Professor Kishore Mahbubani, ambassador, Founding Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at NUS (LKY School), and author, has been elected a member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Founded in 1780, the Academy awards membership to individuals with compelling achievements in academia, business, government, and public affairs and engages them in advancing the public good.
Prof Mahbubani, who is currently Senior Advisor (University and Global Relations) and Professor in the Practice of Public Policy at NUS, served as Dean of the LKY School for over 13 years from 2004 to 2017. Prior to that, he served in Singapore’s diplomatic service for more than three decades, with postings in Cambodia, Malaysia, Washington, DC, and twice as ambassador to the United Nations, during which he was also president of the Security Council. From 1993 to 1998, Prof Mahbubani also served as the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Regarded internationally as an expert on Asian and international affairs, he was selected as one of Foreign Policy’s Top Global Thinkers in 2010 and 2011.
Prof Mahbubani said, “The American Academy is an august institution that includes some of America’s founding fathers among its earliest members. It is a great honour to be elected as a member and I am humbled to join the ranks of inspiring individuals who have achieved outstanding accomplishments in their respective fields.” He added, “I share this accolade with family and friends who have been my stalwart supporters throughout my journey in foreign affairs and academe. This honour is also a reflection of the exceptional global stature of NUS, and a tribute to the talented people that I have had the privilege of working with over the years.”
Prof Mahbubani will join other acclaimed membership recipients including former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama and gender theorist Judith Butler from the University of California, Berkeley, and together with the members of the Class of 2019 will be inducted at a ceremony in October this year in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Distinguished Academy members who came before them include Benjamin Franklin (elected in 1781), Charles Darwin (1874), and Martin Luther King, Jr (1966), as well as eminent members of the NUS community — University Professor and former NUS President Professor Shih Choon Fong (2006), and University Professor and renowned historian Professor Wang Gungwu (1995).