Headshot of Van Jackson

Van Jackson

Professor of International Relations, Victoria University of Wellington

Dr. Van Jackson is a professor of international relations at the Victoria University of Wellington and the Defence & Strategy Fellow at the Centre for Strategic Studies, both located in New Zealand. He is also a Senior Fellow in the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-proliferation & Disarmament, an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, DC, and host of the Un-Diplomatic Podcast. 

Mr. Jackson has written prolifically about Asian security and U.S. foreign policy, including two books with Cambridge University Press on U.S.-North Korea relations – On the Brink: Trump, Kim, and the Threat of Nuclear War (2018), and Rival Reputations: Coercion and Credibility in U.S.-North Korea Relations (2016). He previously held policy appointments with the Council on Foreign Relations (as an International Affairs Fellow), the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and Pacific Forum CSIS. He has taught at Georgetown University, the Catholic University of America, Hawaii Pacific University, and the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies.

During the 2020 U.S. presidential campaign, Mr. Jackson was an unpaid foreign policy adviser to four presidential candidates (sequentially). From 2009-2014, he served as a strategist and policy adviser in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), where he worked on issues ranging from defence planning for U.S. Asia strategy to nuclear negotiations with North Korea. He is the recipient of multiple awards in OSD, including the Exceptional Civilian Service Medal. Mr. Jackson started his career enlisted in the U.S. Air Force as a Korean linguist and holds a Ph.D. in world politics from the Catholic University of America. His current research examines America’s role in both sustaining and risking the so-called “Asian peace” since 1979.