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Naoko Aoki is a research associate at the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM). She specializes in East Asian political and security issues. Her research has examined topics such as the North Korean nuclear problem, American alliances in Asia, and cooperation over emerging technologies in the Indo-Pacific region.

Dr. Aoki is also a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security’s Asia Security Initiative. Previously, she worked as a Nuclear Security Fellow in the U.S. House of Representatives and was a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow and an adjunct political scientist at the RAND Corporation. She was formerly with Kyodo News, Japan’s largest news agency, reporting on the Japanese government from Tokyo before serving as a Beijing correspondent. She has visited North Korea 18 times on reporting trips.

Her analysis has appeared in Foreign Policy, the National Interest, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, among others. She has also produced working papers and policy reports for CISSM, the RAND Corporation and the Korea Economic Institute of America. She has appeared as a commentator on East Asian issues in broadcast media including PBS, NPR, and BBC and has been quoted in global print media including the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and the South China Morning Post.

She holds a Ph.D. in international security policy from the University of Maryland, College Park and an M.A. in international relations and international economics from The Johns Hopkins University, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Areas of Interest
  • East Asian security; North Korea; nuclear security; international security
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