“to tell the truth as he sees it, and so to keep watch and ward in the interest of society as a whole”


Welcome! I’m an American political scientist, foreign policy wonk, and author specializing in Asian security and the politics of US foreign policy. I served in the Pentagon during the Obama administration, and have been trying to speak truth to power ever since. I’ve written a couple books with Cambridge University Press, and directed a documentary about the North Korean nuclear crisis and its aftermath. I write and perform for the public, for policymaking elites, and for my academic peers (all at the same time when possible). If you want to hear me sound off, about all things foreign policy, I host The Un-Diplomatic Podcast (just click the button to the right cleverly labeled “Un-Diplomatic Podcast,” or listen directly below).

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Book Praise

“Van Jackson has given us a vital record of a near-disaster. Vigorous, wise, and highly informed, ‘On the Brink’ decodes the theatrics and leaves the lesson inescapably clear for future generations.”

—Evan Osnos, The New Yorker

"Van Jackson has written an insightful, detailed, and frightening history of the Korean nuclear crisis. It is like a thriller with the sequel yet to be written."

—Scott Sagan, Stanford University Professor and author, The Limits of Safety


Jackson successfully weaves theory, history, and policy into a book that makes every reader smarter on North Korea. Recommended reading not just for experts, but for general audiences."

— Victor Cha, D.S. Song-KF Professor, Georgetown University and former National Security Council director

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My research broadly concerns the intersection of Asian security and US strategic thought. I’m best known as an expert of Korean security.