Greg Chaffin is a Senior Associate with The Asia Group, where he focuses on the firm’s defense portfolio. Drawing on a decade of experience in government and think tanks, Greg provides defense clients with strategic analysis and political insights across the Indo-Pacific region to advance business development opportunities, government engagement strategies, and advocacy campaigns.
Prior to joining The Asia Group, Greg spent four years at the Department of Defense in various roles in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy. Most recently, Greg served as the Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs. In this capacity, he was the principal policy advisor to the Assistant Secretary on critical political and defense issues spanning 34 countries across the Indo-Pacific. He played a direct role in formulating, deciding, and implementing consequential defense policy decisions in the Indo-Pacific, as well as provided senior oversight on the development of whole-of-government strategies to advance U.S. interests across the region. He led congressional engagement related to the Indo-Pacific and directly supported three Secretaries of Defense in bilateral and multilateral engagements, including the ASEAN Defense Ministerial Meeting Plus and the Shangri-La Dialogue.
While at the Pentagon, Greg also served as the Senior Advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia and as Country Director for Korea. In this capacity, he directed initiatives to strengthen the U.S.-Korea-Japan trilateral defense partnership, including efforts to secure a Korea-Japan General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) and advance ballistic missile defense cooperation. He also oversaw the development and implementation of policy to bolster the U.S.-Korea Alliance, including leading negotiations related to the transition of wartime operational control (OPCON). He managed multiple crises involving North Korea, providing advice and support to senior U.S. Government officials. He also created rapid U.S.-Korea and U.S.-Korea-Japan crisis coordination mechanisms that remain in use.
Previously, Greg worked at a number of Washington, D.C.-based think tanks, most recently The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR). As the Project Director for the Political and Security Affairs Team, he led multiple research initiatives, including on strengthening U.S. alliances and partnerships, regional nuclear dynamics and strategic stability, China’s military modernization programs, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. He also managed the Strategic Asia Program, NBR’s signature research initiative, which publishes an annual volume offering an authoritative assessment of Asia’s evolving strategic environment.
Greg holds a Master of Arts in Security Studies from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Rochester.