LanguagesChinese Indonesian Spanish
Josh M. Cartin is a nonresident senior fellow at the Indo-Pacific Security Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. He recently concluded twenty years of federal government service, occupying senior policy positions domestically and overseas focused on advancing US interests in the Indo-Pacific region.
Cartin served in the National Security Council’s East Asia Directorate under two different presidential administrations, finishing as deputy senior director for Asia from 2017 to 2020. Cartin played a key role in drafting the US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific, coordinating the US government’s shift to a competitive China strategy and working with US allies and partners to improve economic competitiveness and resilience through concerted action on global investment and secure technology supply chains. Cartin was detailed to the Pentagon from 2021 to 2022, where he served as foreign policy advisor to the Joint Staff director for strategy, plans, and policy (J5), promoting political-military coordination in responding to the country’s major national-security challenges including the US and allied military retrograde from Afghanistan and the rollout of support for Ukraine in the wake of Russia’s full-scale invasion. From 2020 to 2021, Cartin was the first managing director for the Indo-Pacific at the US International Development Finance Corporation, where he put in place a team of investment professionals charged with catalyzing more private sector investment in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the Pacific Islands.
In his most recent overseas role, Cartin served as chief of the economic section at the American Institute in Taiwan from 2013 to 2016, strengthening the US-Taiwan economic and technology partnership through launching innovative programs such as the Global Cooperation & Training Framework and Digital Economy Forum, and improving the market environment for US exporters and investors through the US-Taiwan Trade and Investment Framework Agreement. From 2010 to 2013, Cartin was the founding officer and deputy representative at the United States Mission to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Jakarta, where he conceptualized and led the major multilateral component of the US Asia rebalance. Cartin served from 2016 to 2017 as special assistant to the undersecretary for state for political affairs with responsibility for the East Asia, economic, energy, and cyber portfolios. He previously served in foreign service positions at the US embassy in Beijing and the US embassy in Quito, and also served as a senior political officer in the Department of State’s Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs. His final State Department position was chief of staff at the Global Engagement Center, the US government’s integrated counter-disinformation and counter-propaganda effort.
Upon retirement from federal government service, Cartin joined the strategic intelligence and advisory firm TD International LLC as partner, with a focus on guiding clients through complex transactions and operational challenges in Asia and beyond. Cartin speaks Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and Indonesian with proficiency, and is an accomplished writer and public speaker, publishing an award-winning research paper on offensive cyberspace strategy in 2014. Cartin earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1994, and a Master of Strategic Studies at the United States Army War College in 2013. He is a proud native of Tucson, Arizona.