Ben Bland is the director of the Asia-Pacific programme at Chatham House. His research focuses on the nexus of politics, economics and international relations in Southeast Asia, as well as China’s growing role in the broader region and the contours of US–China strategic competition.
He was formerly the director of the Southeast Asia programme at the Lowy Institute, a Sydney-based think tank. Ben is the author of two critically acclaimed books on Asian politics: Man of Contradictions: Joko Widodo and the Struggle to Remake Indonesia (Sydney: Penguin Random House, 2020) and Generation HK: Seeking Identity in China’s Shadow (Sydney: Penguin Random House, 2017).
He regularly briefs senior officials, parliamentarians and business groups on regional issues, and contributes opinion and analysis to many global media organisations, including Bloomberg, CNN, the New York Times, Reuters and Nikkei Asia. In his earlier career, Ben was an award-winning correspondent for the Financial Times, with postings in Hanoi, Jakarta and Hong Kong, and experience reporting across Southeast Asia and China for more than a decade.
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.