Trisha Shetty

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs

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Term length  No fixed term
Inaugural holder  James J. Shinn
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs
Appointer  The President with Senate advice and consent
Deputy  Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense

The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, or ASD (APSA), is the principal advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (USD(P)) and the Secretary of Defense on international security strategy and policy on issues of DoD interest that relate to the governments and defense establishments of the nations and international organizations within the Asia-Pacific region. Like the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, the ASD (APSA) is responsible for oversight of security cooperation programs and foreign military sales programs within the regions under its supervision. The ASD (APSA) also works closely with the United States Pacific Command, United States Central Command, and the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. Finally, the ASD (APSA) represents the USD(P) and the Secretary of Defense in interagency policy deliberations and international negotiations related to the Asia-Pacific region. Like all Assistant Secretaries of Defense, the ASD (APSA) is considered part of the Office of the Secretary of Defense.



This office was created in 2007. It is composed of at least six country/sub-regional desks, each manned by a Senior Country Director. Most desks are also supported by an Assistant Country Director or group of Country Directors. As of February 2011, the desks listed on the APSA website included:

  • Australia, New Zealand,and South Pacific Islands
  • Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam
  • China, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Taiwan
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Brunei, East Timor
  • However, this list must be incomplete, since the office also has oversight of programs in Central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as India and other Asian nations.

    Depending on their areas of coverage, the country/sub-regional desks report to three different Deputy Assistant Secretaries:

  • DASD East Asia
  • DASD South & Southeast Asia
  • DASD Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia.
  • DASDs are appointed by the Secretary of Defense. Some are appointed from civilian life, while others are career defense officials. Once at the DASD level, the latter are considered a part of the DoD Senior Executive Service.

    The ASD (APSA) is also supported by a Principal Deputy, or PDASD, who helps oversee the three DASDs and the office's country/sub-regional desks.

    Deputy Assistant Secretaries of Defense Reporting to the ASD (APSA)

    The list below details both the current DASD and previous DASD posts in this office.


    Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Wikipedia

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