Christopher E. Van Avery
Cmdr., U.S. Navy
Area of Expertise: Maritime Security & Development
Commander Chris van Avery currently serves as a Military Professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu, Hawaii. He holds a B.S. in Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.A. in National Security Studies (honors) from American Military University. He is also a graduate of the Naval War College’s Command and Staff Course and was selected in 2005 as an alternate for the Navy’s Federal Executive Fellows program.
Commander van Avery’s operational experience includes participating in combat operations in both Iraq wars, supporting the opening of operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo and enforcing the no-fly zone during operations in Bosnia. He has also participated in counter-piracy and counter-terrorism operations off the Horn of Africa, humanitarian aid efforts in Haiti, and the enforcement of UN maritime sanctions against Serbia and Iraq. In the field of maritime security cooperation, he has participated in exercises, exchanges and training with sailors and marines from Australia, the Bahamas, Bahrain, Canada, France, Japan, Jordan, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, Oman, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.
During his nineteen years as a Surface Warfare Officer, Commander van Avery served in operations, combat systems and engineering positions aboard a variety of ships-including an Aegis ballistic missile defense destroyer, a frigate, two amphibious assault ships and an aircraft carrier. He also filled action and watch officer positions on two major regional staffs. In addition to his warfare qualification, he is qualified as an Engineering Officer of the Watch, a Tactical Action Officer and for Surface Command Afloat. In June 2009 he was redesignated as a Foreign Area Officer specializing in the Asia-Pacific region.
A compulsive writer and former contributor to Navy Times, Commander van Avery authored several feature articles on security issues, policy and military doctrine, including “Close the Open Door to War”, (Proceedings, Jan. 2005), “12 New Principles of Warfare” (Armed Forces Journal, Jul. 2007), and “Reshaping Nuclear Deterrence For A New Age”, (USNI Weblog, Jul. 27, 2009). He also participated in the development of the U.S. Navy’s current security strategy, “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower”, and most recently developed sub-regional maritime security cooperation strategies for Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
His personal decorations include the Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal with the Combat Distinguishing Device and the Combat Action Ribbon, and he has had the honor to serve with crews that have won two Navy Unit Commendations, two Meritorious Unit Citations, and four Battle Effectiveness Awards.