Niel K Kaneshiro joined the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in July 2023 as a civilian faculty member, contributing extensive experience in intelligence, law enforcement, and counterterrorism.
His federal government career began in 2003 with the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in Washington, D.C., where he provided foreign intelligence and terrorist threat assessments to support priority U.S. Navy acquisitions and technology development programs. In 2007, Mr. Kaneshiro transferred to the NCIS Hawaii Field Office, where his responsibilities included safeguarding national security, countering malign influence, and supporting felony criminal investigations across the Pacific region, covering Department of the Navy interests in Hawaii, Guam, CNMI, Palau, FSM, and the Marshall Islands. He was a member of a highly successful joint inter-agency team that received awards in 2010, 2013, and 2014 from the National Counterintelligence Executive for counterespionage operations and investigations, which led to successful federal prosecutions.
From 2013 to 2016, he served as an intelligence analyst with the U.S. Army 902nd Military Intelligence Group. During this period, he focused on driving counterintelligence and counterterrorism operations across the Pacific region, including Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, Japan, Korea, Oceania, and Southeast Asia.
In 2016, Mr. Kaneshiro completed his journey across the military departments with his transfer to the Department of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI) 6th Field Investigations Region. There, he was focused on providing critical counterintelligence, terrorism, and transnational crime threat analysis for OSI units stationed in both Japan and Korea. This assignment afforded opportunities to engage directly with allied government partners such as the Japan National Police Agency, Japan Public Security Intelligence Agency, and the Japan Self-Defense Force Intelligence Security Command. Mr. Kaneshiro was critical in developing OSI’s initiatives for law enforcement engagements and exchanges in Oceania with regional law enforcement and regulatory agencies during this assignment.
Rejoining NCIS in 2019, Mr. Kaneshiro played a pivotal role in counterintelligence operations through his focused technology protection program. In 2021, he returned to Region 6 and established the position of Senior Intelligence Analyst for OSI. In this capacity, he spearheaded a team of senior analysts delivering crucial analysis supporting criminal investigations, counterintelligence operations, and law enforcement liaison activities targeting terrorist, malign influence, and transnational criminal threats across the Indo-Pacific region.
Mr. Kaneshiro holds a bachelor’s degree in government and politics from the University of Maryland College Park and a Master’s in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College.