Pacific Forum Staff

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Executive Staff

David Santoro


David SANTORO is President of the Pacific Forum. He specializes in strategic deterrence, arms control, and nonproliferation. 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. Before joining Pacific Forum, Santoro worked on strategic and security  issues in France, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. In the spring of 2010, he was also a visiting fellow at New York University’s Center on International Cooperation and, in 2010-2011, he was a Stanton nuclear security fellow at the Institute for International Strategic Studies in London.

Carl Baker

Executive Director

Carl BAKER is Executive Director of the Pacific Forum. 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.

John Hemmings

Senior Director, Indo-Pacific Foreign and Security Policy

John HEMMINGS is Senior Director of the Indo-Pacific Foreign and Security Policy Program at the Pacific Forum. He specializes in US alliances and strategic competition, with a particular focus on Indo-Pacific Strategies, the US-Japan Alliance, AUKUS, the FVEY, the Quad, and other minilaterals. Prior to assuming this role, he worked at the DKI-APCSS, a DOD regional center where he lectured, took part in track 1 workshops, and briefed senior members of INDOPACOM, PACFLT, and SOCPAC on topics of interest. Between 2007 and 2019, Dr Hemmings worked on UK-Asia policy at RUSI and the Henry Jackson Society in London. He has given evidence to two separate UK Defence Committee inquiries on the Indo-Pacific and provided bespoke briefings across Whitehall. He is a James Cooke Fellow at the Council on Geostrategy and an adjunct fellow in the Japan Chair at CSIS in Washington DC. His commentary has featured on international media, such as the BBC, Sky, FT, and Telegraph newspaper. His research has been published by various policy and academic journals. He gained his PhD in international relations from the London School of Economics in 2017.

Rob York

Director for Regional Affairs

Rob YORK is Program Director for Regional Affairs at Pacific Forum. He is responsible for editing Pacific Forum publications, including the weekly PacNet series, the triannual Comparative Connections journal, and the in-depth Issue & Insights series. Prior to joining Pacific Forum, Rob worked as a production editor at The South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. A PhD candidate in Korean history at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Rob has established himself as a commentator on inter-Korean and Hong Kong affairs, as a regular contributor to NK News and The Daily NK and having been published at The South China Morning Post, War on the Rocks, the Foundation for Economic Education, Korean Studies, and The Journal of American-East Asian Relations, as well as conducting numerous interviews in various media outlets. His research agenda at Pacific Forum includes trade and its relationship with security, media analysis, countering disinformation, and human rights.

Mark Bryan Manantan

Director of Cybersecurity & Critical Technologies

Mark Bryan MANANTAN is the Director of Cybersecurity and Critical Technologies at the Pacific Forum in Honolulu, Hawaii. At the Forum, he currently leads the US Technology and Security partnerships with Japan, Australia, Taiwan and South Korea as well as the Digital ASEAN Initiative that focuses on cyber-capacity building, artificial intelligence, foreign interference, and space diplomacy. He is also the host of Pacific Forum’s official podcast, the Indo-Pacific Current.

Brooke Mizuno

Director of Development & Grants Management

Brooke MIZUNO is the Director of Development and Grants Management. She oversees all Pacific Forum fundraising efforts and manages all grant proposals, awards, and reports. Previously, she was the Program Coordinator and Administrative Assistant at the Center for Asia-Pacific Exchange. She also worked in the Hawaii State Senate Majority Office for the 2005 session. For her undergraduate studies, Brooke spent two years at Hanover College in Indiana and completed her B.A. in Political Science at the University of Hawaii. Her studies focused on international affairs and women’s issues.

Ralph A. Cossa

President Emeritus & WSD-Handa Chair in Peace Studies

Ralph COSSA has been with the Pacific Forum since 1993, first as Executive Director, then (2001-2018) as President, and now as President Emeritus and WSD-Handa Chair in Peace Studies. He is a member of the ASEAN Regional Forum’s Experts and Eminent Persons Group and a founding member of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific’s Steering Committee. Mr. Cossa is a political/military affairs and national security specialist with more than 50 years of experience in formulating, articulating, and implementing US security policy in the Asia-Pacific and Near East–South Asia regions. Mr. Cossa served in the U.S. Air Force from 1966 to 1993, achieving the rank of colonel and last serving as special assistant to the commander of the US Pacific Command. He previously served as Deputy Director for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies and earlier as a national security affairs fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. 

Crystal D. Pryor

Senior Advisor, Non-resident

Crystal PRYOR is Senior Advisor at the Pacific Forum. Crystal works on nonproliferation in Asia while developing research agendas on technology policy and Women, Peace, and Security. She has researched U.S.-Japan outer space security cooperation, strategic trade control implementation in advanced countries, and Japan’s defense industry and arms exports. Crystal received her doctorate in political science from the University of Washington, master’s degrees in political science from the University of Washington and the University of Tokyo, and bachelor’s degree in international relations with honors from Brown University.

Brad Glosserman

Senior Advisor, Non-resident

Brad Glosserman is deputy director of and visiting professor at the Tama University Center for Rule Making Strategies and senior advisor for Pacific Forum. For 15 years, he was the executive director of Pacific Forum. He is the author of Peak Japan: The End of Grand Ambitions (Georgetown University Press, 2019), and co-author, with Scott Snyder, of The Japan-ROK Identity Clash (Columbia University Press, 2015).  He is the editor, with Tae-hyo Kim, of The Future of U.S.-Korea-Japan Relations: Balancing Values and Interests (Pacific Forum, 2004).  His opinion pieces and commentary regularly appear in media around the globe, and he has written dozens of monographs on U.S. foreign policy and Asian security relations. Other articles have appeared in scholarly journals throughout the region, and he has contributed numerous chapters to books on regional security.

Jeffrey Ordaniel

Director for Maritime Programs, Non-resident

Jeffrey ORDANIEL is non-resident Adjunct Fellow and Director for Maritime Security at the Pacific Forum. Concurrently, he is also Assistant Professor of International Security Studies at Tokyo International University (TIU) in Japan. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations and specializes in the study of offshore territorial and maritime entitlement disputes in Asia. His teaching and research revolve around maritime security and ocean governance, ASEAN regionalism, and broadly, US alliances and engagements in the Indo-Pacific. 

Maryruth Belsey Priebe

Director for WPS Programs and Senior Fellow, Non-resident

Maryruth BELSEY PRIEBE is the Director for Women, Peace & Security (WPS) Programs and a Senior Fellow at Pacific Forum International where she researches at the intersection of gender and climate security. Maryruth holds a Harvard International Relations graduate degree where she also received a Climate Leaders Fellowship, and recently completed her thesis, “Gender All the Way Down: Proposing a Feminist Framework for Analyzing Gendered Climate Security Risks” which was nominated for the Dean’s Award. Maryruth is a member of the Research Network on Women, Peace & Security in Canada and a Teaching Fellow at Harvard Extension School.

Program Staff

Georgette Almeida

Executive Assistant

Georgette ALMEIDA is the Executive Assistant at Pacific Forum. She brings a wealth of institutional knowledge and professional experience to this position where she manages the president’s schedule and travel arrangements and other support duties.  She also serves as an Alternate Responsible Officer for Pacific Forum’s Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program and provides guidance to new resident fellows in obtaining J-1 visas as well as provide support in their pre-arrival/intake process.

Valeria Villasenor-Bruyere​

Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Program Manager​

Valeria VILLASENOR-BRUYERE is a program manager at Pacific Forum, where she supports the organization’s Women, Peace and Security programs. She worked previously as Program Manager for the Henry Jackson Foundation and as an International Operations Specialist at the Foreign Agricultural Service/USDA in Washington DC. Valeria has 20+ years of experience in International Relations, International Project Management and Operations, Budget Management, as well as analysis, research, government funding, trade negotiation and cooperation. She’s a specialist in Asia Pacific and Latin America. Valeria received her Master of Arts in International Relations from University of Oklahoma.

Jesslyn Cheong

Senior Program Manager

Jesslyn CHEONG is the Senior Program Manager and has been with the Pacific Forum since August 2014. She provides logistical support for local and overseas conferences. Previously, she was the Program Manager at Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor. She received her BS in International Politics from Georgetown University.

Carol Li

Director, Young Leaders Program

Carol LI is the Young Leaders Program Director and coordinates the organization’s next-gen engagements.  She received her Master’s in Asian International Affairs from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and has written about the PRC’s Belt and Road Initiative in Oceania. Carol has previously interned for the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the East-West Center’s Education Program. 

Jeff Otto

Program Manager

Jeff OTTO is a Program Manager at Pacific Forum, where he provides logistical support for local and overseas conferences. Jeff is an alumnus of the Master’s in Asian International Affairs program at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM). Additionally, he received the degree of Master of Arts in Second Language Studies at UHM in 2021. Jeff has participated in study abroad programs in both Japan and Taiwan, as well as being a participant on the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. Prior to joining Pacific Forum, he was a Research Fellow at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (DKI-APCSS).

Shanna Khayat

Communications and Outreach Manager

Shanna KHAYAT is the Communications and Outreach Manager at Pacific Forum. Her role revolves around connecting diverse audiences with our insights, fostering collaborative relationships, and ensuring that our mission to promote dialogue and understanding in the Indo-Pacific region reaches wider horizons. With a passion for effective communication and a dedication to promoting peace and security, Shanna is a proud Hawaii Pacific University alum, where she received her Master’s in Strategic Communications. She bridges connections being fluent in four languages.

Megan Taenaka

Development Manager

Megan TAENAKA is the Development Manager at Pacific Forum. She supports the Director of Development, maintaining Pacific Forum’s contact/donor database, membership lists, and donor communication. Additionally, she assists with grants as well as event planning and execution. Previously, she was a student worker at Pepperdine University’s Advancement Gifts and Records Department. She was also a Social Media and Community Outreach Intern at the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute. Megan received her BA in Sport Administration from Pepperdine University.