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Victor Cha    

Senior Adviser & Korea Chair of the Center for Strategic & International Studies

Professor Victor D. Cha is Distinguished University Professor, D.S. Song-KF Chairholder, and Professor of Government in the Department of Government and School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He is also Senior Vice President for Asia and Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. He is the author of seven books, including the award-winning "Alignment Despite Antagonism: The United States-Korea-Japan Security Triangle" (Stanford University Press, 1999) (winner of the 2000 Ohira Book Prize), and "The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future" (Harper Collins Ecco, 2012 selected by Foreign Affairs as a “Best Book on the Asia-Pacific for 2012.” His most recent book is "Korea: A New History of South and North" (Yale University Press, 2023) with Ramon Pacheco Pardo. His other books are "Beyond the Final Score: The Politics of Sport in Asia" (Columbia University Press, 2009); "Nuclear North Korea: A Debate on Engagement Strategies" (Columbia University Press, 2003) with David Kang; and "Powerplay: The Origins of the American Alliance System in Asia" (Princeton University Press, 2016). His forthcoming book is "The Black Box: Methods and Data in the Study of Korean Unification and North Korea" (Columbia University Press, 2024). His articles on international relations and Asian affairs have appeared in numerous journals including International Security, Political Science Quarterly, International Studies Quarterly, Armed Forces and Society, Foreign Affairs, Asian Survey, Journal of Asian Studies, International Journal of the History of Sport, and Journal of Strategic Studies.

He was appointed in 2021 by Joseph R. Biden administration to serve on the Defense Policy Board in an advisory role to the Secretary of Defense. He formerly served on the White House National Security Council where he was responsible primarily for Japan, the Korean peninsula, Australia/New Zealand and Pacific Island nation affairs. Dr. Cha was also the Deputy Head of Delegation for the United States at the Six Party Talks in Beijing, and received two Outstanding Service commendations during his tenure at the NSC.

Dr. Cha is a two-time Fulbright Scholar, former Olin Fellow at Harvard University, and former Hoover, CISAC, and Koret Fellow at Stanford University. He currently serves on ten editorial boards of academic journals and is co-editor of the Contemporary Asia Book Series at Columbia University Press. In 2022, he was elected to serve on the Board for the National Endowment for Democracy, and he remains a Senior Fellow in Human Freedom (non-resident) at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas, Texas. He is a Foreign Affairs Contributor for MSNBC and NBC News. Dr. Cha has appeared in a variety of media including ESPN, "The Colbert Report," and a cameo role (as himself) in the 2012 film Red Dawn. He co-hosts "The Impossible State" podcast and "The Capital Cable" YouTube show.

In 2023, he was named Distinguished University Professor, the highest honor bestowed upon a tenured faculty member at Georgetown. He is the recipient of the 2023 Hubert H. Humphrey award from the American Political Science Association for notable public service by a political scientist and the 2023 Joseph Kurzel Memorial Prize for excellence in scholarship and public service (also from APSA).

Dr. Cha received his Ph.D. in political science at Columbia University, MIA from Columbia, B.A. Honors in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford University, and A.B. in Economics from Columbia. He was born and raised on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

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