Albert S. Willner, Ph.D.
Principal Research Scientist


Albert Willner is a principal research scientist, CNA China Studies Division, analyzing Asia-Pacific security issues of interest to the U.S. government. He serves concurrently as an adjunct associate professor at Georgetown University.

His expertise and recent research has focused on Chinese security policy, the Asia-Pacific maritime domain, and U.S.-China defense relations. Prior to joining CNA, Willner, a retired U.S. Army colonel, served from 2005-2007 as the U.S. Defense Attaché equivalent in Taiwan representing U.S. Department of Defense interests. As an U.S. Army aviator and China foreign area officer, he served in multiple aviation command and staff positions and as an Asia-Pacific regional strategic plans officer and analyst. He also served on the faculty of the Department of Social Sciences at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he taught Chinese politics and government, American government, and international relations.

Willner is a graduate of the Chinese People's Liberation Army National Defense University's International Symposium Course in Beijing and the British Ministry of Defense Chinese Language School in Hong Kong, where he studied Mandarin Chinese. He holds a B.A. in Russian Studies and Political Science from James Madison University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia.