About the Expert
Captain Robert C. Francis Jr. of the U.S. Navy commanded the navy destroyer USS Lassen, making multiple patrols to the East and South China Seas. He has also served in multiple aircraft carriers, guided missile frigates conducting counternarcotics, counter-piracy, and freedom of navigation operations, and supported multiple Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom missions. His staff assignments include military assistant to the assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs and the assistant readiness officer on the Commander Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet staff. Francis earned a BA in physics from the University of San Diego, an MBA from National University, and an MS in engineering management from Old Dominion University.