James A. Schear

James A. Schear
Adjunct Senior Political Scientist
Off Site Office


B.A. in international studies & political science, American University; M.A. in international relations, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies; Ph.D. in international relations, London School of Economics and Political Science


James (Jim) A. Schear is an adjunct senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. Early in his career, he worked at the United Nations, supporting implementation of the 1991 Gulf War cease-fire resolutions and, shortly thereafter, as an advisor to UN missions in Cambodia and former Yugoslavia. Since then, Schear has twice served as a U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense, with duties spanning security cooperation, peacekeeping, stabilization missions, coalition support, atrocity prevention, and the provision of humanitarian relief and civic assistance to countries affected by natural disasters or complex emergencies. He was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service for his work during the 1999 Kosovo crisis. In the scholarly domain, Schear has held research appointments at Harvard, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Brookings Institution, the Stimson Center, the Carnegie Endowment and the Wilson Center. From 2001-2008, he served as Director of Research at National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies. Schear has edited or co-edited four books and authored numerous articles published in Foreign Affairs, International Security, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Washington Quarterly, Foreign Policy, and the Wilson Quarterly.  

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Global Fellow, The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Recent Projects

  • International Disaster Recoveries
  • Security Cooperation in Africa
  • Eastern Syria
  • Foreign Consequence Management
  • Yemen

Selected Publications

James A. Schear, "Forging Security Partnerships in Africa: What Lies Ahead? ," Wilson Quarterly, 2016

James A. Schear, "Strengthening Africa’s Security Governance: Are we Reaching Take-off Velocity? ," Africa Policy Brief, The Wilson Center, 2015

James A. Schear, "Haiti’s 2010 Earthquake & the US Response: Lessons for Asia-Pacific Disasters," Liaison, 2016

James A. Schear, "Washington’s Weak-State Agenda: The Road Taken," Foreign Affairs, 2014

James A. Schear "Orchestrating Complex Contingency Operations: A Forever Bumpy Ride," in The RAND Corporation, Challenges in U.S. National Security Policy: A Festschrift Honoring Edward L. (Ted) Warner, RAND Corporation (CP-765-RAS), 2014

James A. Schear and William Durch, "Boots on the Ground: Should NATO Troops Help Enforce an Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement? ," Foreign Policy.com, 2014

James A. Schear, et al. "Fragile States and Ungoverned Spaces: A Squeeze Play on Sovereignty?" in Patrick Cronin, ed., America’s Security Role in a Changing World , NDU Press, 2009

Stephen J. Flanagan and James A. Schear, eds, Strategic Challenges: America’s Global Security Agenda, Potomac Books, 2008