Michael Walsh is the President of the Islands Society and an Affiliate of the Center for Australian, New Zealand, and Pacific Studies at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service. Prior to these roles, he served as the Chair of the Asia-Pacific Security Affairs Subcommittee on the Biden Defense Working Group during the 2020 Presidential Campaign. He is a subject matter expert on: Asia-Pacific Security Affairs; Democracy-Security Dilemmas; Strategies, Policies, Plans, and Concepts. His research tends to focus on the following regions: East Asia; Pacific Islands; Southeast Asia; Subsaharan Africa. And, his current research makes use of the following frameworks and methodologies: Delphi Method; Dotmocracy; Logic Models; Policy Analysis; Social Facts; Strategic Planning; Thematic Analysis. He regularly advises government, bureaucracy, and think tanks on defense, democracy, development, and diplomacy. He also is an opinion contributor to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Marianas Variety, Pacific Island Times, Taipei Times, and The Hill newspapers.
Alexander Neill has devoted his career to examining the impact of China on the global stage. Through his work for government agencies and think-tanks, he has fostered deep links with the strategic community across the Indo-Pacific region. After graduating from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, Alexander Neill worked for the British and US governments in his early career. As a Chinese linguist and expert, he has published on Asian security issues and developed a keen grasp of geopolitics and security concerns in Asia. In 2005, he joined the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London as Head of the Asia Programme. There, his focus was to develop research on British security policy in Asia, including by coordinating “track two” projects in Asia and high-level dialogues in Beijing, Delhi, Pyongyang, Taipei, and Tokyo. He joined the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in Singapore in 2013 as Shangri-La Dialogue Senior Fellow for Asia Pacific Security. He was responsible for delivering the summit agenda and research projects focusing on Asia-Pacific security issues, particularly on China and its relationships in the region.
Elizabeth Freund Larus
Elizabeth Freund Larus, Ph.D. is Founder and President of E Larus Consulting LLC, and Professor Emerita of Political Science and International Affairs at the University of Mary Washington. A Fulbright Scholar and Taiwan Fellow, she specializes in East Asian political, economic, and security dynamics. Dr. Larus draws on more than 30 years of experience with the Asia-Pacific. She is author of the books Politics and Society in Contemporary China and Economic Reform in China, as well as dozens of book chapters, articles and online commentary on Chinese politics, Taiwan politics, China-Taiwan relations, US in Asia, and security dynamics in the Asia-Pacific. She regularly contributes her insight to international media outlets, such as the Financial Times, Fortune magazine, CNBC, BBC, WION (India), Channel NewsAsia, and Indus News.
S. Paul Choi
S. Paul CHOI (최석훈) is Managing Director and Principal Advisor at StratWays Group, a geopolitical risk and security consultancy with a focus on Northeast Asia and the United States. His expertise is in political-military affairs, international security, and strategy design.
From 2013-2018, he worked as a Strategist and International Relations Specialist at the United Nations Command / Republic of Korea (ROK) – U.S. Combined Forces Command / U.S. Forces Korea–in both the Commander’s Strategic Initiatives Group and in the Directorate for Strategy, Policy, Plans, and Strategic Communications.
Previously, he was a Research Associate at the Council on Foreign Relations, Visiting Scholar at Fudan University, a Consultant to the Center for U.S.-Korea Policy at the Asia Foundation, a Faculty Lecturer at the Korea Military Academy, and an officer in the ROK Army.
Mr. CHOI is active in track 1.5 dialogues on Allied Integration for Deterrence, Regional Security Architectures, and Extended Deterrence. He has been an invited speaker at various academic institutions, government agencies, and think-tanks around the world–to include the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) campuses in DC and Nanjing; Renmin University in Beijing; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in the United States, the UK Foreign Commonwealth Office’s Executive Agency Wilton Park, Institut Francais des Relations Internationales (IFRI) in Paris, and Elcano Royal Institute in Madrid.
He is currently affiliated with the War Studies Department at King’s College London, has an M.A. in International Cooperation from Seoul National University GSIS, and has a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics & Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.
Raymond Yamamoto is an Associate Professor at the Department of Global Studies, Aarhus University, Denmark, where he teaches courses on contemporary Japanese politics and international relations of the Asia-Pacific. He obtained his Ph.D. degree from Hamburg University in 2015. His doctoral dissertation project on the “normalization” of Japan’s foreign policy received funding from Japan Foundation and German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ). Before being appointed by Aarhus University in 2017, Raymond Yamamoto spent several years at Osaka University working as a specially appointed researcher. He spent his research semester as a visiting fellow at the Pacific Forum and an affiliate scholar at the East-West Center in spring 2019. His recent research project focuses on the critical role of Japan’s Official Development Assistance in Japan’s post-war foreign policy.
Please refer to his homepage for his latest publications and research activities.
Dr. Kristi Govella is the inaugural Director of the Center for Indo-Pacific Affairs and an Assistant Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She specializes in the intersection of economics and security in international relations, with a particular focus on the Indo-Pacific region and Japan. Dr. Govella’s research has examined topics such as economic statecraft, trade war, trade agreements, foreign investment, government-business relations, defense capacity building, regional institutional architecture, and the governance of the global commons. In addition to her publications in journals and edited volumes, she is the editor of two books: Linking Trade and Security: Evolving Institutions in Asia, Europe, and the United States and Responding to a Resurgent Russia: Russian Policy and Responses from the European Union and the United States. She also serves as an Adjunct Fellow at the East-West Center and Pacific Forum and as Editor of the journal Asia Policy. Dr. Govella was previously Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the Asia Program at The German Marshall Fund of the United States, a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University, and an Associate Professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Sungmin Cho is a professor of the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, an academic institute of the US Department of Defense, based in Hawaii. His area of expertise covers China-Korean Peninsula relations, North Korea’s nuclear program, and the US alliance in East Asia. Dr. Cho has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals, including World Politics, The China Journal, Asian Security, Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs, and Korea Observer. His commentaries also appeared in Foreign Affairs, War on the Rocks, The Diplomat, and Defense One, among others. Prior to the academic career, Dr. Cho served in the Korean Army as an intelligence officer for three years, including a seven-month deployment to Iraq. He received his PhD in Government from Georgetown University, his Master’s degree in International Relations from Peking University, and his B.A. in Political Science from Korea University.
David S. Lee
David is a Principal Lecturer at the University of Hong Kong Business School, where he works broadly in the areas of ethics, corporate governance, fintech, leadership, and the economics and politics of the Korean peninsula. He is a UGC Teaching Award recipient, the highest university teaching honor in Hong Kong, and was the first teacher from a business school to ever receive a UCG Teaching Award.
Combining his interests in ethics, finance, and technology, David is a co-instructor for a unique massive online open course titled, Fintech Ethics and Risks, which has thousands of students enrolled globally. He is also a co-author of the first Asia focused business ethics textbook, Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making and Cases, An Asia Edition (Cengage Learning Asia). His writing and commentary have appeared in outlets like the Harvard Business Review, Arirang TV, Handelsblatt, the Nikkei Asian Review, NK News, The Korea Times, and the South China Morning Post.
David remains engaged with industry by advising and training companies (including Global Fortune 500 firms), board members, and executives on ethics, corporate governance, leadership, and strategic matters. Additionally, he regularly works with entrepreneurs, particularly those at the intersection of finance and technology (“fintech”), as well as with both public and private market investors.
David was formerly a Young Leader and a James A. Kelly Fellow (non-resident) at Pacific Forum as well as a POSCO Fellow at the East-West Center. He is also a Network of Korean-American Leaders (NetKAL) Fellow and a Fellow at the Asian Institute of International Financial Law at the University of Hong Kong.
David worked in investment management in Hong Kong and London before joining the University of Hong Kong. He started his career at Goldman Sachs and has experience in law, consulting, and entrepreneurial ventures.
David earned his J.D. from UCLA School of Law, his M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science, his M.A. from Harvard University, post-graduate training at Cambridge, and his B.A. from Brigham Young University.
James Jongsoo Lee
A finance professional and business consultant, James Lee is a scholar and expert in national security, foreign policy, and Indo-Pacific, Eurasian and global affairs. Trained as a historian and a political scientist, James is passionate about contributing creative policy solutions to challenges facing the Indo-Pacific region and the wider world.
A Partner and Senior Managing Director at Brock Group, a boutique investment bank and business advisory firm, James is a Center Associate at Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and held research appointments at Harvard’s Korea Institute and Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. He also served as a Senior Research Fellow at Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul, where he coordinated Track II trilateral policy dialogues on nuclear and national security issues co-organized with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (Washington, D.C.) and the Japan Institute of International Affairs (Tokyo).
Author of The Partition of Korea After World War II: A Global History (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) and other published works, James served as the Editor-in-Chief of Harvard Asia Quarterly. A regular contributor to American Historical Review (Oxford University Press) and Journal of Cold War Studies (MIT Press), James leads the National Security Group at Harvard Club of New York. His opinion pieces have been published by Financial Times, Newsweek, The National Interest, Council on Foreign Relations, and Center for Strategic and International Studies, among others.
A graduate of Williams College (B.A.) and Harvard University (M.A., Ph.D.), James also studied at Beijing University, Moscow State University, and International Christian University (Tokyo).