Christopher Sharman

Director China Maritime Studies Institute
Capt., U.S. Navy, Retired
Christopher Sharman faculty photo


Christopher Sharman serves as the Director of the China Maritime Studies Institute. He comes to the War College following conclusion of a 30-year active-duty Navy Intelligence Officer career. His Navy assignments included multiple sea tours based in Japan with the Forward Deployed Naval Forces as well as deployments to the Arabian Gulf and Baghdad in support of major combat operations in Iraq. He served as a diplomat posted to the U.S. Embassy as the Navy Attaché in both Vietnam and in China and as a National Security Affairs Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He has received language training through the Defense Language Institute in Japanese, Chinese, and Vietnamese.

Areas of Expertise

  • China
  • Intel
  • National Security
  • South China Sea
  • Southeast Asia
  • Taiwan

Professional Highlights


Senior Strategist for the National Intelligence Manager for East Asia

Synchronized efforts of the Intelligence Community in response to the Speaker of the House visit to Taiwan (2022) and for the Taiwan President's transit of the United States (2023).

Vietnam War Aircraft Carrier Visit

Coordinated all aspects of the first post Vietnam War aircraft carrier visit to Vietnam in 2018.

Navy Attaché in Vietnam

Diplomatic assignments as the Navy attaché in Vietnam (2016-2019).

Navy Attaché in China

Diplomatic assignments as the Navy attaché in China (2009-2012).

China Advisor to PACOM Commander

China advisor to PACOM Commander during 2001 EP-3 crisis.


Embarked aboard the USS INDEPENDENCE and stationed off the coast of Taiwan during the 1996 China-Taiwan crisis.


M.S., National War College, 2015, National Strategic Studies

M.A., Naval Postgraduate School, 1999, National Security Affairs

National Security Affairs Fellow, Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, 2019-2020

Diploma from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (2006)

Graduate of the Defense Language Institute for Japanese (2000), Mandarin Chinese (2008), and Vietnamese (2016).

Research Contributions and Publications

China Moves Out: Stepping Stones Toward A New Maritime Strategy
Institute of National Strategic Studies, April 2015

Awards and Decorations

Defense Superior Service Medal

Defense Meritorious Service Medal
4 Medals

Meritorious Service Medal
2 Medals

Joint Service Commendation Medal
2 Medals

Joint Service Achievement Medal
2 Medals

Navy Achievement Medal
2 Medals

Numerous campaign and service medals and ribbons.

Other Honors

Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) Exceptional Service Medal

Distinguished Graduate from the National War College

National Defense University President’s Award for Excellence in Writing
Recipient, 2015

2016 and 2021 Navy League: “Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Literary Achievement”

The Department of Defense 2010-2011 Attaché of the Year

Admiral Edwin T. Layton Award for superior leadership and mentorship

Herman Dworkin Award for Maritime Analytic Excellence

External Memberships and Associations

Naval Intelligence Professionals (NIP)

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