Expertise: Asia-Pacific, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Japan, defense policy
Brian Harding is director for East and Southeast Asia policy for National Security and International Policy at American Progress. In this role, he manages a range of projects focused on U.S. policy in the Asia-Pacific.
From 2009 to 2013, he served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Policy) as country director for Asian and Pacific security affairs, where he managed defense relations with major U.S. partners in Southeast Asia and Oceania—including Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand—and advised senior Department of Defense leadership on Asia-Pacific regional strategy. In this position, Harding played an instrumental role in several high-profile defense policy initiatives, including agreements to station U.S. Marines in Darwin, Australia, and littoral combat ships in Singapore.
Prior to working at the Department of Defense, Harding was a research associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where he focused on Southeast Asia and Japan. In this role, he helped build the first Southeast Asia policy program in the Washington, D.C. think-tank community and managed several initiatives aimed at strengthening the U.S.-Japan alliance. In positions with Eurasia Group and Monitor 360, Harding has advised multinational corporations, financial institutions, and the U.S. government on political risk and leadership dynamics in Southeast Asia.
Harding holds an M.A. in Asian studies from the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University and a B.A. in history and Japanese studies from Middlebury College. He has studied at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, and Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan, and was a Fulbright scholar in Indonesia.