Dr. Van Jackson is an American political scientist, foreign policy wonk, and media commentator specializing in Asian security and the politics of US foreign policy. He is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Victoria University of Wellington, and concurrently holds think tank appointments as an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, as a Wilson Center Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, and as the Defence & Strategy Fellow at the Centre for Strategic Studies in Wellington, New Zealand. In 2021, Van was named a Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, and in 2020 was also named a Senior Fellow in the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation & Disarmament.
Van's first book, with Cambridge University Press, was Rival Reputations: Coercion and Credibility in U.S.-North Korea Relations (2016). His second book, just out and also with Cambridge University Press, is On the Brink: Trump, Kim and the Threat of Nuclear War (2018). While writing On the Brink, Van kept a diary about its writing process that was published every day at War on the Rocks, called Nuke Your Darlings. Since 2015, he has also been a Senior Editor for War on the Rocks. In 2019, Van was featured in the Washington Diplomat’s “People of World Influence” series.
He is currently engaged in two major research projects—one examining the implications of progressivism for grand strategy, and the other a critical scrutiny of America’s role in both sustaining and risking the “Asian peace.”