As director of The Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center, Walter Lohman leads the think tank’s oldest research center. Established in 1983, The Asian Studies Center is home to research fellows and scholars who develop recommendations to further American interests in freedom and security in the Indo-Pacific region.
In addition to his management responsibilities, Lohman is a policy analyst focused on U.S. relations with its treaty allies in Japan, South Korea and Australia, as well as with India and countries of Southeast Asia. He is also the leading voice at Heritage on the U.S.-Taiwan relationship, and is a close observer of China policy. Recognizing the strength of America’s historical and cultural ties to Europe, in recent years, Lohman has spearheaded a Heritage effort to encourage better coordination in all these areas with transatlantic allies and partners.
Lohman joined Heritage in 2006 as senior research fellow for Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and was promoted to director the following spring. Since 2013, he has also served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, where he has led 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, opened the organizations offices in Indonesia and Thailand, 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. His background in international trade continues to influence his work at Heritage, where he is heavily involved in developing market-friendly solutions to international challenges.
The formative years of Lohman’s career were spent on Capitol Hill. 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 and drafting related legislation.
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.