Kishore Mahbubani is a Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Research Institute (ARI), National University of Singapore (NUS).
Mr Mahbubani has been privileged to enjoy two distinct careers, in diplomacy (1971 to 2004) and in academia (2004 to 2019). He is a prolific writer who has spoken in many corners of the world.
In diplomacy, he was with the Singapore Foreign Service for 33 years (1971 to 2004). He had postings in Cambodia, Malaysia, Washington DC and New York, where he twice was Singapore’s Ambassador to the UN and served as President of the UN Security Council in January 2001 and May 2002. He was Permanent Secretary at the Foreign Ministry from 1993 to 1998. As a result of his excellent performance in his diplomatic career, he was conferred the Public Administration Medal (Gold) by the Singapore Government in 1998.
Mr Mahbubani joined academia in 2004, when he was appointed the Founding Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKY School), NUS. He was Dean from 2004 to 2017, and a Professor in the Practice of Public Policy from 2006 to 2019. In April 2019, he was elected as an honorary international member to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, which has honoured distinguished thinkers, including several of America’s founding fathers, since 1780.
He has achieved several “firsts” in his two careers. He was the Founding Dean of the LKY School, the founding Director of the Civil Service College, the first Singapore Ambassador to serve on the UN Security Council, the first Singaporean to publish articles in globally renowned journals and newspapers like Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the New York Times and the Financial Times and co-authored articles with distinguished global thought leaders like Kofi Annan, Klaus Schwab and Larry Summers. Mr Mahbubani has never shied away from taking on new challenges.
He has also been a prolific author, having published eight books: Can Asians Think?, Beyond The Age Of Innocence, The New Asian Hemisphere, The Great Convergence, Can Singapore Survive, The ASEAN Miracle (co-authored with Jeffery Sng), Has the West Lost It? and Has China Won?.