Van Jackson joined Victoria University of Wellington in 2017 as a Senior Lecturer in International Relations. He also holds policy research appointments as a Distinguished Fellow with the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada; as the Defence & Strategy Fellow with the Centre for Strategic Studies; and as a Senior Associate Fellow with the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Nonproliferation & Disarmament. Van’s research broadly concerns the politics of U.S. foreign policy, Asia-Pacific security, and the theory and practice of grand strategy. He is the author of dozens of journal articles, book chapters, and policy reports, as well as two books with Cambridge University Press: On the Brink: Trump, Kim, and the Threat of Nuclear War (2018), and Rival Reputations: Coercion and Credibility in US-North Korea Relations (2016). His third book, forthcoming with Yale University Press, is titled Pacific Power Paradox: American Statecraft and the Fate of the Asian Peace.
Prior to joining Victoria, Van taught courses on Asian security, U.S. foreign policy, and Korea and Japan at Georgetown University, Hawaii Pacific University, the Catholic University of America, and the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. His research has been funded by the MacArthur Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Academy of Korean Studies, and the Council on Foreign Relations, and he has held policy research appointments with the Center for a New American Security, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and Pacific Forum CSIS. Before becoming a scholar, Van was a practitioner of U.S. foreign and defense policy, serving in several positions in the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense from 2009-2014, as well as the U.S. Air Force, from 2000-2006. During the 2020 US presidential election, he was an unpaid foreign policy adviser to multiple presidential campaigns.