Senior Program Specialist, Southeast Asia Regional Security

Benjamin Zawacki has been a senior program specialist at The Asia Foundation since March 2020, following several years in a consultancy role. He helps manage programs on regional maritime and cyber security, ASEAN, the Mekong River, and the US-Thailand relationship.

Zawacki is the author of Thailand: Shifting Ground Between the US and a Rising China (Zed Books, October 2017), which was translated into Chinese and whose second edition via Bloomsbury Books is forthcoming in 2021. He was a visiting fellow at Harvard Law School in 2014-2015 and a term member on the Council on Foreign Relations through 2016. He served as a policy advisor to President Jimmy Carter and two other “elders” in Myanmar in 2013, and was Amnesty International’s Southeast Asia researcher for five years through 2012. He has also worked for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Commission of Jurists.

A regular contributor to the media and speaking events in Southeast Asia, Zawacki has published over 40 articles, reports, and opinion editorials in addition to his book. He is a member of the New York State Bar and has lived in Thailand for 18 years.

Education: The George Washington University Law School and the College of the Holy Cross.