Dr. John R. Wood

Dr. John R. Wood

Dr. John Wood

Director, J9, Pacific Outreach, United States Pacific Command

Dr. John Wood is the Director, J9, Pacific Outreach at U.S. Pacific Command (HQ USPACOM) at Camp Smith, Hawaii. As the HQ USPACOM J9, Dr. Wood leads the Command’s Strategic Public-Private Partnership Outreach; Senior Leadership Engagement and outreach to non-traditional security entities such as academia, think tanks, NGOs and private sector; PACOM staff academic development and speaker series; USPACOM All-Hazards campaign to reduce the risks of natural disasters, build resilient communities through innovative and strategic partnerships, and plan, align, and synchronize PACOM’s humanitarian response; interagency alignment in Washington, D.C. and in PACOM by coordinating the embedded Liaison Officers; economic – security intelligence and analysis for the command; historical office to provide historical context to real-time operations and to create and catalog USPACOM commander histories; and Legislative Affairs outreach to U.S. Congress and Hawaii state government to accomplish USPACOM’s mission, strategy, and priorities.

Prior to his 2014 appointment to the Senior Executive Service, Dr. Wood was an active duty naval officer and fighter pilot, and brings 31 years of leadership and management to civilian service at USPACOM. Dr. Wood has lived in Germany, Italy, Bahrain, Japan, and Singapore, flown fighter aircraft off of aircraft carriers throughout the Middle East and Asia, and served in major staffs and Combatant Commands throughout the world in the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia. 

Dr. Wood was the Senior Defense Official, US Defense and Naval Attaché at the US Embassy in the Republic of Singapore from 2010-2014.  With a staff of 15 including six fully accredited attachés, Dr. Wood was the coordinating authority for all Defense activities in Singapore and the principal military advisor to the Ambassador.  In 2012 the Department of Defense awarded Dr. Wood’s Defense Attaché Office (DAO) in Singapore the top DAO globally.

Dr. Wood commanded Training Air Wing One from 2007-2009.  As Commodore, he led 800 civilian contractors, government civilians, and Navy, Marine, French and UK instructor pilots and student pilots in three subordinate squadrons in advanced strike training.  He was directly responsible for 85 aircraft and a $100M budget.  His Air Wing produced half of the Navy/Marine Corps strike fighter pilots.

From 2005-2007 Dr. Wood served as Director of Strategy, Assessments, and Analysis for the Commander of Naval Forces in Europe.  He managed a team of 20 personnel that advised, led and assessed a major staff move from London to Naples and commensurate 20 percent staff reduction, and helped develop and execute a completely new organizational structure. He created the strategy and assessment team for the Command’s partnerships in Africa, and developed an innovative open- source information and assessment process that tracked the efficacy of US military training teams in the Gulf of Guinea.

From 2004-2005, Dr. Wood was the Assistant Chief of Staff (N5) for Political-Military Affairs, Plans, Exercises, Strategy and Assessments to the Commander of Naval Forces Central Command/Commander Fifth Fleet in the Kingdom of Bahrain during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.  Dr. Wood led a team of 60 political-military experts, coalition officers, and analysts to develop objectives and lines of operation congruent with coalition and the Combatant Commander’s strategies, reinvigorated a dormant exercise program, led all mil-mil engagements throughout the Middle East, and developed short- and long-term strategic plans that extended into the post-war period. 

From 1983-2004 Dr. Wood’s assignments included: Commanding Officer, 33d Squadron; Plans and Fleet Warfare Officer (N32/N52), U. S. Seventh Fleet, Yokosuka Japan; Operations and Readiness Officer, Fighter Wing Atlantic; Plans Officer, US Central Command; Operations Officer, Fighter Squadron Eleven; Instructor, Fighter Squadron One Two Four; Graduate, Navy Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun); and F-14 Training Officer, Fighter Squadron One.  Throughout his career, Dr. Wood received numerous naval aviation honors including: Training Command “Pilot of the Year,” Carrier Air Wing Two “Tailhook Pilot of the Year,” and Carrier Air Wing Fourteen “Tailhook Pilot of the Year.”

Selected as the US Navy’s Moreau Scholar in 1998, Dr. Wood holds a Ph.D. in International Relations and Security Affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, where he graduated top in his class and was awarded the Robert Stewart Prize for leadership and academic excellence.  He holds Masters of Arts degrees from the University of San Diego and United States Naval War College in International Relations, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from the US Naval Academy.  He is a 2015 graduate of Harvard’s Senior Executive Course in National Security.  Throughout his career he has served as a guest lecturer at universities, think tanks, UN Conferences, and regional symposia in the U.S. and Asia.

In 1996, out of over one thousand national applicants, Dr. Wood was selected as 1 of 18 White House Fellows, serving as Special Assistant to the Secretary of State.  He continues to be an active White House Fellows Alumni Associate and sits on the San Francisco Regional Selection Panel. An avid supporter of the military’s role in diplomacy and international engagements, Dr. Wood helped found the US Navy’s Foreign Area Officer (FAO) community in 2005 and served on the first of many FAO selection and promotion boards. 

Dr. Wood’s personal decorations include Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit Medal (3), Meritorious Service Medals (4), Air Medal, Joint Commendation Medal, Navy and Air Force Achievement Medals, as well as various service medals, commendations and citations.