China and East Asian Security Expert Oriana Skylar Mastro to Become FSI’s Newest Center Fellow

The Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) at Stanford University is pleased to announce that Oriana Skylar Mastro has been appointed an FSI Center Fellow. She will begin at FSI on August 1, 2020, working primarily within the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC), and in the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) as well. 

Mastro is currently an assistant professor of security studies at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, where her research addresses questions at the intersection of interstate conflict, great power relations, and the challenges of rising powers – with a focus on China and East Asian security. Mastro’s work focuses on how perceptions of power impact the process and precursors to conflict, such as military competition and coercion.

Mastro serves as an officer in the United States Air Force Reserve, currently as a Senior China Analyst at the Pentagon.  Her latest book, “The Costs of Conversation: Obstacles to Peace Talks in Wartime,” was published in 2019. Mastro is also a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, where she is working on a book about China's challenge to U.S. primacy. 

“At a time of growing U.S.-China tensions, Stanford is fantastically fortunate to have hired Professor Mastro, one of the leading experts of her generation in the world on all security issues regarding China and Asia more broadly,” said FSI Director Michael McFaul. “I am very excited  that Oriana will be joining us this fall.” 

Gi-Wook Shin, the director of APARC, the William J. Perry Professor of Contemporary Korea, and senior fellow at FSI, added, “We are thrilled to welcome Oriana back to Stanford. Over the course of her academic and military career, Oriana has distinguished herself as a security expert who not only advances nuanced understanding of Chinese and U.S. policies and strategies in the Asia-Pacific region, but also urges us to probe the notion of great-power competition and to question our ways of thinking about China in the global order. She is a terrific addition to our community of scholars and practitioners.”

At Stanford, Mastro will teach and mentor students in the Ford Dorsey Master’s in International Policy program and the CISAC Honors program. She will also direct independent reading and research projects, serve as a guest lecturer, and advise undergraduate honors theses and graduate student projects and theses.

“The rise of China and the implications that its rise has for the reemergence of great-power competition ranks among the greatest international challenges of our day,” said Colin Kahl, Co-director of CISAC. “Few people have deeper expertise on China, its military, and the geopolitical implications of the U.S.-China rivalry than Oriana Mastro. She is a world-class scholar and we are very fortunate to have her join the FSI family.”

For her contributions to U.S. strategy in Asia, Mastro won the Individual Reservist of the Year Award in 2016. She has published widely, including in Foreign Affairs, International Security, the Economist, International Studies Review, Journal of Strategic Studies, The Washington Quarterly, Survival, and Asian Security among others. She earned a B.A. in East Asian studies at Stanford with honors in international security and an M.A. and Ph.D. in politics at Princeton University

“With its community of multidisciplinary experts combined with its focus on scholarship and policy impact, there is no better place for me than FSI,” said Mastro. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to expand my research on China security and military issues at the institute. I’m particularly excited about teaching courses on international security, a topic I first discovered as a CISAC honors student.”