Ernest Bower is recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on the Asia-Pacific, particularly Southeast Asia.
Prior to forming BowerGroupAsia in 2011, he co-founded BrooksBowerAsia, a well-known and highly successful consulting firm.
Bower served for a decade until 2004 as president of the US-ASEAN Business Council, a private business group comprised of America’s leading companies in Southeast Asia. He helped to establish and build the council from the ground up, working with government and private sector leaders from the United States and Southeast Asia.
He also served a senior adviser and director of the Southeast Asia Program at the prestigious bi-partisan think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), in Washington, DC, from 2009 to 2016. While at CSIS, Bower founded and co-directed the Pacific Partners Initiative, the only Washington-based think tank program focusing specifically on Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Island countries.
He publishes regular commentaries and offers input on U.S. policies in Washington and around Asia, including providing congressional testimony and media interviews. Bower has led several special initiatives to help define U.S. policy in Southeast Asia, including serving as director of a U.S.-ASEAN Strategy Commission and as the secretariat of the U.S.-ASEAN Eminent Persons Group.
Bower is widely recognized as one of the strongest proponents for close ties between the United States and Asia. In recognition of his work, the king of Malaysia awarded him the Darjah Panglima Jasa Negara, pronouncing him holder of the title “datuk” in Malaysia. The president of the Philippines awarded him the rank of “lakan,” or commander, for his service to the Philippines.
Bower currently serves on the boards of the Special Olympics, American Australian Education and Leadership Foundation, the Institute for Religion and Public Policy, the United States-New Zealand Council and the Board of Advisors of the United States-Indonesia Society.
Ernie earned a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University and studied Mandarin Chinese at Middlebury College’s renowned Sunderland School of Foreign Language. He lives in Fairfax with his wife Sam. Together they have three children: Charlie, Chloe, Hugh and a beloved Australian Shepherd named Blue.