Ernest Z. Bower, Former President of the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, Joins CSIS as Senior Adviser & Director of Southeast Asia
November 4, 2009
WASHINGTON, November 4, 2009 – The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) is pleased to announce that Ernest Z. Bower, regional expert and former President of the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, has joined CSIS as a Senior Adviser and Director of the CSIS Southeast Asia Program.
“Ernie Bower is one of the world’s top Southeast Asia experts,” said CSIS President and CEO John Hamre. “We brought Ernie to the Center to develop a high level and sustained focus on Southeast Asia alongside of our established programs in China, Japan and Korea studies.”
“I am excited about the opportunity to bring the dialogue on ASEAN to a new level in Washington, D.C.,” said Bower. “CSIS is the premier foreign policy organization in this city, and it is the perfect venue to build a dynamic Southeast Asia program,” he said.
Mr. Bower comes to CSIS from BrooksBowerAsia, an advisory services firm. Prior to forming BrooksBowerAsia, Mr. Bower served for a decade as President of the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, the top private business group comprised of America's leading companies in Southeast Asia. Over two decades, he established and built the Council from the ground level, working with government and private sector leaders from the United States and Southeast Asia. He maintains a unique network of leaders of governments, businesses, media and civil society organizations throughout Asia and the U.S.
Mr. Bower is widely recognized as one of the strongest proponents for close ties between the United States and Asia. He has been an adviser and innovator, creating new programs and vehicles to broaden and deepen international and bilateral ties between the US and Southeast Asia. He engineered key private sector initiatives such as the U.S. Singapore Free Trade Agreement Coalition and the US-APEC Business Coalition among many others. He is a frequent expert contributor to international media outlets.
In recognition of his work strengthening bilateral relations, the King of Malaysia awarded him the Darjah Panglima Jasa Negara (PJN), pronouncing him holder of the title Datuk in Malaysia. The Philippine Government also conferred him with the rank of Lakan, or Commander, in recognition for his work to build U.S.-Philippine ties.
Ernie is currently the United States Chair of the Advisory Council on Competitiveness for the Vietnamese Prime Minister. He serves on the Boards of the Special Olympics Asia, the United States-New Zealand Business Council, and the Board of Advisers of the United States-Indonesia Society. He has also served as an adviser to the U.S. Department of State as a member of the Advisory Committee on Trade and Investment.
Ernie has worked in Asia for over 25 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University and has studied Mandarin Chinese at Middlebury College’s Sunderland School of Foreign Language. He is married to Samantha Boyd and the couple has three children.