September 18, 2019

CNAS Welcomes Siddharth Mohandas and Van Jackson as Adjunct Senior Fellows in the Asia-Pacific Security Program

By Cole Stevens

Washington, Sept 18, 2019—The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is pleased to announce that Dr. Siddharth Mohandas, Director of Research and Principal at The Asia Group, and Dr. Van Jackson, professor of international relations at Victoria University of Wellington, have joined CNAS as Adjunct Senior Fellows in the Asia-Pacific Security Program. Dr. Mohandas and Dr. Jackson will offer expert insight on current and emerging issues in U.S. strategy toward the Asia-Pacific region.

“We are thrilled to welcome Siddharth and Van back to the Center,” said CNAS CEO Richard Fontaine. “Their impressive records and insights into some of the Indo-Pacific's most complex challenges will make important contributions to our Asia-Pacific Security Program, which continues to conduct cutting-edge research on strategic competition with China, U.S. alliances and partnerships, and the North Korea threat.”

Dr. Mohandas is the Director of Research and a Principal at The Asia Group. Previously, he was Principal Deputy Director of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff. In that role, he advised Secretary of State John Kerry on policy priorities for the State Department. Dr. Mohandas also served at the Department of Defense as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, where he advised the Under Secretary on a broad set of national security and defense policy issues. He also served in the Pentagon’s Office of Asian and Pacific Security and the Office of Strategy, Plans, and Forces. Before that, he served at the State Department as Special Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. Prior to serving in government, Dr. Mohandas held research fellowships at CNAS, the Brookings Institution, and the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University and was an editor at Foreign Affairs magazine.

Dr. Jackson is a professor of international relations at Victoria University of Wellington, and the Defense & Strategy Fellow at the Centre for Strategic Studies in New Zealand. He also hosts the “Un-Diplomatic” podcast and is an associate editor for the Texas National Security Review. He has authored two Cambridge University Press books 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). Dr. Jackson has previously held fellowship appointments with CNAS, the Council on Foreign Relations (as an International Affairs Fellow), the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and Pacific Forum CSIS. From 2009 to 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 defense planning for U.S. Asia strategy to nuclear negotiations with North Korea.

To reach Dr. Mohandas or Dr. Jackson, or for more information about CNAS, please contact Cole Stevens at or 202-695-8166.


  • Cole Stevens

    Former Communications Officer

    Cole Stevens is a former Communications Officer at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). In this role, he led the Center's press and public affairs strategy to advanc...