Senior Research Fellow, Asia-Pacific Programme
John Nilsson-Wright

Contact information

+44 (0)7590 194 220 / +33 (0)6 47 83 46 79 (mobile, France)


John Nilsson-Wright is senior research fellow for northeast Asia with the Asia-Pacific Programme at Chatham House, senior university lecturer in Japanese Politics and International Relations at Cambridge University and an official fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge.

He was head of the Chatham House Asia Programme from March 2014 until October 2016.

He has a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) from Christ Church, Oxford; an MA in International Relations and East Asian Studies from SAIS, Johns Hopkins; and a DPhil in International Relations from St Antony’s, Oxford.

He comments regularly for the global media on the international relations of East Asia, with particular reference to Japan and the Korean peninsula.

He has been a visiting fellow at Tohoku University, Yonsei University and Seoul National University, a member of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Agenda Council (GAC) on Korea and is a director of the UK-Japan 21st Century Group.

He has testified on East Asian affairs to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, is a member of the editorial board of Global Asia and is a founding member of the European Japan Advanced Research Network (EJARN).

Areas of expertise

  • Northeast Asian Security, defence policy and nuclear weapons
  • North Korean foreign policy and domestic politics
  • South Korean foreign policy and domestic politics
  • Japanese politics, foreign policy and regional relations

Past experience

2016 -Senior Research Fellow, Asia-Pacific Programme, Chatham House
2014-16Head, Asia Programme, Chatham House
1997 -Fuji Bank University Senior Lecturer in Modern Japanese Studies, East Asia Institute, University of Cambridge
1997 - 1996Lecturer in Modern Japanese Studies, East Asia Institute, University of Cambridge