NEWPORT, R.I. – The U.S. Naval War College (NWC) held an event to introduce Professor Toshi Yoshihara as the inaugural holder of the John A. van Beuren Chair of Asia-Pacific Studies, on June 16.
Hosted by Rear Adm. John N. Christenson, president of the U.S. Naval War College, the event acknowledged the establishment of the chair in November 2010 through the support of the Naval War College Foundation and the generosity of the van Beuren Charitable Foundation, Inc. The van Beuren Charitable Foundation, Inc., founded by John A. and Hope H. van Beuren, is a family-based philanthropy dedicated to protecting and preserving the unique characteristics of Newport County and improving the quality of life for its residents.
The van Beuren chair aims to promote the teaching of the Asia-Pacific region at the college, while assisting in curriculum development, supporting faculty research, collaborating with other educational institutions and experts in Asian studies, and developing lasting relationships with academic institutions in the region. This will enhance the education of NWC students and raise the college’s profile among leading institutions on Asian studies.
The Asia-Pacific region has been a primary engine for global economic growth over the past two decades, according to Yoshihara. “This unprecedented generation of national wealth has in turn spurred rapid military modernization programs, furnishing to large and smaller states alike the tools to influence events in Asia,” Yoshihara said.
“The van Beuren chair,” Yoshihara stated, “thus reflects the growing policy demands for better understanding the trends and underlying factors that are animating [the Asia-Pacific] region.”
Yoshihara demonstrates his expertise of Asia-Pacific studies in a book that he recently co-authored with Professor James Holmes, “Red Star over the Pacific: China’s Rise and the Challenge to U.S. Maritime Strategy.”
Robert D. Kaplan, senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and author of “Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power” noted that “’Red Star over the Pacific’ will be the go-to book on the rise of Chinese sea power.”
Professor Yoshihara is a faculty member with NWC’s Strategy and Policy Department and an affiliate member of the China Maritime Studies Institute. Previously, he was a visiting professor in the Strategy Department at the Air War College. Yoshihara has also served as an analyst at the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, RAND, and the American Enterprise Institute. He holds a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, an M.A. from the School of Advanced International Studies, The John Hopkins University, and a B.S. from the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.