Victor Cha


Victor Cha joined the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC in May 2009 as a senior adviser and the inaugural holder of the Korea Chair. He is professor of government and holds the D.S. Song-KF Chair in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service (SFS) at Georgetown University. In July 2019, he was appointed vice dean for faculty and graduate affairs in SFS. 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. 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. He is the author of five 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), 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 writing a new book on Korean unification. He has published articles on international relations and East Asia in journals, including Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, International SecurityPolitical Science QuarterlySurvivalInternational Studies QuarterlyInternational 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 currently a fellow in Human Freedom (non-resident) at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Cha serves on 10 editorial boards of academic journals and is co-editor 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 21 major research grant projects, ranging between $40,000 and $1.6 million from private foundations and the US 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, CBS, The Colbert Report, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Fox News, PBS, HuffPostWall Street Journal, CNBC, BBC, and National Public Radio. His op-eds have appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg, USA Today, Foreign Policy, Japan Times, FEER, and Financial Times. He 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, his 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.

Leading by example: Two different responses to China’s rise
Leading by example: Two different responses to China’s rise
South Korea and Australia share many traits but differ in one important respect – their responses to a rising China.