Pacific Forum International

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Pacific Forum
PacificForum logo cmyk.jpg
MottoTimely, informative, and innovative analysis of political, security, and strategic developments in the Indo-Pacific region
Formation1975; 43 years ago (1975)
TypeInternational affairs think tank
Headquarters1003 Bishop Street, Pauahi Tower Suite 1150 Honolulu, HI 96813, United States
Joseph Nye
Robert P. Girrier, Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.)
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen attends a seminar co-organized by Pacific Forum and East West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Pacific Forum is a Honolulu-based foreign policy research institute focused on the Asia-Pacific that is formerly a subsidiary of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, headquartered in Washington, DC. Founded in 1975, the Pacific Forum collaborates with a broad network of research institutes from around the Pacific Rim, drawing on Asian perspectives and disseminating project findings and recommendations to global leaders, governments, and members of the public throughout the region.

The Forum’s programs encompass current and emerging political, security, economic, business, and oceans policy issues and works to help stimulate cooperative policies in the Asia Pacific region through analysis and dialogue undertaken with the region’s leaders in the academic, government, and corporate areas. It regularly cosponsors conferences with institutes throughout Asia to facilitate nongovernmental institution building as well as to foster cross-fertilization of ideas.


The Pacific Forum is one of the world’s leading Asia-Pacific policy research institutes and was one of the first organizations in the United States to focus exclusively on this region.[1] Although once an autonomous program of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Pacific Forum is currently transitioning into a fully independent research institution by the end of 2018.[2] Renowned political scientist Joseph Nye will remain as Chairman of the Pacific Forum Board of Governors and senior Asia expert Carl Baker will continue to be Executive Director.

Security Cooperation Program[edit]

The Pacific Forum's program on Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific is organized around its membership in the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP). Formed in 1993, CSCAP promotes regional security through dialogue and collaborative study group projects focusing on policy issues related to security issues of common concern among its 20 member committee. Pacific Forum is the official US-member committee for CSCAP. Pacific Forum also conducts research on maritime security in the Indo-Pacific, ASEAN security and integration, North Korea-related issues, American alliances in the Pacific, and countering violent extremism (CVE) in Southeast Asia, with the goal of promoting peace and regional cooperation.

Strategic Dialogues[edit]

Pacific Forum's program on strategic stability has evolved into two strands: one homes in on reassurance of allies and partners in East Asia, while the other examines strategic dynamics with China.

Nuclear Policy Program[edit]

Pacific Forum’s Nuclear Policy Program centers on the various track 1.5/2 nuclear policy dialogues and Asia-Pacific multilateral meetings on nonproliferation and nuclear security. The program also conducts extensive research on nuclear energy and security, strategic trade control regimes in developing countries, and issues related to deterrence, among others.

Young Leaders Program[edit]

Select Pacific Forum Young Leaders chat with junior officials from North Korea

In 2004, Pacific Forum CSIS launched the Young Leaders Program to enhance cross-cultural opportunities for young scholars and foreign policy professionals to improve their policy analysis skills at an early juncture in their careers. Participation in the program affords Young Leaders an unparalleled opportunity to build networks, observe the foreign-policy making process, and voice their generation’s viewpoints within elite circles of policy specialists. They also gain a deeper understanding of serious conflicts and issues in the Asia-Pacific region, learn how experts and leaders deal with these problems, and develop their own perspectives.[3][4] Over the years, the organization's network of Young Leaders has grown to nearly 1,000 members, all within the age-range of 22-35, from 56 countries.[5]


Pacific Forum has three main publications. These are:

  • Comparative Connections provides a timely, concise, and comprehensive source of information and analysis on key East Asian bilateral relationships. The Pacific Forum established Comparative Connections in April 1999. Recognized specialists provide a brief article triannually on the key developments in 12 selected bilateral relationships, highlighting the impact on U.S. interests. Articles include a chronology of key events. A regional overview puts the events of the trimester into a broader context, while also discussing multilateral developments.
  • Issues and Insights consists of in-depth analyses covering a wide range of topics and serving as a vehicle for providing summaries of Pacific Forum workshops and conferences, along with associated papers and edited volumes.
  • PacNet Commentaries is weekly publication generated from a network of policy research institutes in Asia designed to facilitate communication on timely events in the region and to serve as a vehicle for disseminating data-driven opinions and analyses.


Pacific Forum reports a 2017 budget of $2.7 million.[6] According to their website, this funding comes from grants by foundations, governments, corporations, and individuals.[7]

CSIS affiliation[edit]

Pacific Forum's main office is on Bishop Street in downtown Honolulu.

Pacific Forum was founded as an independent think tank in 1975. The institute later merged with CSIS, providing the Washington DC-based organization with a physical presence in the Pacific. Pacific Forum is currently transitioning back into a fully independent research institution by the end of 2018.


  1. ^ [1] CSIS: History of Pacific Forum CSIS
  2. ^ [2] CSIS: History of Pacific Forum CSIS
  3. ^ [3] Pacific Forum CSIS Website - Young Leaders Program
  4. ^ [4] Pacific Forum CSIS Website - Young Leaders Program
  5. ^ [5] Pacific Forum CSIS Website - Young Leaders Program
  6. ^ [6] CSIS: History of Pacific Forum CSIS
  7. ^ [7] Pacific Forum CSIS Website