Director, Southeast Asia Program
Ben Bland is the director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Lowy Institute.
He sets the Institute’s research agenda for this important region, commissioning analysis papers and organising programs of events and visiting fellows.
Ben’s personal research interests span politics, economics and diplomacy across Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, as well as China’s growing role in the region.
Before joining the Lowy Institute, Ben was an award-winning foreign correspondent for the Financial Times, with postings in Hanoi, Hong Kong and Jakarta and experience reporting across China and Southeast Asia over the previous decade.
His first book – Generation HK: Seeking Identity in China’s Shadow – was published in 2017, examining the growing tensions between Hong Kong and Beijing. It was described as a “David versus Goliath tale” by the Sydney Morning Herald and commended by the Times Literary Supplement for its “lively prose” and “illuminating” comparisons.
Ben regularly appears on broadcast media to comment on Asian politics and has given lectures and chaired panel discussions across Asia and Europe.
He has an MA in Southeast Asian Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and an undergraduate degree in History from the University of Cambridge.
Ben’s position is supported by the Lowy Institute’s Engaging Asia Project, which was established with the financial support of the Australian Government.