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Captain James E. Fanell


former Director of Intelligence and Information Operations for the U.S. Pacific Fleet

Captain James E. Fanell retired from the U.S. Navy in January 2015 concluding a nearly 30 year career as a naval intelligence officer specialising in Indo-Asia Pacific security affairs, with an emphasis on the Chinese navy and its operations. His most recent assignment was as the Director of Intelligence and Information Operations for the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Throughout his career he served in a variety of afloat and ashore assignments across the Pacific region, highlighted by tours as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence for the U.S. Seventh Fleet aboard the USS Blue Ridge, the Office of Naval Intelligence China Senior Intelligence Officer, and as the Senior Intelligence Officer for the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier strike group, then forward deployed to Japan.  

He was a National Security Affairs Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University where he studied Chinese national political and security affairs. Mr. Fanell holds a B.A. in History and Political Science from San Diego State University, a M.A. in History from the University of Hawaii, and was a distinguished graduate of the Air Command and Staff College where he received a M.A. in Military Science.  

Jim Fanell is also a public speaker most notably at the AFCEA West / U.S. Naval Institute’s panels on China in 2013 and 2014.  He also has published works in the Naval Intelligence Professionals NIP Quarterly, U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings and the Hoover Digest. He is married to Cornelia Fanell and currently resides in Switzerland.