Bakrie Chair For Southeast Asian Studies

Rajaratnam School of International Studies, NTU Singapore:

Amb. Barry Desker – Distinguished Fellow of RSIS

–  Amb Desker is currently also the Non-Resident Ambassador of Singapore to the Holy See and Spain, and Chairman of Singapore Technologies Marine.

–  Headed RSIS and the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies from October 2000 to November 2014.

–  Continued to hold inaugural Bakrie Professorship in Southeast Asia Policy, which was established in November 2010.

–  Member of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights, Singapore, and a Member of the Board of Directors of the Lee Kuan Yew Exchange Fellowship.

– Chief Executive Officer of the Singapore Trade Development Board from 1994 to 2000 and

– Singapore’s Ambassador to Indonesia from 1986 to 1993

– A President’s Scholar, he was educated at the University of Singapore, University of London and Cornell University. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Warwick University in 2012 and by the University of Exeter in 2013.

The S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) was established in January 2007 as an autonomous school within the Nanyang Technological University. Known earlier as the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies when it was established in July 1996, RSIS’ mission is to be a leading research and graduate teaching institution in strategic and international affairs in the Asia Pacific.

RSIS Mission

¤  Provide a rigorous professional graduate education with a strong practical emphasis

¤  Conduct policy-relevant research in defence, national security, international relations, and strategic studies

¤  Foster a global network of like-minded professional schools

RSIS has five endowed professorships that bring distinguished scholars and practitioners to teach and to conduct research at the School : The S. Rajaratnam Professorship in Strategic Studies, The Ngee Ann Kongsi Professorship in International Relations, The NTUC Professorship in International Economic Relations, The Bakrie Professorship in Southeast Asia Policy, The Peter Lim Professorship in Peace Studies

Collaboration with other professional schools of international affairs to form a global network of excellence is a RSIS priority. RSIS maintains links with other like-minded schools so as to enrich its research and teaching activities as well as learn from the best practices of successful schools.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington DC:

Vikram Nehru – a senior associate in the Asia Program CEIP.

–  Most recently, he was chief economist and director for poverty reduction, economic management, and private and financial sector development for East Asia and the Pacific.

–  An expert of: development economics, growth, poverty reduction, debt sustainability, governance, and the performance and prospects of East Asia.

–  Research fields: economic, political, and strategic issues confronting Asia, particularly Southeast Asia.

–  Served in World Bank from 1981–2011, in a number of senior management positions.

¨  The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is a unique global network of policy research centers in Russia, China, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. Our mission, dating back more than a century, is to advance the cause of peace through analysis and development of fresh policy ideas and direct engagement and collaboration with decision makers in government, business, and civil society. Working together, our centers bring the inestimable benefit of multiple national viewpoints to bilateral, regional, and global issues.

¨  Founded in 1910, Carnegie is the oldest international affairs think tank in the United States. It is known for excellence in scholarship, responsiveness to changing global circumstances, and a commitment to concrete improvements in public policy.

¨  It is supervised by an international board of trustees and its research activities are overseen by a global management group. More than two-thirds of its current scholars were born outside the United States, nearly all speak languages other than their native tongues, and most have had experience in government. The global think tank has websites in Arabic, Chinese, English, and Russian.

¨  Carnegie does not take institutional positions, does not engage in lobbying, and is not involved in ideological advocacy. Instead, it relies on its independence and the quality of its scholarship to make notable contributions to national policymaking. It welcomes scholars with diverse political views and is acknowledged to be a centrist institution within the American political spectrum.

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Bakrie Chair For Southeast Asian Studies

Introduction

Since the 13th century, Southeast Asia has played a strategic role as a crossroad of trade, and served as a vital point of pollination between diverse cultures, art, and religions.

Today, Southeast Asia is not only a strategic gateway to the vast Asian market, but is home to a group of resilient, dynamic ASEAN economies including Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. As of March 2010, ASEAN, a region of nearly 4.5 million square kilometers and home to SOME 600 million people, accounts for a burgeoning US$807,715 million export trade and US$726,109 million import trade, with a combined GDP of US$1.49 trillion.

As a dynamic region with diverse socio-political-economic structures adopted by its constituent countries, Southeast Asia is undergoing constant changes and renewal. With patterns of Cold War geostrategic rivalry beginning to recede, the security of Southeast Asia is entering a new era of great flux and fundamental transformation.  These changes will have an impact on the nascent security institutions driven by ASEAN processes since 1992. Notwithstanding key national security issues, economics remains a key template for maintaining stability in the region.  New uncertainties have accompanied the emergence of major power rivalry in the region, challenging the dominant role of the United States as China, India, and Russia play a more prominent role in regional affairs.

The fluid nature of security dynamics in the region also play out in more concrete and specific ways in relation to regional institutions.  In terms of new security challenges, regional security has to contend with counter-terrorism, maritime security, creation of viable institutional arrangements, new and traditional security issues, energy security, and the changing nature of the US bilateral alliance structure.

Notably, Southeast Asia’s importance has been recognized by Washington, and there is a renewal of interest for deeper engagement with the region under the Obama administration.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chose Indonesia as her second stop in her 2009 Asia tour.  More recently, Secretary Clinton in her speech at the ASEAN Regional Forum in Phuket in July 2009 where she signed the ASEAN Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, remarked that the United States looked forward to “lay the groundwork for even stronger partnerships as we move forward.” The highest point was US President Barack Obama’s visit to Singapore for the APEC Summit in late 2009, where he held an unprecedented summit with ASEAN leaders. Following the success of the first meeting, a second US-ASEAN Summit is already being planned.

Against the backdrop of this strategic environment, the Bakrie Chairs for Southeast Asian Studies/Policy was established in two world-class institutions to deepen regional insights and analyze emerging trends in a dynamic area.

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