UOG MARC and Guam-based think tank form a partnership

UOG MARC and Guam-based think tank form a partnership

UOG MARC and Guam-based think tank form a partnership

Photo of Robert Underwood
Robert Underwood
Photo of Monique Storie
Monique Storie
Photo of Carlos Madrid
Carlos Madrid


The Richard Flores Taitano Micronesian Area Research Center (MARC) at the University of Guam has partnered with a new Guam-based think tank whose advisory group includes former presidents of island nations, a former representative to the U.S. Congress, and a Pacific Islands Studies professor.

MARC and the Pacific Center for Island Security (PCIS) formed the partnership to promote independent research on geopolitical developments in the Pacific, with a focus on the Micronesia region.

The MARC-PCIS partnership also aims to promote the UOG as a preferred choice for advancing geopolitical knowledge in the region.

‘From an island perspective’ 

UOG President Emeritus Robert Underwood, who served as Guam’s delegate in the U.S. Congress, is the chairman of PCIS who hopes the partnership with the University will foster discussions centered on how Guam and the rest of the Micronesia region view geopolitical events that affect the islands.

“In the ongoing discussion about the military strategic competition between China and the U.S., there are no shortages of think tanks and advocates about the nature of this competition on a global level. There is no think tank that studies the topic from an island perspective. PCIS aims to fill that gap,” Underwood said.

“This collaboration can potentially expand knowledge about geopolitical issues in Guahan and the region beyond the press releases of officials. Questions need to be asked and research conducted from a regional point of view. This cooperation will make that possible,” according to Underwood.

Open dialogue, balanced analysis

Monique C. Storie, Dean of University Libraries at UOG, described some of the potential benefits of the partnership.

"By partnering with the PCIS, the University of Guam further strengthens its role within the community by serving as a platform for open dialogue and balanced analysis. We also envision that this partnership will offer our students some unique opportunities to be involved in research that will not only impact but also help our Pacific region,” Dr. Storie said.

Dr. Carlos Madrid, MARC Director of Research, added: “Geopolitical issues, particularly aspects related to political status, are among the research priorities for the Micronesian Area Research Center. This partnership with PCIS covers a gap in that field and expands the scope of our active disciplines.”

The PCIS Advisory Council members are:   

  • Former President Hilda Heine, Republic of the Marshall Islands
  • Former President Emmanuel Mori, Federated States of Micronesia
  • Former President Thomas Remengesau Jr., Republic of Palau
  • Former President Anote Tong, Republic of Kiribati
  • Former Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Gov. Juan N. Babauta, who also served as the CNMI resident representative to the U.S. Congress
  • Tarcisius Kabutaulaka, Professor, Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Council

About MARC

The University of Guam’s Richard Flores Taitano Micronesian Area Research Center (MARC) is the primary repository of Micronesian history, knowledge, and cultural preservation in the region. Its full-time research faculty covers different fields ranging from anthropology, history, and archaeology. MARC has a research library that contains over 40,000 volumes of resource materials on Guam and Micronesia, and 800 unpublished theses and dissertations. https://www.uog.edu/marc

About PCIS

PCIS is a Guam-based foundation (501c3), whose mission is to provide independent analysis of the foreign policy and military-strategic activities between and among the actors in the emerging Great Power Competition in the Asia-Pacific region. For more information see www.pacificcenterforislandsecurity.com