Rob York


Rob York is Program Director for Regional Affairs at the Pacific Forum. He is a Ph.D. candidate in Korean history at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he also received his master’s degree in Asian studies. Before joining the Pacific Forum, York worked as a production editor at The South China Morning Post and as chief editor of NK News, a specialist site focused on news and analysis of North Korea. York’s research specialties include North Korean diplomacy and leadership politics, as well as East Asian trade and media discourse. He has worked for newspapers in the United States, South Korea and Hong Kong, and earned his bachelor’s degree in communications from Southern Adventist University in Tennessee.

Robert P. Girrier

Bob Girrier recently joined Pacific Forum. With over 30 years maritime experience and extensive background in the Indo-Asia-Pacific building high-level partner relationships and capacity, he brings operations, strategy development, crisis-response and negotiation skills to Pacific Forum activities.

David Santoro


David Santoro is director and senior fellow of nuclear policy programs at Pacific Forum. He specializes in strategic and deterrence issues, as well as nonproliferation and nuclear security, with a regional focus on the Asia Pacific and Europe. Santoro’s current interests focus on cross-regional deterrence and assurance, especially between Northeast Asia and Europe, and on nonproliferation and nuclear security in Southeast Asia. He also manages the Forum’s track 1.5/2 nuclear policy dialogues. They include U.S.-China strategic nuclear dialogues; U.S.-Japan, U.S.-South Korea, and U.S.-Japan-South Korea extended deterrence dialogues; U.S.-Myanmar nonproliferation and nuclear security dialogues; and Asia-Pacific multilateral meetings on nonproliferation and nuclear security. Before joining Pacific Forum, Santoro worked on nuclear policy issues in France, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. In spring 2010, he was a visiting research fellow at New York University’s Center on International Cooperation, and in 2010-2011, he was a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. Santoro is coeditor, with Tanya Ogilvie-White, of Slaying the Nuclear Dragon (University of Georgia Press, 2012) and author of Treating Weapons Proliferation (Palgrave, 2010). His essays have been published in several monograph series and academic journals, such as Nonproliferation Review, Proliferation Papers, and Survival, and his op-eds have appeared in the Bangkok Post, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Japan Times , PacNet, and Wall Street Journal, among others. Santoro holds degrees in languages, literature, history, and international relations from various universities, including a Ph.D. from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. Follow David Santoro on Twitter @DavidSantoro1.

Carl W. Baker


Carl Baker is executive director of Pacific Forum in Honolulu, Hawaii. Mr. Baker is coeditor of Comparative Connections, Pacific Forum’s triannual journal, and works related to foreign and security policy in the Asia Pacific. He is a member of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (CSCAP) and engaged in promoting security cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region as a participant in several CSCAP Study Groups. Current focus areas include preventive diplomacy, multilateral security architecture, nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and nuclear security. Previously, he was on the faculty at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies and an adjunct professor at Hawaii Pacific University. Publications include articles and book chapters on U.S. alliances and political developments in South Korea and the Philippines. A retired U.S. Air Force officer, he has extensive experience in Korea, having served as an international political-military affairs officer for the UN Military Armistice Commission and as a political and economic intelligence analyst for U.S. Forces Korea. He has also lived for extended periods and served in a variety of military staff assignments in Japan, the Philippines, and Guam. A graduate of the U.S. Air War College, he also holds an M.A. in public administration from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Iowa.

Ralph A. Cossa


Ralph A. Cossa is former president and Worldwide Support for Development-Handa Chair at the Pacific Forum. He is a lifelong contributor to Comparative Connections and coauthors the regional overview chapter. Cossa is a member of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Experts and Eminent Persons Group. He is a founding member of the multinational track two Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP). He co-chairs the CSCAP study group aimed at halting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Asia Pacific region and is the executive director of the US CSCAP Member Committee (USCSCAP). He serves on the Board of the Council on US-Korean Security Studies and the National Committee on US-China Relations (NY). He is a frequent contributor to regional newspapers, including the Japan Times, Korea Times, and International Herald Tribune. His publications include The United States and the Asia-Pacific Region: Security Strategy for the Obama Administration (Washington DC: Center for a New American Security, 2009); “US-Japan Relations: What Should Washington Do?” in America’s Role in Asia: Recommendations for US Policy from Both Sides of the Pacific (San Francisco: Asia Foundation, 2008); and An East Asian Community and the United States, Ralph A. Cossa and Akihiko Tanaka, eds., (Washington, D.C.: CSIS Press, 2007).