Kristi Govella, PhD

Kristi Govella is Assistant Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Contact Information

Email:, Tel. (808) 956-9087


Educational Background

  • B.A., Political Science and Japanese, University of Washington, 2005
  • M.A., Political Science, University of California, Berkeley, 2007
  • Ph.D., Political Science, University of California, Berkeley, 2016


Dr. Kristi Govella specializes in comparative politics and international relations in the Asia-Pacific region, with a particular focus on Asian regionalism, Japanese politics, and the relationship between economics and security. She is currently writing a book examining how the early stages of trade liberalization shape the preferences and political strategies of multinational firms through a cross-sectoral analysis of the Japanese political economy. She is also engaged in a number of projects looking at defense capacity building, Asian regional institutional architecture, Japanese security reforms, Sino-Japanese relations, and Chinese infrastructure aid using a mix of qualitative and quantitative approaches.

Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Hawaii, Dr. Govella was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs (Program on US-Japan Relations) and an Associate Professor of Security Studies at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. She has also been a visiting research fellow at the University of Tokyo and Waseda University, in addition to holding positions at the Berkeley APEC Study Center, the US Department of State, and the US Environmental Protection Agency. She is an alumna of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program, the Pacific Forum Young Leaders Program, and the Nitobe Kokusai Juku.


  • ASAN 312 Contemporary Asian Civilizations
  • ASAN 462 Contested Issues in Contemporary Japan
  • ASAN 620 Conflict and Cooperation in Asia
  • ASAN 750 Research Seminar in Asian Studies

Selected Publications


 Articles and Book Chapters