David R. Stilwell

Adjunct Senior Fellow, Research Program
stilweld [at] eastwestcenter.org
Area of Expertise: 

Political-military issues in the Asia-Pacific region with a special focus on China-US relations especially as they relate to US security alliances. 

David R. Stilwell  is an Adjunct Senior Fellow with EWC’s Research Program and a  consultant in Asia Pacific political and military affairs. He retired from the U.S. Air Force at the rank of Brigadier General in 2015.  Before retiring, he served as Deputy Director for Politico-Military Affairs for Asia, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. where he was  responsible for regional planning and policy, and for the implementation of the national security strategy, supporting the commanders of U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Central Command. Additionally, he provided politico-military advice to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of Defense. Prior to that he served as Defense Attache to the People’s Republic of China (2011-13). From 2008-2010, he served as Commander of the 35th Fighter Wing, Misawa Air Base, Japan, where he enacted national strategy in the region as an F-16 pilot and operational commander.   

General Stilwell entered the Air Force in 1980 as a Korean linguist. After a tour of duty in Korea, he attended the U.S. Air Force Academy, graduating in 1987 with a degree in Asian history. He then attended the University of Hawaii as an East-West Center participant, earning a Master's degree in Asian Studies and Chinese language in 1988.  He is proficient in Chinese and Korean and has limited capability in Japanese.