Richard P. Cronin is a Distinguished Fellow at Stimson. Until July 2016 Cronin directed Stimson’s Southeast Asia Program and Mekong Policy Project. Cronin joined Stimson in 2005 after a long career as an Asia Specialist with the non-partisan Congressional Research Service. At Stimson, he works on transboundary and nontraditional security issues in Southeast Asia and the South China Sea from a political economy perspective.
Among numerous publications he is the author of “Hydropower Dams on the Mekong: Old Dreams, New Dangers,” (Asia Policy, July 2013) and the lead co-author of numerous Stimson reports, issue briefs, and presentations, including Mekong Tipping Point (2010), “After Xayaburi and Don Sahong: Time for a New Narrative on Mekong Hydropower,” (March 2015), a series of four first-hand “Letters from the Mekong” issue briefs, ” After Xayaburi and Don Sahong: Time for a New Narrative on Mekong Hydropower” (Oct 2016). He is a co-author of a Stimson briefing, ” A Call for Strategic, Basin-wide Energy Planning in Laos“ (Jan 2017).
Cronin has testified at US Congressional hearings on Mekong hydropower issues and the South China Sea. Senior US officials have credited Cronin and Stimson with awakening the US Government to the growing threat to peace and stability in the Lower Mekong because of dam development on the Mekong’s mainstream. He has been a non-official member of US delegations to several regional meetings of the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) and the Friends of the Lower Mekong donor group.
Cronin earned a B.S. in economics and history, and an M.A. in European history from the University of Houston. He holds a Ph.D. in modern South Asian history from Syracuse University. He served in Vietnam (1st Lt) with the US Army’s 1st Infantry Division in 1965-66.