Victor Cha

Senior Adviser and Korea Chair

Victor Cha joined the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., in May 2009 as a senior adviser and the inaugural holder of the Korea Chair. He also holds the D.S. Song-KF Professorship in Government and International Affairs at Georgetown University. He left the White House in 2007 after serving since 2004 as director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council (NSC). At the White House, he was responsible primarily for Japan, the Korean peninsula, Australia/New Zealand and Pacific Island nation affairs. He 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 the author of five books, including 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 (Ecco, 2012), which was selected by Foreign Affairs as a “Best Book on the Asia-Pacific for 2012.” His newest book is Powerplay: Origins of the American Alliance System in Asia (Princeton University Press, 2016). He is also coauthoring a new book, Korea After Unification: Planning for the Inevitable (Columbia University Press, forthcoming). He has authored articles on international relations and East Asia in journals including Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, International Security,Political Science Quarterly, Survival,International Studies Quarterly,International Journal of the History of Sport, and Asian Survey. Dr. Cha is a former John M. Olin National Security Fellow at Harvard University, two-time Fulbright Scholar, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Scholar at Columbia University, and Hoover National Fellow, CISAC Fellow, and William J. Perry Fellow at Stanford University. He is a Fellow in Human Freedom (nonresident) at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Cha is a dedicated teacher and academician. He holds Georgetown’s Distinguished Principal Investigator Award for 2016, the Dean’s Teaching Award for 2010, and the Distinguished Research Award for 2011. In 2012, he founded Georgetown’s master’s degree in Asian studies, and he brought a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant in East Asia to the university for the first time in Georgetown’s history in 2009. He has served on every major committee assignment at the university, including the Rank and Tenure Committee as a presidential appointment.

Dr. Cha serves on nine editorial boards of academic journals and is coeditor of the Contemporary Asia Book Series at Columbia University Press. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Fulbright Association. He has been the principal investigator on 19 major research grant projects ranging between $40,000 and $1.6 million from private foundations and the U.S. government. He has testified before Congress numerous times on Asian security issues. In 2018, he joined NBC and MSNBC as a contributor. Prior to joining NBC, he had been a guest analyst for various media including CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, the Colbert Report,Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Fox News, PBS, Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, CNBC, BBC, and National Public Radio. His op-eds have appeared in the Washington Post,New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Foreign Policy, Japan Times, and Financial Times . He is a senior adviser to Teneo Intelligence and works as an independent consultant helping clients in sectors ranging from business and finance to entertainment. Dr. Cha received his Ph.D. in political science at Columbia University in 1994, a master’s in international affairs from Columbia in 1988, an M.A. with honors in philosophy, politics, and economics from Oxford University (Hertford College), and an A.B. in economics from Columbia in 1979.

Contact Information
Email: vcha [at] csis.org
Tel: 202.775.3112