John R. Lichtefeld
John R. Lichtefeld is a Vice President at The Asia Group, where he provides strategic advisory and regulatory analysis for emerging frontier markets in Southeast Asia, as well as client support for foreign direct investment projects across the automotive, manufacturing, media, non-profit, telecommunications, and tourism sectors. In this capacity, he is responsible for tracking regional and sectoral trends, providing insight on political developments and impending regulatory reforms, and developing sophisticated investment and government relations strategies to help clients’ investments achieve their full potential.
John has extensive experience operating in Southeast Asia, and has lived and traveled throughout the region. This experience informs his approach to and understanding of the region’s unique dynamics and investment challenges, and provides him with a nuanced perspective on the role and evolution of foreign investment in the region. Since joining The Asia Group, John has supported and lead efforts across multiple sectors and disciplines. He has provided political risk assessments on proposed inward investment into Myanmar, legal analysis of proposed regulatory changes in Vietnam, and supported strategic planning exercises for investments in Thailand. In the U.S. context, he has also provided support on the shifting landscape of U.S. trade policy, and led a trade analysis exercise, illuminating client trade patterns and pinpointing potential areas of vulnerability.
Before joining The Asia Group, John worked as a Foreign Legal Consultant with the Singaporean law firm Kelvin Chia’s Yangon office, working alongside other regional consultants and local attorneys. While with the firm, he directly interfaced with clients to provide advice and guidance on Myanmar’s fast-evolving legal and regulatory regimes, and helped successfully guide investments and negotiate contracts in the telecommunications, real estate, hospitality, and energy sectors. He was later seconded to Myanmar’s largest telecommunications provider, KSGM, where he served as in-house counsel during the implementation of Myanmar’s telecommunications law. While he was in Yangon, John also traveled frequently to Bangkok to serve as an independent consultant to a USAID-backed development project focused on preparing the region’s small-scale agricultural sectors for impending changes due to economic development and climate change.
John has an Master of Arts in Security Policy Studies from the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University, a J.D. from Georgetown Law, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University. He is also a Nonresident Fellow with the Stimson Center’s Southeast Asia program.