The Center for Strategic and International Studies has announced that Christopher K. Johnson, a former senior China analyst at the CIA, has joined the bipartisan nonprofit group as the Freeman chair in China studies.

“There is no doubt that the Asia-Pacific region is, and will continue to be, of critical strategic and economic importance to the United States,” John J. Hamre, CSIS president and chief executive, said in a statement. Johnson’s “knowledge of China’s internal dynamics will help CSIS continue to provide leading analysis of the U.S.-China relationship.” 

Johnson worked as a senior China analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency, where he provided analytic support to policymakers during the 1996 Taiwan Strait missile crisis, the 1999 accidental bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia, the downing of a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft on China’s Hainan Island in 2001 and the SARS epidemic in 2003.

Johnson served as an intelligence liaison to two secretaries of state and was awarded the U.S. Department of State’s Superior Honor Award in 2011 for outstanding support to the secretary and her senior staff.