This week the Lowy Institute welcomed Aaron L Connelly as a research fellow in the East Asia Program. Aaron's research will focus on Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia.

Prior to joining the Lowy Institute Aaron worked at Albright Stonebridge Group, a commercial diplomacy consultancy and CSIS in Washington and Jakarta. Aaron's appointment is part of the Lowy Institute's Engaging Asia Project, which was established with the financial support of the Australian Government.

In Aaron's first week, we sat down with him to record a short podcast. In a wide ranging discussion, Aaron touches on why he become an Indonesia expert, how the US views Indonesia, his research focus at the Lowy Institute and the forthcoming Indonesia election. Listen in:

Keep an eye out for Aaron's work on the Interpreter and follow him on Twitter. You can also contact Aaron via email: AConnelly@lowyinstitute.org.