About the ASEAN Studies Initiative (ASI)

American University’s ASEAN Studies Initiative, the first of its kind to be established in the United States, was formally launched at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia, on July 14, 2009, by AU’s Dean of the School of International Service, Professor Louis Goodman, and the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr. Surin Pitsuwan. The Initiative is part of AU’s School of International Service, the largest and one of the oldest schools of international relations in the United States.


The ASEAN Studies Initiative has the following objectives:

  • To conduct research into various aspects of ASEAN, including economic, political, security and socio-cultural activities and cooperation, ASEAN’s institutional development, ASEAN’s relations with the US and other major powers, and its impact on international relations of the Asia Pacific region;
  • To organize seminars, conferences, and training programs that advance knowledge and analysis of ASEAN for academic and policy communities;
  • To assist and train students at American University interested in ASEAN and Southeast Asian affairs through course offerings, graduate supervision, study abroad programs, fieldwork travel support, and internships at the ASEAN Secretariat and elsewhere in Southeast Asia; and
  • To develop collaborative activities in partnership with institutions in the U.S, Southeast Asia and the Asia Pacific region which have similar aims and interests.

The Initiative will work collaboratively with the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta and with US government agencies, think-tanks and research institutes in Washington, as well as with Southeast Asia institutions and other ASEAN research centers in the United States and abroad.


Dr. Amitav Acharya, Chair

Dr. Pek Koon Heng, Director

Lam-Anh Le, Program Assistant