- Association of Southeast Asian Nations
- Donald Trump
- foreign direct investment
- international trade
- South China Sea
- Trans-Pacific Partnership
- Belt and Road Initiative
- free trade
- Narendra Modi
- Shinzo Abe
- trade agreements
- Xi Jinping
- human rights
As director of The Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center, Walter Lohman oversees the think tank’s oldest research center. The Asian Studies Center, established in 1983, is home to research fellows and scholars who analyze the full range of U.S. policy in East and South Asia and develop recommendations to further American interests in freedom and security.
In addition to his management responsibilities, Lohman is a policy expert focused principally on Southeast Asia, but also broader Asia policy including relations with America’s allies in Japan, South Korea and Australia. He is also the leading voice at Heritage on the U.S.-Taiwan relationship, and is a close observer of China policy.
Lohman joined Heritage in 2006 as senior research fellow for Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and was promoted to director the following spring. He also is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, where he leads graduate seminars on American foreign policy interests in Southeast Asia and the role of Congress in Asia policy.
Lohman previously served for four years as senior vice president and executive director of the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council. There, he oversaw the regional trade association’s mission of building U.S. market share in Southeast Asia and led multiple delegations of Fortune 500 companies to the region. He participated in business and policy forums and regularly represented the council in interaction with high-level ASEAN officials. In the late 1990s, Lohman was the council’s senior country director representing American interests in Indonesia and Singapore.
Lohman also has critical experience on Capitol Hill as a Senate staff member. In 2002, he served as a senior professional Republican staffer advising then-Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., the ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, on issues affecting East Asia. From 1991 to 1996, Lohman was a policy aide to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., advising him on foreign policy, trade and defense issues.
Lohman holds a bachelor’s degree in humanities from Virginia Wesleyan College and a master’s degree in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia. Originally from Norfolk, he now resides in Falls Church, Va., with his wife and three sons.