Aaron Connelly was Director of the Lowy Institute’s Southeast Asia Project until 2018. He set the Institute’s research agenda on the region by commissioning analyses and organising programs of events and visiting fellows. His own research focuses on the international relations of Southeast Asia, particularly the politics and foreign policy of Indonesia, and politics and conflict in Myanmar.
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 him in a variety of outside initiatives, including those regarding the US role in East Asia.
Previously, Aaron worked at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, as 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.
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.
Aaron's position is supported by the Lowy Institute’s Engaging Asia Project which was established with the financial support of the Australian Government.