Associate & Special Assistant
Austin is an Associate at The Asia Group focusing on the auto, commodities, energy, pharmaceutical, and technology sectors. Austin’s areas of expertise include Chinese politics, Chinese foreign policy, and the political economy of the wider Indo-Pacific region. As an Associate, he tracks and analyzes macroeconomic and regulatory developments affecting client equities, as well as larger political and security dynamics impacting the region more broadly. In this role, he draws on a wide array of experience in both the government and private sector to assess complex business challenges across China and Southeast Asia. In addition to his role as Associate, Austin serves as Special Assistant to Rexon Ryu. In this capacity, Austin supports Rexon and the defense team through outreach to clients and industry stakeholders. Austin also provides Rexon with both substantive and administrative support for local engagements and international travel.
Prior to joining The Asia Group, Austin most recently supported the Political Section at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. In this capacity, he provided timely political reporting and analysis on China’s external relations to the State Department’s headquarters in Washington, DC. He also led in the preparation of briefing materials for the newly arrived Ambassador. He previously served at the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs, or “China Desk,” in Washington. In this role, he conducted research in Chinese language sources, translated Chinese government legislation to assess its impact on U.S. interests, and prepared press guidance and other official documents for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
Before arriving in Washington, Austin worked in the legal and translation industries in New York City. As Project Manager and Legal Team Lead at Morningside Translations, he serviced a variety of top tier law firms and Fortune 500 companies to assist them with their translation needs. In providing linguistic support and consultation to the Operations and Sales teams, Austin drew on his seven years of studying Mandarin as well as his experience as a directly enrolled exchange student at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
Austin recently completed a Master of Arts in Asian Studies at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, where he was the recipient of the Harriet & C.C. Tung Family Endowed Scholarship and a 2018 Finalist for the Presidential Management Fellows program. Born and raised in New York City, Austin graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Languages and Cultures and a Concentration in Political Science. He commands professional fluency in Mandarin Chinese with HSK Level 5 Certification and has recently begun studying Vietnamese. In addition to his daily work as an Associate, Austin also works on projects for The Asia Group Foundation’s partnerships with philanthropic organizations, including the US-China Strong Foundation and Build a School in Burma.