WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 30, 2023 – The Atlantic Council announced today the creation of the Indo-Pacific Security Initiative (IPSI), a new program focused on Indo-Pacific strategy, alliance, and security issues. The initiative, housed in the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, will be led by Markus Garlauskas, a former senior US intelligence official and current Atlantic Council nonresident senior fellow.  

IPSI replaces the Council’s previous Asia Security Initiative. The name reflects the program’s expanded ambition and matches the language US and allied officials use for the region. IPSI will work with US, allied, and partner governments and other key stakeholders to shape strategies and policies to mitigate the most important rising security challenges facing the region, including China’s growing threat to the international order and North Korea’s destabilizing nuclear weapons advancements. The program will also address opportunities for cooperation in the region, such as transforming regional security architectures, harnessing emerging technologies, and developing new mechanisms for deterrence and defense cooperation.  

Markus Garlauskas will lead the new program, bringing a wealth of experience in developing innovative analysis and actionable recommendations on top security issues in the Indo-Pacific for US and allied government officials. As a nonresident senior fellow, he has led studies, multinational strategic dialogues, and tabletop exercises on topics ranging from deterrence cooperation between East Asian and European allies to the risk of simultaneous conflicts with China and North Korea. Before joining the Council, he led the US intelligence community’s strategic analysis on Korea as the National Intelligence Officer for North Korea from July 2014 to June 2020, advising two different presidential administrations. 

“Markus brings a wealth of substantive expertise and leadership skills to the Indo-Pacific Security Initiative: deep knowledge of key regional security issues, strategic vision, a strong entrepreneurial spirit, innovative thought leadership, and a passion for mentorship,” said Fred Kempe, president and CEO of the Atlantic Council. “His role in IPSI will be vital to providing action-oriented recommendations at this inflection point in the region and beyond.” 

IPSI will build on the Atlantic Council’s strong relationships with longstanding allies and partners in the region, while it seeks to expand partnerships in South and Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. IPSI will also capitalize on the Council’s deep partnerships in Europe to bring together US allies in Europe and the Indo-Pacific to address shared security challenges in the region and globally. 

As National Intelligence Officer, Garlauskas provided direct analytic support to top policymakers during a tumultuous period, including traveling to Singapore and Hanoi for the unprecedented US-North Korea summits. He also served for twelve years in the region at the headquarters of United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, and US Forces Korea. There he led a binational team of US and South Korean intelligence analysts forecasting emerging threats, and later a multinational team of strategists crafting analysis and recommendations for top US and allied leaders. 

“It is my honor to welcome Markus Garlauskas as director of the Indo-Pacific Security Initiative at such a pivotal moment for the region,” said Matthew Kroenig, acting director of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. “He has already established a series of innovative and policy-relevant projects as a nonresident senior fellow, and I am confident that IPSI will rapidly expand its reach and impact under Markus’ leadership.”  

For media inquiries, please contact press@atlanticcouncil.org 

About the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security 

The Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security works to develop sustainable, nonpartisan strategies to address the most important security challenges facing the United States and the world. The Center honors General Brent Scowcroft’s legacy of service and embodies his ethos of nonpartisan commitment to the cause of security, support for US leadership in cooperation with allies and partners, and dedication to the mentorship of the next generation of leaders. As the United States enters a new era of strategic challenges in the Indo-Pacific and around the world, the Scowcroft Center is proud to play a central role in crafting effective and nonpartisan strategies and policies for the twenty-first century.