Mahbubani at the World Economic Forum
annual meeting, 2011
October 24, 1948 |
|Alma mater||University of Singapore
|Occupation||Academian, and a diplomat|
|Known for||President of the U.N. Security Council
(2001 - 2002)
Former ambassador to the United Nations
(1984 - 1989, then 1998 - 2004)
Kishore Mahbubani (born October 24, 1948, Singapore) is a notable academic and former Singaporean diplomat. He is currently Professor in the Practice of Public Policy and Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.
From 1971 to 2004 he served in the Singaporean Foreign Services, becoming Singapore's Permanent Representative to the United Nations. In that role he served as President of the United Nations Security Council in January 2001 and May 2002.
Early life and education
Mahbubani is of ethnic Sindhi descent. Educated at St. Andrew's School, Mahbubani was awarded the President's Scholarship in 1967 and graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Philosophy from the University of Singapore (now the National University of Singapore) in 1971. He received a Masters degree in Philosophy in 1976 and an Honorary Doctorate in 1995 from Dalhousie University in Canada.
After his graduation in 1971 he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore, and his earlier postings included Cambodia (where he served during the war in 1973-74), Malaysia and Washington, DC. He was appointed the Permanent Secretary at the Foreign Ministry from 1993 to 1998. Later, he became Singapore's Permanent Representative to the United Nations. In that role he served as President of the United Nations Security Council in January 2001 and May 2002.
His academic career began when he was appointed as the Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. He is also a Professor in the Practice of Public Policy. In addition, he was a fellow at the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University in 1991-92.
Mahbubani is best known outside Singapore for his books Can Asians Think? (published and translated in Singapore, Canada, US, Mexico, India, China Myanmar, Turkey and Malaysia), Beyond The Age Of Innocence: Rebuilding Trust between America and the World (published and translated in the US and China), and The New Asian Hemisphere: the irresistible shift of global power to the East (published and translated in the US, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Egypt, China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Italy, Taiwan and Vietnam). His articles have appeared in several leading journals and newspapers outside of Singapore, such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Washington Quarterly, Survival, American Interest, the National Interest, Time, Newsweek, the Financial Times and New York Times.
His latest book is entitled The Great Convergence: Asia, the West, and the Logic of One World (Public Affairs). In it he describes how the world has seen more positive change in the past 30 years than the past 300 years. By prescribing pragmatic solutions for improving the global order - including a 7-7-7 formula that may finally break the logjam in the UN Security Council - Mahbubani maps a road away from the geopolitical contours of the nineteenth century. The book was widely reviewed, including in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.
Boards and honours
He continues to serve in Boards and Councils of several institutions in Singapore, Europe and North America, including the Yale President's Council on International Activities (PCIA), Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs, Indian Prime Minister’s Global Advisory Council, University of Bocconi International Advisory Committee, World Economic Forum - Global Agenda Council on China and Chairman of the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Nominating Committee.
He was conferred the Public Administration Medal (Gold) by the Singapore Government in 1998. The Foreign Policy Association Medal was awarded to him in New York in June 2004 with the following opening words in the citation: “A gifted diplomat, a student of history and philosophy, a provocative writer and an intuitive thinker”. Prof Mahbubani was also listed as one of the top 100 public intellectuals in the world by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines in September 2005, and included in the March 2009 Financial Times list of Top 50 individuals (including Barack Obama, Wen Jiabao and Nicolas Sarkozy) who would shape the debate on the future of capitalism. Mahbubani was selected as one of Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2010 and 2011.
Mahbubani and his wife have three children and continues to reside in Singapore.
- Can Asians Think? Understanding the Divide Between East and West., Steerforth, 2001, ISBN 978-1-58642-033-8; Times Editions; 3rd edition, 2004, ISBN 978-981-232-789-5
- Beyond the Age of Innocence: Rebuilding Trust Between America and the World, Perseus Books Group, 2005, ISBN 978-1-58648-268-8
- The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East, PublicAffairs, 2008, ISBN 978-1-58648-466-8
- The Great Convergence: Asia, the West, and the Logic of One World, PublicAffairs, 2013, ISBN 978-1610390330
- "Kishore Mahbubani - Singapore’s former Ambassador to the United Nations". theglobalist.com. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- "Kishore Mahbubani, Dean and Professor in the Practice of Public Policy, MA, Dalhousie University". spp.nus.edu.sg. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- "How (and why) should United States should help to build ASEAN economic community". theglobalist.com. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- "How America Can Cope with the Rise of Asia". UCLA. 22 February 2008. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- "East-West Dialogue, How (and Why) the United States Should Help to Build the ASEAN Economic Community". Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- "Wall Street Journal, March 19, 2013.".
- "Washington Post, February 22, 2013.".
- Top 100 Global thinkers
- Kishore Mahbubani's Official Website - (English)
- Kishore Mahbubani's Official Website - (simplified Chinese)
- Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
- Podcast of Kishore Mahbubani discussing “the Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East” at the Shanghai International Literary Festival
- Transcript of interview on VPRO's Tegenlicht (Dutch Television)