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Abraham Denmark

Former Vice President of Programs and Director of Studies; Former Senior Advisor to the Asia Program; Former Senior Fellow in the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States

Full Biography

As Vice President of Programs, Denmark oversaw the development and effectiveness of the Center’s programmatic framework and our outstanding program teams, deploying the Center’s insights and expertise to inform and shape the public debate on the state of international affairs and U.S. foreign policy.

Drawing on his experience as a senior government official and analyst, Mr. Denmark also advised the Wilson Center’s research on the geopolitical dynamics of the Indo-Pacific and contributed to its industry-leading analysis on U.S.-China relations.  In addition to his duties at the Wilson Center, he is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Georgetown University.

Denmark is the author of U.S. Strategy in the Asian Century: Empowering Allies and Partners (Columbia University Press).  He has testified multiple times before the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and his commentary has been featured in several major media outlets, including Foreign Affairs, the Atlantic, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.

Denmark previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia, where he advised the Secretary of Defense and other senior U.S. government leaders on a broad set of security issues related to East Asia, including the development and implementation of U.S. defense strategies, plans, policies, statements, and activities in the region.  In this role, Mr. Denmark strengthened U.S. military posture in the region, oversaw U.S. military-to-military relations with China, and managed DoD responses to multiples North Korean provocations.

Before joining the Pentagon, Mr. Denmark was a Senior Vice President at the National Bureau of Asian Research, where he was the co-editor of the landmark Strategic Asia book series.  He also held analytic positions at the Center for a New American Security and in the U.S. Intelligence Community.

In January 2017, Mr. Denmark received the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service.  He has also received the order of the Resplendent Banner from the Republic of China (Taiwan), and was made an Honorary Rear Admiral in the Navy of the Republic of Korea.  He has been named a 21st Century Leader by the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, and is a member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and the Council on Foreign Relations.

A Colorado native, Mr. Denmark received an M.A. from the University of Denver Korbel School for International Studies, and a B.A. with Honors from the University of Northern Colorado.  He is pursuing a Ph.D. at Kings College London, writing a dissertation on the history of great power competition in the strategic periphery.  He lives with his wife and children in Maryland.

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A picture of Abraham Denmark in front of green foliage

Abraham Denmark

Former Vice President of Programs and Director of Studies; Former Senior Advisor to the Asia Program; Former Senior Fellow in the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States
The 21st century will be defined by what happens in Asia. It is the source of incredible economic growth and tremendous upward potential, but is also riven with uncertainty, tension, and competition.

Major Publications

What the INF's Demise Means for Asia
Interview with the Diplomat
April 1, 2019

The U.S.-ROK Alliance and Policy Coordination Toward China
CFR Asia Unbound Blog
Mar. 19, 2019

The China Security Challenge: Security and Military Developments
Testimony Before the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, The Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy
Sept. 5, 2018

U.S.-China Competition and Implications for the Korean Peninsula
Remarks to the Seoul Defense Dialogue
Sept., 2018

The Case Against Doing Nothing on North Korea, with Victor Cha
Bloomberg Opinion
Sept. 12, 2018

The Trump-Kim Summit: Outcomes and Oversight
Testimony Before the House Foreign Affairs Committee
June 19, 2018

U.S. National Security Strategy: Implications for the U.S.-Japan Alliance
May 14, 2018

The Myth of the Limited Strike on North Korea
Foreign Affairs
Jan. 9, 2018