Forum on Asia-Pacific Security (FAPS)

NCAFP delegation members with ROK Foreign Minister Park Jin in Seoul. December 2022.


Susan A. Thornton

Juliet Lee
Deputy Director

Neal Caldwell
Project Manager

Donald S. Zagoria
Project Director Emeritus

The Forum on Asia-Pacific Security (FAPS) is a flagship project of the NCAFP. Founded by Professor Donald S. Zagoria and led by Susan A. Thornton, FAPS was instrumental in facilitating talks across the Taiwan Strait that led to the establishment of the quasi-official SEF-ARATS channel and eventually to the so-called “1992 Consensus'' that opened the gates to cross-Strait exchanges. FAPS also jump started the Six-Party Talks on the North Korean nuclear issue.

FAPS' goal is to produce actionable and specific policy recommendations that advance US foreign policy interests, with particular focus on diplomatic strategies and efforts in the following areas:

  • Focusing on tools of diplomacy and statecraft to resolve international conflict and supplementing military deterrence strategies with dialogue and engagement.

  • Reducing miscommunication and miscalculation across the Taiwan Strait by providing the only authoritative channel of security policy communication among scholars and officials from the US, Taiwan, and Mainland China.

  • Understanding regional thinking on great power competition between the US and China—how are security, investment and development needs affected by Sino-US rivalry? 

  • Addressing the North Korean nuclear issue in a multilateral context by working with other members of the Six-Party Talks to discuss differences in the desired approach and end-state of denuclearization and peace regime talks.

  • Visualizing institutional reform. How can the US and the countries of the Asia-Pacific work together to address 21st century challenges in economic, social and political security through existing multilateral institutions?


Emerging Leaders Programs

The Forum's Emerging Leaders programs convene groups of distinguished, carefully selected next-generation scholars and experts from around the world to address a variety of pressing security issues. Emerging leaders are typically research associate professionals or assistant professors with five to ten years of experience who are likely to influence the policy planning process in the future. These young experts are often then included in the NCAFP’s well-established and high-level Track II conferences and public programs. Many participants in the program form relationships that continue beyond its conclusion.

The goal of the Emerging Leaders program is to build relationships among peers working on relevant security issues, and to provide practical tools and exposure to senior-level mentors in the policy field. Previous Emerging Leaders programs have focused on Korean Peninsula security issues, cross-Taiwan Strait relations, and the future of regional integration and multilateralism in the Asia-Pacific region. These programs have been especially effective at convening scholars and experts from all over the world, including the U.S., China, Japan, Italy, Germany, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia, Malaysia, and others.

Click here to see the final products of our past cohorts.


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