Director, Asia Studies Centre
Matthew Henderson joined the Henry Jackson Society as Director of the Asia Studies Centre in July 2019.
Following eight years of Chinese studies at Cambridge, Beijing, and Oxford Universities, Matthew Henderson joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1986. His career in the Diplomatic Service was mainly spent working on East Asia. In Hong Kong, he was attached to the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group whose task was to work with China to prepare for the transfer of government in 1997. In Beijing, during the 1990s, he focussed on China’s increasingly active engagement in international relations. Later, in London, he participated in the establishment of full diplomatic relations between Britain and North Korea, while also engaged with regional and international partners in wider issues of regional security in North-East Asia.
Matthew was based in Bulgaria during the time when it joined the European Union. Working with Bulgarian ministers and senior officials, he developed effective bilateral and partnership cooperations.
After leaving the FCO in 2015, he worked in the private sector as a consultant on regional and country security, in the process of developing his understanding of how multi-national companies operate in the global environment.
His research interests increasingly focused on the rise of China and its geopolitical and geoeconomic impact. This led to involvement with academia and other fora including think-tanks, in the course of which he gave various talks and engaged in debate on key issues.