Kishore Mahbubani

Kishore Mahbubani

A veteran diplomat and prolific author, Kishore Mahbubani is currently a Distinguished Fellow at the National University of Singapore’s Asia Research Institute.

Kishore Mahbubani's Biography

Kishore Mahbubani has made some of the most invaluable and enduring contributions to Singapore's public service for the past five decades.

During his 33 years as a diplomat, Mahbubani took on many challenging assignments on behalf of his country. From 1973 to 1974, he served in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, during the civil war between Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge and government forces. On top of this, he served two stints as Singapore’s Ambassador to the UN (1984-1989 and 1998-2004) and held the position of Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1994 to 1998. Subsequently, he was conferred the Public Administration of Medal (Gold) by the Singaporean Government in 1998.

Alongside his political contributions, Kishore Mahbubani has had an equally illustrious career in academia. After being appointed the Founding Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in August 2004, and despite the heavy administrative duties which followed, Mahbubani kept finding time to write. He has published 9 books, his latest being Has China Won? and The Asian 21st Century, which were released in March 2020 and January 2022 respectively. He is a great believer in the dynamism of the Asian continent, believing its countries will overcome the challenges outlined by opposing thinkers like Michael Auslin.

He writes and speaks regularly on the rise of Asia, geopolitics and global governance, and has come to be recognised globally for his intellectual contributions. He is often named as one of the top global thinkers by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines. The citation accompanying the US Foreign Policy Association Medal, which Mahbubani received in June 2004, lauded him as “a gifted diplomat, a student of history and philosophy, a provocative writer and an intuitive thinker.”

Over the past 15 years, Kishore Mahbubani has held positions on multiple globally impactful committees. He was the founding chairman of the nominating committee of the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize (2009 to 2019); he has participated in the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos twenty times and served in several WEF committees. In April 2019 he was the second Singaporean to be elected an honorary international member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The award has honoured distinguished thinkers, including several of America’s Founding Fathers, since 1780.


The Asian 21st Century Book by Kishore Mahbubani - CWG Speakers

The Asian 21st Century

China and Globalization

Has China Won? By kishore mahbubani - CWG Speakers

Has China Won?

The Chinese Challenge to American Primacy

Has The West Book Lost It? By Kishore Mahbubani - CWG Speakers

Has the West Lost It?

A Provocation

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