International Expert Panel

A Regional, Networked Approach


Our networked approach is fundamentally inclusive and collaborative. The principal investigator, M. Taylor Fravel, oversees the research efforts of a core group of leading international analysts—experts from a diverse set of institutions and political backgrounds. Where disagreements emerge, the principal investigator and project team seek to accurately reflect all positions by giving participants an opportunity to contribute analyses and data to the initiative. At the same time, the team works to ensure factual accuracy.


Project Experts


Rommel Banlaoi, Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research

Dr. Banlaoi is the Director of the Center for Intelligence and National Security Studies, a constituent unit of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research. He teaches at the Department of International Studies at Miriam College in the Philippines and is currently an Adjunct Research Professor at the National Institute for South China Sea Studies in Hainan, China. He was a full professor of Political Science at the National Defense College of the Philippines, an assistant professor of International Studies at De La Salle University, and an instructor in Political Science at the University of the Philippines at Los Banos.


Ja Ian Chong, National University of Singapore

Dr. Chong is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Political Science of the National University of Singapore, where he studies and teaches the international relations of the Asia-Pacific. He was previously a research assistant professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He is author of External Intervention and the Politics of State Formation – China, Indonesia, and Thailand, 1892-1952 (2012), which was awarded the 2013 Best Book Award by the International Security Studies Section of the International Studies Association.


Mikkal Herberg, The National Bureau of Asian Research

Mr. Herberg is Research Director of the Energy Security Program at The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) and a Senior Lecturer on International Energy in the School for Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California, San Diego. He was previously Director for Global Energy and Economics at ARCO (now BP), where he spent twenty years in key strategic planning and corporate international affairs roles.


Nong Hong, Institute for China-America Studies

Dr. Hong is Executive Director of the Institute for China-America Studies and a Research Fellow at both the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, China, and the University of Alberta, Canada. She was previously an ITLOS-Nippon fellow for international dispute settlement and a visiting fellow at the Center for Oceans Law and Policy, University of Virginia School of Law, and at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law. Dr. Hong is the author of UNCLOS and Ocean Dispute Settlement: Law and Politics in the South China Sea (2012).


James Kraska, U.S. Naval War College

Dr. Kraska is Howard S. Levie Professor of International Law at the Stockton Center for the Study of International Law at the U.S. Naval War College, Rhode Island. He is also a Distinguished Fellow at the Law of the Sea Institute, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Oceans Law and Policy, University of Virginia School of Law.


Tabitha Mallory, The National Bureau of Asian Research

Dr. Mallory is a Fellow at The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) where she conducts research on ocean affairs in Asia. She previously served as a postdoctoral research fellow with the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program. She completed her PhD with distinction in International Relations at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).


James Manicom, Independent Scholar

Dr. Manicom is the author of Bridging Troubled Waters: China, Japan and Maritime Order in the East China Sea (2014). He has held fellowships at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, the Balsillie School of International Affairs and the Ocean Policy Research Foundation. Other published works have appeared in the Journal of Strategic Studies, Asia Policy, Polar Record, Geopolitics, the Wall St. Journal Asia, the Globe and Mail, the China Brief, PacNet, and East Asia Forum.


Rory Medcalf, Australian National University

Professor Medcalf is head of the National Security College, Australian National University. From 2007 to 2015, he was director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute for International Policy. Professor Medcalf previously served as a diplomat and, later, a senior strategic analyst with Australia’s Office of National Assessments.


Shafiah Muhibat, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Indonesia

Dr. Muhibat is the Chief Editor of the academic journal the Indonesian Quarterly and has been a member of the research staff at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Indonesia, since 2000. She received her PhD in Political Science from the University of Hamburg and is author of Regional Security Cooperation: A Conceptual Analysis of Cooperative Security with Illustrations of Practices in East Asia (2013).


Justin Nankivell, Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies

Dr. Nankivell is the Associate Dean for Academics at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Honolulu, where he was previously an associate professor. He studies and teaches the relationship of international law to international relations, the law of the sea, the South China Sea, the Arctic, security sector development, and international organization. He previously taught at the University of Victoria, Vancouver Island University, and the Royal Military College of Canada.


Kerry Lynn Nankivell, Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies

Ms. Nankivell is an Associate Professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Honolulu. Her teaching and research focus on Asian maritime security, strategy, and decision-making. Previously, she served as a program manager in the Office of the Asia-Pacific Policy Advisor in Canada’s Maritime Forces Pacific Headquarters. She earned an MPhil in International Relations at Cambridge University.


Hong Thao Nguyen, Vietnam National University

Dr. Nguyen is Professor of International Law at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam and the Vietnam National University. He has over 40 years of experience in diplomacy, high level negotiations, and legal study and practice. He served two terms in the post of ambassador in Malaysia and Kuwait.


Sumathy Permal, Maritime Institute of Malaysia

Ms. Permal is a Senior Researcher with the Centre for the Straits of Malacca at the Maritime Institute of Malaysia. Her research areas are maritime security developments and strategies in the Asia-Pacific, as well as traditional and non-traditional security issues in Southeast Asia. Her current focus is on strategic and defense issues in the South China Sea and the Strait of Malacca.


Ryo Sahashi, Kanagawa University; Japan Center for International Exchange

Dr. Sahashi is an Associate Professor of International Politics at Kanagawa University, Yokohama, and a Research Fellow at the Japan Center for International Exchange. He was previously a visiting associate professor at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University; a postdoctoral fellow at Australian National University; and an assistant professor at University of Tokyo.


Ian J. Storey, ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute

Dr. Storey is a Senior Fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore. At ISEAS he specializes in Asian security issues, with a focus on Southeast Asia and particularly the territorial and maritime boundary disputes in the South China Sea. He is also the editor of the institute’s flagship academic journal Contemporary Southeast Asia. He previously held academic positions at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Honolulu, and at Deakin University, Melbourne.