Kishore Mahbubani in Top 50 List of World Thinkers

01 April 2014 | Education
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Dean of NUS' Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy is the only Singaporean on list that includes Pope Francis, Christine Lagarde, Elon Musk, Amartya Sen, Lawrence Summers and Janet Yellen

Professor Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore has been selected by leading British current affairs magazine Prospect as one of the top 50 world thinkers for 2014. Prof Mahbubani is the only Singaporean on the prestigious list that includes Pope Francis, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Tesla and SpaceX's Elon Musk, economist and philosopher Amartya Sen, economist and Harvard President Emeritus Lawrence Summers, and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve System Janet Yellen.

Prof Mahbubani, a diplomat who served two stints as Singapore's Ambassador to the UN and as President of the UN Security Council in January 2001 and May 2002, is a renowned author and thinker. He serves in Boards and Councils of several institutions in Singapore, Europe and North America, including the Yale President's Council on International Activities, Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs, Indian Prime Minister's Global Advisory Council and University of Bocconi International Advisory Committee. He is the Chairman of the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Nominating Committee and a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on China. Prof Mahbubani's most recent book is The Great Convergence: Asia, the West and the Logic of One World.

Prospect magazine's list recognises leading thinkers with a global reach whose achievements over the previous 12 months made significant contributions to addressing the central questions of the world today, and aims to provoke debate about the role of intellectuals in public life.

“In drawing up our list of World Thinkers, we gave credit to the currency of candidates' thinking. Kishore Mahbubani's work certainly grapples with some of the biggest questions of our time, sketching as it does the contours of a new era in which the west can no longer take its primacy for granted,” said Mr Jonathan Derbyshire, Managing Editor of Prospect magazine.

NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan said, “We are delighted that Kishore Mahbubani has been recognised by Prospect as one of today's top global thinkers. Kishore's extensive knowledge and understanding on international relations continues to shape global opinions and has certainly enriched the academic community at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and NUS. We are proud of his achievements and share in his joy in this international recognition.”

Prof Mahbubani said, “It is truly a great honour to have my recent work recognised by this listing. In some ways, it is a vindication of the many positive reviews of my latest book, The Great Convergence: Asia, the West, and the Logic of One World. I am glad that this book is having a positive effect globally.”

This is the fifth time that Prof Mahbubani has been included in a list of globally influential thinkers. The first was in 2005 when he was included as one of Prospect and Foreign Policy magazines' top 100 public intellectuals in the world. In 2009, the Financial Times named him as one of 50 individuals who would shape the debate on the future of capitalism. Prof Mahbubani was also selected as one of Foreign Policy's top 100 global thinkers in 2010 and 2011.

Among those featured in Prospect's 2014 list are 17 economists, 13 philosophers, three scientists, three technology theorists, an entrepreneur, writers and activists. Prospect magazine is currently inviting votes by the public in an online poll for the world's most important thinker of 2014.

More details on the list is available at Voting closes at midnight London Time on 11th April 2014. Please refer to the Annex for the full list of Prospect's top 50 world thinkers.