Dan "Fig" Leaf is a distinguished security consultant and retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General with a wealth of experience in the realms of national security, international relations, and peacebuilding. With a career spanning over 33 years in the military, Fig has served in various leadership positions and continues to make substantial contributions in the field.
Fig currently serves as the Managing Director of Phase Minus 1, LLC, where his team provides expertise in peacebuilding, conflict resolution, sustainable development, national security, security cooperation, and defense technology. His consultancy plays a pivotal role in offering objective insights and alternative solutions to complex security challenges, drawing from a vast wellspring of experience.
One of his notable roles was as the Director of the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (DKI APCSS) from 2012 to 2016. During his tenure, he fostered defense engagement with emerging democracies and strengthened strategic partnerships with countries such as Burma, Vietnam, Laos, Nepal, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines. His contributions to these nations' security capabilities and regional cooperation were commendable.
Before his leadership at DKI APCSS, Fig served as the Deputy Commander of U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) and Vice Commander of Air Force Space Command. He held positions at various levels, from squadron and group commands to Air Force Director of Operational Requirements, showcasing his expertise in defense technology and strategy.
Fig's Indo-Asia-Pacific experience is extensive, having spent time in countries like Korea and Japan. As a retired military professional, he holds a record of more than 3,600 flight hours, including combat missions in F-15 and F-16 aircraft.
His contributions have earned him numerous accolades, including the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service, Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and the Air Medal. Moreover, he was the proud recipient of the Oslo Forum 2017 Peacewriter Prize, an award recognizing his innovative responses to peacemaking challenges.
Fig has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor and the Leadership Council of the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution. His multifaceted career and extensive experience make him a notable figure in the realms of national security, international relations, and peacebuilding.
The Oslo Forum Peacewriter Prize, awarded by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), is a writing competition seeking bold and innovative responses to the world’s peacemaking challenges.
The Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service is the second highest award presented by the Secretary of Defense to non-career Federal employees, private citizens, and foreign nationals for contributions, assistance, or support to Department of Defense functions
The Defense Distinguished Service Medal is the United States Department of Defense's highest non-combat related military award and it is the highest joint service decoration. It is presented to United States Armed Forces service members for exceptionally distinguished performance of duty contributing to the national security or defense of the United States.
The Legion of Merit is awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States without degree for exceptionally outstanding conduct in the performance of meritorious service to the United States.
The Bronze Star Medal is a United States Armed Forces decoration awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces for either heroic achievement, heroic service, meritorious achievement, or meritorious service in a combat zone.
The Air Medal is a military decoration of the United States Armed Forces, awarded to anyone who distinguishes himself by meritorious achievement while serving with the Armed Forces in aerial flight.
As the Honorary Consul of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in the United States of America, Dan Leaf holds a distinct honor as the first honorary consul appointed by Vietnam within the U.S.
His role exemplifies a dedicated commitment to strengthening the bonds between the two nations. With a particular focus on fostering positive relations in the realms of peace, diplomacy, business, and culture, Dan endeavors to bridge the gap and promote cooperation, ultimately contributing to a more harmonious and prosperous partnership between Vietnam and the United States. His appointment as Honorary Consul underscores the importance of his role in advancing mutual understanding and collaboration.
Dan Leaf's dedication to fostering peace on the Korean Peninsula is underscored by his profound expertise in the region's complex dynamics.
His commitment to this cause is exemplified through his award-winning essay, "An urgently practical approach to the Korean Peninsula," which secured the prestigious 2017 Peacewriter Prize at the Oslo Forum. Dan Leaf's engagement with this issue extends beyond his celebrated essay, as he has authored numerous articles that delve deep into the multifaceted challenges facing the peninsula. With his extensive knowledge and thoughtful analysis, Leaf offers innovative and practical solutions, challenging conventional approaches and advocating for a lasting peace in this high-stakes region. His unwavering commitment to diplomacy and conflict resolution on the Korean Peninsula positions him as a thought leader and catalyst for positive change in the pursuit of peace.
Army Command and General Staff College
University of Wisconsin-Madison
DKI APCSS, Honolulu, Hawai’i
The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Center for Creative Leadership, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York
Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
Dan Leaf, a native of Green Bay, Wisconsin, and one of four boys in his family, brings a unique blend of warmth and wisdom to his multifaceted life. Married to his wife Alexandra, a talented journalist, Dan cherishes his family and the bonds of companionship. Away from the boardroom and diplomatic circles, he's known to enthusiastically tackle the golf course, even if his skills might not match his passion.
Beyond the fairways, Dan Leaf is not just a decorated military veteran but a dedicated community servant, actively volunteering on the boards of various non-profit organizations. As an avid thought leader and author, he has penned numerous published articles exploring the intricacies of peace and global affairs, earning accolades such as the Oslo Forum Peacewriter Prize in 2017.
Dan's diverse interests reflect the depth of his character, from a love for muscle cars and motorbikes — perhaps a nod to his earlier career as a fighter pilot — to an insatiable curiosity about the world, manifested in his passion for travel, education, and the pursuit of global peace.
Now calling Honolulu home, Dan Leaf's journey continues, weaving together the threads of family, community service, and a steadfast commitment to creating a more harmonious world.
Empower your organization with Phase Minus 1's expert consulting services. We provide tailored solutions and strategic insights to help you navigate challenges, achieve goals, and drive success.
Unlock the power of impactful communication by booking Dan Leaf for your next event. Inspire and educate your audience with compelling talks that leave a lasting impression.
Discover thought-provoking articles by Dan Leaf in renowned publications, offering valuable insights on various subjects. Immerse yourself in a world of knowledge and fresh perspectives.
Dive into a world of knowledge and inspiration with "Figments" - an engaging video series by Dan Leaf. Explore captivating discussions, expert insights, and thought-provoking conversations on a wide range of topics.