Naoko Aoki is an associate political scientist at the RAND Corporation and a research associate at the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM). She specializes in East Asian political and security issues. Her research has examined topics such as the North Korean nuclear problem, American alliances in Asia, and cooperation over emerging technologies in the Indo-Pacific region. Previously, Aoki was a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security’s Asia Security Initiative. She also worked as a Nuclear Security Fellow in the US House of Representatives and was a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow and an adjunct political scientist at the RAND Corporation. She was formerly with Kyodo News, Japan’s largest news agency, reporting on the Japanese government from Tokyo before serving as a Beijing correspondent. She has visited North Korea 18 times on reporting trips. She holds a PhD in international security policy from the University of Maryland, College Park and an MA in international relations and international economics from The Johns Hopkins University, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).