Brian Harding

Deputy Director and Fellow, Southeast Asia Program
Associated Programs: Asia Program, Southeast Asia Program

Brian Harding serves as deputy director and fellow of the Southeast Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. Mr. Harding has more than a decade of experience in Southeast Asian affairs. Before joining CSIS in 2018, he served as director for East and Southeast Asia policy at the Center for American Progress, where he led a major expansion of the Center’s Asia policy initiatives. From 2009 to 2013, he served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Policy) at the Pentagon as country director for Asian and Pacific security affairs. There, 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, he 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, Mr. Harding served as a CSIS research associate and helped build the CSIS Southeast Asia Program, the first of its kind in the Washington think-tank community. In positions with Eurasia Group and Monitor 360, Mr. Harding has advised multinational corporations, financial institutions, and the U.S. government on political risk and leadership dynamics in Southeast Asia. He possesses a deep understanding of Southeast Asian culture and society based on years of living in the region. He 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.

Contact Information
Email: bharding [at]