Jennifer Staats is the director of East and Southeast Asia Programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace, where she oversees USIP’s work on Burma, China and North Korea. She joined USIP in 2016 as the director of the China Program, and she continues to lead USIP’s work on China and its impact on peace and security around the world.
 
Dr. Staats previously spent several years working in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where she concentrated on policy issues related to Asia.  At the Pentagon, she led the teams that coordinated the Department of Defense’s implementation of the U.S. Rebalance to the Asia-Pacific and developed long-term strategies for the Department. She also served as a director in the Cyber Policy Office and managed the Asian-Pacific Security Affairs portfolio for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs. Staats received several awards for her work at DoD, including the Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service.
 
Before entering government service, Staats was a fellow with the International Security Program at Harvard’s Belfer Center and a research assistant with the Preventive Defense Project chaired by Ashton B. Carter and William J. Perry.  
 
She received her PhD from Harvard University, her MPA from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, and her BA from the University of the South (Sewanee). She has been named a Council on Foreign Relations Term Member, Fulbright Scholar, NSEP Boren Fellow, Javits Fellow and NCAA Postgraduate Scholar.

Publications By Jennifer

Burma’s Balancing Act on Rakhine

Burma’s Balancing Act on Rakhine

Monday, June 11, 2018

By: Jennifer Staats ; Kay Spencer

In a reversal of past policy, Burma’s government last week signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the United Nations to facilitate the repatriation of Rohingya refugees back to Burma. This unexpected move builds on the momentum established last month, when Burma hosted a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) delegation and invited the U.N. to assist in the repatriation of the Rohingya and the rehabilitation of Rakhine state.

Global Policy; Human Rights

China’s 'Belt and Road' Initiative: Promises and Perils

China’s 'Belt and Road' Initiative: Promises and Perils

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

By: Jennifer Staats ; Rachel Vandenbrink

China’s “Belt and Road” infrastructure and investment plan is sending Chinese state-owned enterprises to build roads, ports, railways, and other projects in areas that more risk-averse companies traditionally avoid. From Asia to Africa, this massive initiative increasingly will engage China in areas afflicted by violent conflict.

Economics & Environment; Global Policy

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