Assessing the Benefits and Costs of the U.S. Military Presence in Japan and South Korea


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When: Mar 23 2021 - 12:00pm until Mar 23 2021 - 1:30pm
Where: Zoom Webinar

The East-West Center in Washington invites you to the
Indo-Pacific Foreign Policy and Defense Series:

 Assessing the Benefits and Costs of the US Military Presence in Japan and South Korea


Ms. Diana Maurer
Director, Defense Capabilities and Management Team,
US Government Accountability Office

Mr. Jason Bair
Director, International Affairs and Trade Team,
US Government Accountability Office

Mr. Jonathan Adams
Analyst, Defense Capabilities and Management Team,
US Government Accountability Office

Ms. Jodie Sandel
Assistant Director, Military Structure and Operations Portfolio,
Defense Capabilities and Management Team,
US Government Accountability Office

Mr. Matt Kienzle
Senior Analyst, Defense Capabilities and Management Team,
US Government Accountability Office

Mr. Brian Hackney
GAO Detailee, Office of Insular Affairs and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations,
US House Committee on Natural Resources,
United States House of Representatives 

Dr.  Satu P. Limaye (Moderator)
Vice President, East-West Center &
Director, East-West Center in Washington

Centering on the findings of their latest report, Burden Sharing: Benefits and Costs Associated with the U.S. Military Presence in Japan and South Korea, expertsGovernment Accountability Office logo from the Government Accountability Office gave an overview of the historical context for the current US military presence in Japan and South Korea and highlight current US government and expert views on the benefits of these bases to US national security, as well as provide some detailed data on the costs of the US presence.


Diana Maurer is a Director in the US Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) Defense Capabilities and Management team, where she currently leads GAO’s work overseeing defense sustainment and readiness issues.  Her recent work includes reviews of F-35 sustainment, conditions and workforce at military depots, and the mission capability of military aviation. She has testified more than two dozen times before Congressional committees on a variety of issues including the F-35, Navy ship maintenance, federal prisons, national drug control policy, the FBI’s use of facial recognition technology, and several DHS management issues. Ms. Maurer was a Director in GAO’s Homeland Security and Justice team from 2009-2017, where she led GAO’s oversight of the federal prison system; the Secret Service, FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies; DOJ grant programs; the federal courts system; and DHS’s efforts to build a unified department. She worked from 2008-2009 as an Acting Director in GAO’s Natural Resource and Environment team, where she led work assessing US global nuclear detection programs. From 1993-2007, Ms. Maurer worked in GAO’s International Affairs and Trade team, where she led reviews of a variety of international security issues including proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and US assistance to the former Soviet Union. Ms. Maurer began her GAO career in 1990 in GAO’s Detroit Regional Office. Ms. Maurer has an M.S. in national resource strategy from the National Defense University where she was recognized as a Distinguished Graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.  Ms. Maurer also has an M.P.P in international public policy from the University of Michigan and a B.A. in international relations from Michigan State University.

Jason Bair is a Director in GAO’s International Affairs and Trade team.  He leads GAO’s work overseeing foreign affairs agencies including the Department of State and USAID.  Key topics of that oversight include budget issues, diplomatic security, embassy construction, Foreign Service staffing, consular affairs and public diplomacy.  He joined GAO in 2000 and in recent years has conducted audit work in countries including China, Pakistan, Argentina, the United Arab Emirates, and Kenya to meet with US and foreign diplomats as well as nongovernmental and international organizations. His work has resulted in numerous improvements in the efficiency and sustainability of US foreign assistance programs and has helped realize billions of dollars in financial savings.  He received a bachelor’s degree from American University in Communications, Law, Economics, and Government and holds a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Texas at Austin.   

Jonathan Adams is an analyst in the Defense Capabilities and Management (DCM) team of the US Government Accountability Office (GAO). He has been with GAO since 2018 and worked in GAO’s health care and education policy teams before joining DCM in 2020. His recent work has examined the US military presence in Japan and South Korea as well as the Army’s efforts to prevent and respond to sexual harassment and assault. Jonathan completed his undergraduate degrees in political science and sociology at Utah State University in 2010 and a master’s degree in Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin in 2017. Prior to GAO, he worked at the Federal Election Commission as a campaign finance analyst. He works in GAO’s headquarters in Washington, DC, but hails from Salt Lake City, Utah.

Jodie Sandel is an Assistant Director in GAO’s Defense Capabilities and Management team, Military Structure and Operations portfolio. Her work has spanned a range of issues since she began at GAO in 2009, including depot maintenance, base realignment and closure, Marine Corps Asia-Pacific realignment, arctic capabilities, and Africa Command’s interagency collaboration. As a result of her work, Jodie’s reports have proposed over 80 cost and performance efficiency recommendations to the Department of Defense, resulting in approximately $1 billion in savings and numerous management and performance improvements. Prior to joining GAO, Jodie was a senior consultant with IBM Global Business Services, where among other assignments she helped prepare Naval Sea Systems Command for its first financial audit and developed and managed the waste, fraud, and abuse mitigation plan for the National Telecommunications and Information Agency's $1.5 billion transition from analog to digital television signals. Jodie is a Certified Government Financial Manager, a Certified DOD Logistics Auditor, and holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Duke University and a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree from Georgetown University.

Matt Kienzle is a senior analyst in the Defense Capabilities and Management (DCM) team at the US Government Accountability Office (GAO). He began his career at GAO in 2017 in GAO’s Learning Center working with the Leadership and Executive Development team, and began work in DCM in 2019. His work includes examining the proposed consolidation of DOD commissaries and exchanges and identifying benefits and costs for the United States’ military presence in Japan and South Korea. Matt completed his undergraduate degree in history at Penn State University in 2010, Master’s degree in Teaching from Rowan University in 2012, and Master’s degrees in Public Administration and International Relations from Syracuse University in 2017. Prior to graduate school, he taught high school social studies and community college reading and writing in Southern New Jersey. He currently resides in Alexandria, VA with his wife and daughter.

Brian Hackney is a currently GAO Detailee to the House Natural Resources Committee. He works for the Office of Insular Affairs and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Brian conducts oversight of the military’s realignment in Guam, economic assistance to the compact nations, and Puerto Rican statehood and public debt. He also conducts investigations on the climate crisis. Brian has been with GAO’s International Affairs and Trade team for over 12 years, conducting reviews on military posture in Japan and South Korea, rule of law assistance, training and equipping moderate Syrian opposition, security assistance to Yemen, Iranian activities in the Western Hemisphere, and refugee admissions. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland and a Master of Public Policy from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Originally from Atlanta, he now lives on Capitol Hill with his husband.

Dr. Satu P. Limaye is Vice President of the East-West Center and the Director of the East-West Center in Washington where he created and now directs the Asia Matters for America initiative and is the founding editor of the Asia Pacific Bulletin. He is also a Senior Advisor at CNA Corp (Center for Naval Analyses) and Senior Fellow on Asia History and Policy at the Foreign Policy Institute at Paul H. Nitze School of International Studies (SAIS). He is magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Georgetown University and received his doctorate from Oxford University (Magdalen College) where he was a George C. Marshall Scholar. Recent publications include: “America’s ‘Pacific Principle’ in an Indivisible Pacific Islands Region,” (Asia-Pacific Bulletin); “Despite Stumbles, America’s Engagement with Southeast Runs Deep,” (Global Asia); Raging Waters: China, India, Bangladesh, and Brahmaputra Water Politics (Marine Corps University Press); and Russia’s Peripheral Relevance to US-Indo Pacific Relations (Center for the National Interest).

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Sarah Wang
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