Welcoming Van Jackson, our newest Senior Editor

February 27, 2015

I am very pleased to announce Dr. Van Jackson (@WonkVJ) is joining our stable of senior editors here at War on the Rocks. Jackson is an Air Force vet and recovering Department of Defense employee with an impressive background in strategy, Asia-Pacific security, and military technology as well as the academy. He reflects the central operating concept of War on the Rocks: real experience – in his case, experience in uniform, in the Pentagon, and as a scholar.

Jackson is a Visiting Fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow, researching the intersection of Asian security, strategy, and technology. He is also a Visiting Scholar with the Asian Studies Program in Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. From 2009 to 2014, Jackson held positions in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) as a strategist and policy adviser focused on the Asia-Pacific, senior country director for Korea, and working group chair of the U.S.–Republic of Korea Extended Deterrence Policy Committee.

During his time in OSD, Jackson’s responsibilities ranged from long-range strategy, policy planning, and studies of military innovation to crisis management and direct negotiations with numerous Asian government ministries.  He was a contributor to the 2013 Strategic Choices Management Review, the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review, and OSD’s implementation of the U.S. policy of rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific.  From 2009 to 2012, Dr. Jackson advised the White House and Secretary of Defense on crisis management and strategic courses of action through two Korean Peninsula crises, represented the Department in direct negotiations with North Korea addressing its nuclear program, and helped establish the first extended deterrence consultation mechanisms with South Korea and Japan.  He is the recipient of multiple awards in OSD, including the Exceptional Civilian Service Medal.

Complementing his work in strategy and foreign policy, Jackson teaches courses on Asian security, grand strategy, and bridging the theory-policy divide at Georgetown University and the Catholic University of America, and is a rotating lecturer in the Naval Postgraduate School’s Regional Security Education Program.  In 2014, Jackson was also appointed as a Track II adviser to the Alliance Vision Group headed by the State Department’s Office of Policy Planning and South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  He has delivered guest lectures at a number of schools nationally, including the U.S. National War College, U.S. Naval War College, and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.  From 2011 to 2013, Jackson was also a nonresident James A. Kelly Fellow in Korean Studies with the Pacific Forum at the Center for Strategic & International Studies.  He is the author of Rival Reputations: Coercion and Credibility in North Korea-U.S. Relations (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming), and has published widely in academic and policy journals.  He holds a PhD in world politics from the Catholic University of America and was formerly selected as one of the “Top 99 under 33” foreign policy leaders by Diplomatic Courier magazine.  Jackson started his career in the U.S. Air Force as a Korean linguist and intelligence analyst.

Give him a big welcome on Twitter!


Image Credit: Adapted from U.S. Marine Corps