Ernie conceptualized and built BGA. His company springs directly from his understanding of the people that lead Asia’s governments, companies and key institutions and those that build and run the world’s leading companies. His career has focused on helping promote prosperity and security by finding ways to align the needs and aspirations of people, communities and institutions in Asia and the goals, capabilities and potential of the world’s top companies.
A rugby player who grew up in northeastern Pennsylvania, his approach is direct, humble and personal. He is a builder and a listener. Not surprisingly, the company he built reflects those traits. Bower grew up convinced he would be a doctor like his forefathers, but he fell in love with Asia and applied his energy to helping companies do good, sustainable and meaningful work. His first priority is his family starting with his wife Sam, their three children, two dogs, his extended family and the diverse and talented people at BGA who share his passion and commitment.
- Ernie’s career has been defined by his goal of bringing the United States and Asia together by increased understanding and alignment.
- He has helped to build some of the most important organizations and vehicles for linking Asia and the U.S.
- He has driven economic integration across the IndoPacific by expanding companies’ understanding of countries and communities and helping countries and people understand the capabilities and interests of companies.
- CEO, Co-Chair & Founder, AkarAsia (October 2016-April 2020)
- President & CEO, US- ASEAN Business Council (1986-2004)
- ANZ & The Pacific
- Hong Kong
- North America
- Administrative & Management
- Corporate Affairs
- Corporate Social Responsibility
- Government Affairs
- Human Resources
- Public Affairs
- Think Tank
- Colgate University— Bachelor of Arts in History and English with Honors (1982-1986)
- Middlebury College— Certificate in Mandarin Chinese (1986)
- Chairman of the Advisory Board for Southeast Asia, Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS)
- Board member, American Australian Council (AAC)
- Board member, Special Olympics
- Advisory Board member, US Indonesia Society
- Datuk in Malaysia
- Lakuna (Rank of Commander) in the Philippines
- Founding Editor & Author, CogitAsia, Asia policy blog of CSIS
- “Southeast Asia’s Geopolitical Centrality and the US Japan Alliance,” CSIS, June 11, 2015
- “Crafting Asia Economic Strategy in 2013,“CSIS, January 28, 2013
- “Developing an Enduring Strategy for ASEAN,” CSIS, January 6, 2012