James A. Schear
Wilson Center Projects
“Building Security Through Partnerships: Towards a New Model?”
James A. Schear of Maryland served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Partnership Strategy and Stability Operations from 2009-2013. He led efforts to help foreign partners build effective and accountable security forces, to reshape U.S. investments in stabilization missions post-Afghanistan, to navigate war-to-peace transitions, to prevent mass atrocities and to provide life-saving aid to the victims of natural disasters and complex emergencies.
Dr. Schear’s public service contributions span more than two decades. From 1989-94 he served as an advisor at the United Nations where he assisted senior officials in shaping implementation of 1991 Gulf War cease-fire resolutions and providing analytic support to the leadership of UN missions in Cambodia and Former Yugoslavia.
In June 1999, Dr. Schear was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service for his work during the Kosovo crisis. During prior service as a deputy assistant secretary of defense, 1997-2001, he and his peacekeeping & humanitarian affairs team played key roles in supporting U.S. efforts to end the Eritrean-Ethiopian war, to stabilize East Timor following its separation from Indonesia, to counter predatory violence in war-torn regions, and to strengthen international standards against the use of child soldiers. More recently, his humanitarian efforts helped shape U.S. responses to Haiti’s devastating earthquake in 2010, as well as Japan’s 2011 tsunami & nuclear emergency, Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya, and assistance to refugees fleeing conflict in Syria.
Dr. Schear’s contributions to applied policy research are also noteworthy. As Director of Research at the National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies, 2001-8, he supervised seven project teams conducting studies on regional security affairs, strategic concept development and terrorism/transnational challenges. He also has held research appointments at Harvard University, the Brookings Institution, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Stimson Center and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. From 1984-87, he served as Executive Officer of the Aspen Strategy Group, co-chaired by Lt. Gen. (ret.) Brent Scowcroft and William Perry, and directed by Joseph S. Nye. In 2007-8, he was a principal member of the Afghanistan Study Group; and he also served as an expert advisor for the Iraq Study Group as well as the Genocide Prevention Task Force. In late ’08, he served on the President-elect’s transition team for the Defense Department, leading its subgroup on planning for the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review.
Dr. Schear earned his Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He holds a Master’s Degree from Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies and a B.A. from The American University’s School of International Service. He has lectured widely on international security affairs, visited more than sixty countries, edited or co-edited four books and authored numerous articles, book chapters, reports and op-ed pieces in publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Washington Quarterly, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Christian Science Monitor, International Security and Strategic Survey.
- Stabilizing Eastern Syria After ISIS, co-authored with Jeffrey Martini, et. al, (RAND 2020).
- International Post-Disaster Recoveries: Lessons for Puerto Rico on Supply-Chain Management and Recovery Governance, co-authored with Jennifer Moroney, et al., (RAND 2020).
- “U.S. Military Reponses to Non-Traditional Security Challenges: Lessons to Learn,” RINSA FORUM, Vol. 65., December 2019.
- “Partner Capacity-Building’s Next Phase: Embracing Civil Works?” Real Clear Defense, October 16, 2018.
- “Forging Security Partnerships in Africa: What Lies Ahead?" Wilson Quarterly (Winter 2016).
- “Strengthening Africa’s Security Governance: Are we Reaching Take-off Velocity?” Africa Policy Brief, The Wilson Center, June 2015.
- “Haiti’s 2010 Earthquake and the US Response: Lessons for Asia-Pacific Disasters,” Banyan Analytics Brief, July 29, 2015
- “Review of Unity of Mission: Civil-Military Teams in War and Peace,” Strategic Studies Quarterly, Fall 2015
- “3 Facets to Relief and Recovery After Nepal’s Earthquake,” The New Security Beat. The Wilson Center, Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP), April 30, 2015
- “Washington’s Weak-State Agenda: The Road Taken,” Foreign Affairs, May/June 2014, pp. 172-4
- “Orchestrating Complex Contingency Operations: A Forever Bumpy Ride,” in David Ochmanek and Michael Sulmeyer, eds, Challenges in US National Security Policy: A Festschrift Honoring Edward L. Warner (RAND, 2014), pp. 81-94.
- “Boots on the Ground: Should NATO Troops Help Enforce an Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement?” co-authored with William Durch, Foreign Policy.com, March 10, 2014.
- “Fragile States and Ungoverned Spaces: A Squeeze Play on Sovereignty? in Patrick Cronin, ed., America’s Security Role in a Changing World, (NDU Press, 2009), pp. 97-100.
- Strategic Challenges: America’s Global Security Agenda, co-edited with Stephen J. Flanagan, (Potomac Books and NDU Press, 2008)
Public Policy Scholar: June 30, 2014 – May 22, 2015