Oriana Skylar Mastro

Oriana Skylar Mastro
Assistant Professor
206 Mortara

Assistant Professor 

Oriana Skylar Mastro is an assistant professor of security studies at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University where her research focuses on Chinese military and security policy, Asia-Pacific security issues, war termination, and coercive diplomacy. She is also in the United States Air Force Reserve, for which she works as an Asia-Pacific strategist at the Pentagon.

Previously, Dr. Mastro was a fellow in the Asia-Pacific Security program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a University of Virginia Miller Center National Fellow, and a Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Pacific Forum Sasakawa Peace Fellow. Additionally, she has worked on China policy issues at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, RAND Corporation, U.S. Pacific Command, and Project 2049, and has testified for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

Highly proficient in Mandarin, she also worked at a Chinese valve-manufacturing firm in Beijing as a translator and has made appearances on a Chinese-language debate show. She holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Stanford University and an M.A. and Ph.D in Politics from Princeton University.

Areas of Expertise: China security and military policy, strategic studies and international relations in the Asia-Pacific, coercive diplomacy, military transparency, U.S. military posture in Asia, Chinese military modernization, patterns in Chinese foreign policy, and the effects of economic liberalism in Asia

  • PhD (2013) Princeton University, Politics
  • MA (2009) Princeton University, Politics
  • BA (2006) Stanford University, East Asian Studies with honors in Intl Security


“Risk and Resiliency in an Age of PLA Precision Strike,” with Ian Easton, forthcoming in NDU/RAND/CAPS edited volume on PLA Contingency Operations.

“A Global Expeditionary PLA: 2025-2030,” forthcoming in NBR/SSI edited volume on the PLA in 2025-2030.

“Why China will Become a Global Military Power,” forthcoming in The National Interest, November/December 2014.  

“China’s Antiaccess-Area Denial (A2/AD) Capabilities: Is the U.S. Rebalancing Enough?” forthcoming in William H. Natter III (ed), American Strategy and Purpose: Reflections on Foreign Policy and National Security in an Era of Change, (Washington: CENSA, 2014). 

“Noninterference in Contemporary Chinese Foreign Policy: Fact or Fiction?” in Donovan Chau and Thomas Kane (eds), China and International Security: History, Strategy, and 21st Century Policy, vol. 2 (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2014): 95-114.

“The Problems with the Liberal Peace in Asia,” Survival 56, April/May 2014: 129-158.

“The Great Divide: Chinese and Indian Views on Intrawar Negotiations, 1959-1962,” The Journal of Defence Studies 6, No. 4, (October 2012): 71-108.

“Signaling and Military Provocation in Chinese National Security Strategy: A Closer Look at the Impeccable Incident of March 2009,” Journal for Strategic Studies 34, No. 2 (April 2011): 219-244.

Book Review of Aaron Friedberg, A Contest for Supremacy: China, America, and the Struggle for Mastery in Asia, in Strategic Studies Quarterly 5, No. 4 (Winter 2011): 147-149.

Assessing the Threat: The Chinese Military and Taiwan’s Security with (eds.) Michael D. Swaine, Andrew N.D. Yang and Evan S. Medeiros, (Washington: Carnegie Endowment, July 2007).


“China’s ADIZ: A Test of U.S. Resolve?” Brookings Institution Lawfare Blog, December 15, 2013.

“USAF Strategic Approach in the Asia-Pacific: Aspirations and Reality,” Banyan Analytics Brief, October 2, 2013.

“The Emerging Asia Power Web: The Rise of Bilateral Intra-Asian Security Ties,” with Patrick Cronin, Richard Fontaine, Zachary Hosford, Ely Ratner and Alexander Sullivan, Center for a New American Security (CNAS), June 2013.

“The Obama-Xi Summit: A New Era in Bilateral Relations?” NBR Commentary, June 12, 2013.

“New CMC Vice Chairmen Strong Advocates for Joint, Modern Chinese Military” with Michael S. Chase and Benjamin S. Purser, III. China Brief, November 16, 2012.

“China’s Air Force: Ready for Take Off? With Michael S. Chase, The Diplomat, November 6, 2012.

“In Search of ‘Dexter’: Why You Can’t Buy Pirated DVDs in China Anymore,” The Atlantic Monthly,     October 26, 2012.

“The Sansha Garrison: China’s Deliberate Escalation in the South China Sea,” Flashpoints Bulletin #5, Center for a New American Security, September 2012.

“Air Power Trends in Northeast Asia: Implications for Japan and the U.S. Japan Alliance,” with Mark Stokes, Project 2049 report, Aug 2011.

“Democracy Promotion: Not the Best Way to Secure U.S. Interests,” CSIS, August 2008.