Needham is a Heritage alumnus, having served as director of the think tank's Asian Studies Center (ASC). In that capacity he directed a staff of eight analysts and researchers committed to fostering the development of political reform, economic freedom and strong U.S. security ties in Asia. He also oversaw the Washington Roundtable for the Asia-Pacific Press (WRAPP), which facilitates discussion on a broad range of public policy issues affecting US-Asia relations.
Prior to joining the ASC, Needham was chief of staff at Heritage. He worked with Heritage President Ed Feulner on the full spectrum of public policy issues, most extensively in the areas of strategic communications in the war on terror, the role of international organizations in American foreign policy, and American fiscal policy. He also worked on the production and marketing of Getting America Right: The True Conservative Values Our Nation Needs Today, Feulner's book which sets for both policy prescriptions and a practical action plan for the modern conservative movement.
Needham left Heritage in 2007 to serve as special assistant to Bill Simon, the policy director on Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign. In this capacity, Needham helped oversee all aspects of policy development for the campaign, including policy paper production, speechwriting, and debate preparation. He also served as the policy department’s liaison to the morning communications strategy meetings and was responsible for developing the campaign’s health care, immigration, and homeland security policies.
Needham holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Economics from Williams College.