Aaron L. Connelly is a Research Fellow in the East Asia Program at the Lowy Institute for International Policy, where he focuses on Southeast Asia, and Indonesia in particular. His research interests include Indonesian politics and foreign policy, Australia-Indonesia relations, the geopolitics of Southeast Asia, and the US role in the region.
Prior to joining the Lowy Institute, Aaron worked at Albright Stonebridge Group, a commercial diplomacy consultancy headquartered in Washington. As a director at the firm, Aaron assisted companies and non-profits in understanding political risks to investments and operations in Southeast Asia. As special assistant to the chair of the firm, former US National Security Advisor Samuel R. Berger, Aaron collaborated closely with Mr. Berger on foreign policy matters, conducting research for and representing Mr. Berger in a variety of outside initiatives, including those regarding the US role in East Asia.
Previously, Aaron was a researcher in the Asia programs at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, a Fulbright scholar and visiting fellow at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Jakarta, and a consultant to US firms operating in Southeast Asia with BowerGroupAsia. In these capacities he wrote extensively about Southeast Asia, studied the inner workings of the Indonesian legislature, and assisted clients with political risk analysis and business strategy in Southeast Asia.
Aaron earned a master’s degree from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. He also studied philosophy, politics and economics at Pembroke College, Oxford. He is proficient in Indonesian and Spanish.
Aaron's position is supported by the Lowy Institute’s Engaging Asia Project which was established with the financial support of the Australian Government.