the Pacific Forum and to work together with its team to further advance analysis of Indo-Pacific strategic dynamics as well as promote dialogue with and among regional states and other key stakeholders,” David said. “I’m also thankful for Bob’s leadership over the past three years.”

The Pacific Forum, founded in 1975, is a private, non-partisan foreign policy research institute governed by a Board of Directors chaired by former Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly, with guidance from an International Advisory Board co-chaired by former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and former Assistant Secretary of Defense and noted scholar Dr. Joseph Nye.

The Forum’s programs encompass current and emerging political, security, economic, business, and oceans policy issues. It works to help stimulate cooperative policies through analysis and dialogue undertaken with the Indo-Pacific’s leaders in the academic, government, and corporate areas.

The Forum is guided by Joe Vasey’s vision “to find a better way” to resolve conflict and promote cooperation and mutual understanding throughout the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.

PacNote #3 — New Pacific Forum Fellowship Opportunities

The Women, Peace, and Security Fellowship is now open for application

Pacific Forum is pleased to announce a Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Fellowship for young professionals to conduct research and analysis in areas related to women’s agency, voice and capacities, and gender perspective in dialogues, policies, and peace processes.

Pacific Forum is currently seeking applications for the resident WPS Fellowship. The position is open to all citizens with preference given to those from Southeast Asia with a WPS/gender studies background. Fellows will have the opportunity to meet and learn from globally recognized academic, business, government, and military leaders, as well as leading policy experts, to help shape their thinking about the critical challenges and opportunities of women, peace, and security; in support of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command WPS initiatives within the Indo-Pacific. Fellows will also connect with and build peer networks with counterparts from across the region. The resident fellowship will run until the end of September 2021 and the fellow will receive a stipend of $3000 per month. Learn more about the opportunity here:

Eligibility and How to Apply:

  • Applicants may be of any nationality. Priority will be given to those from Southeast Asia with a background in WPS and/or gender studies
  • Completed their undergraduate education and
    • Have several years of experience in Indo-Pacific security issues, or
    • Has completed or is completing their graduate education (master’s or doctoral)
  • Proficient in English (verbal and written skills)

To apply for the WPS Fellowship, please complete the Resident WPS Fellowship online application form and include all materials listed below. All materials must be written in English. Any statement in your application that is found to be false will be grounds for disqualification.

  • A cover letter detailing interests and why the WPS Fellowship will contribute to the applicant’s professional development
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • A letter of recommendation
  • A description of a research project to undertake as a WPS Fellow (not to exceed 1,500 words)

The deadline to apply for the WPS Fellowship is March 15, 2021.

Korea Foundation Fellowship Deadline Extension

In partnership with the Seoul-based Korea Foundation, this Pacific Forum fellowship is exclusively for Korean nationals. The Korea Foundation Fellowship is designed to help graduate and Ph.D. students obtain research and professional experience in one of the world’s leading foreign policy and security studies think tanks. Fellows will have the opportunity to meet and learn from globally recognized academic, business, government, and military leaders, as well as leading policy experts, to help shape their thinking about the critical security challenges faced by Korea and the larger Indo-Pacific region. Fellows will also connect with and build peer networks with counterparts from across the region. Learn more about the opportunity here:

Eligibility and How to Apply:

  • Korean citizen
  • Between ages 22 to 34
  • Current graduate student researching foreign policy, international relations, political science, or a related field. (Those who have graduated in the past 12 months will also be considered.)
  • Working proficiency in English and/or with a TOEIC score 850, TOEFL score 100 (IBT score)/250 (CBT), TEPS score 750, or equivalent
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Predominately completed studies in Korea

To apply for the Korea Foundation Fellowship, please complete the Resident and/or Non-resident Korea Foundation Fellowship online application form and include all materials listed below. All materials must be written in English. The deadline to apply for the non-resident fellowship has been extended to March 15, 2021. Applications for the Resident fellowship will be accepted through March 31, 2021.

  • Statement of purpose (explaining why you are interested in this fellowship)
  • Research proposal outlining what foreign policy or security-related question you plan to research while at Pacific Forum and what your expected outcomes will be (abstract max. 250 words, proposal max. 1,500 words)
  • Letter of Recommendation from an academic advisor at your university
  • Certificate of enrollment or graduation from your university
  • Undergraduate and graduate school transcripts

Contact if you need any further information.