17 January 2013

Keynote and Plenary speakers announced

IFLA is pleased to announce that the IFLA WLIC 2013 National Committee has selected Ambassador Chan Heng Chee as Keynote Speaker at its Opening Session and Parag Khannan and Cherian George as Plenary Speakers.

Keynote Speaker

Chan Heng Chee

Chan Heng Chee

Ambassador Chan Heng Chee is currently Ambassador-at-Large with the Singapore Foreign Ministry and Chairman of the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities in the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). She is a Member of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights. She has served as Singapore’s Ambassador to the United States from July 1996 to 14 July 2012. She was Singapore’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1989 to 1991 and was concurrently High Commissioner to Canada and Ambassador to Mexico. Previously, she was Executive Director of the Singapore International Foundation (which created a Singapore version of the Peace Corps) and Director of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. She was the founding Director of the Institute of Policy Studies and Head of the Department of Political Science, National University of Singapore.

Ambassador Chan has received a number of awards, including: The Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 1999; The Meritorious Service Medal in 2005; The Distinguished Service Order in 2011; Honorary Degrees of Doctor of Letters in 1994 from the University of Newcastle, Australia; and the University of Buckingham (United Kingdom) in 1998. She was named Singapore’s first “Woman of the Year” award and was twice awarded the National Book Awards in 1986 for “A Sensation of Independence: A Political Biography of David Marshall” and in 1978 for “The Dynamics of One Party Dominance: The PAP at the Grassroots”.

When Ambassador Chan left Washington D.C. at the end of her appointment, she received the Inaugural Asia Society Outstanding Diplomatic Achievement Award, the Inaugural Foreign Policy Outstanding Diplomatic Achievement Award 2012 and the United States Navy Distinguished Public Service Award.

Ambassador Chan has been a member of the International Advisory Board of the Council on Foreign Relations, New York and a Council Member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), London. Ambassador Chan holds a B.Soc.Sc (Hons) First Class from the National University of Singapore, a M.A. from Cornell University and a Ph.D from the National University of Singapore.

Plenary Speakers

Parag Khanna

Parag Khanna

Parag Khanna is a leading geo-strategist, world traveller, and author. He is Director of the Hybrid Reality Institute, Senior Research Fellow at the New America Foundation, Visiting Fellow at LSE IDEAS, Senior Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, Senior Fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, and Adjunct Professor in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.

Parang is also the author of “Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization” (2012), the international bestseller “The Second World: How Emerging Powers are Redefining Global Competition in the Twenty-first Century” (2008), and “How to Run The World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance” (2011).

In 2008, Parag was named one of Esquire’s “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century,” and featured in WIRED magazine’s “Smart List.” Parag is regularly featured in media around the world such as the New York Times, TIME, Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal, and appears regularly on CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, PBS, and NPR. He holds a PhD from the London School of Economics, and Bachelors and Masters degrees from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Born in India, Parag grew up in the United Arab Emirates, New York, and Germany. He has travelled to more than 100 countries and is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Cherian George

Cherian George

Cherian George, a Singaporean writer and academic, is an Associate Professor at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University. He serves as the Director of the Temasek Foundation - NTU Asia Journalism Fellowship. He is also an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of Policy Studies at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. His main research interest is in media and politics, including the political economy of journalism, censorship and alternative media. He is the author of three books “Singapore: The Air-Conditioned Nation” (2000), “Contentious Journalism and the Internet: Towards Democratic Discourse in Malaysia and Singapore” (2006) and “Freedom From The Press: Journalism and State Power in Singapore” (National University of Singapore Press, 2012). His journal articles include “Consolidating Authoritarian Rule: Calibrated Coercion in Singapore” in “The Pacific Review” and “Media in Malaysia: Zone of Contention” in “Democratization”, both published in 2007. In 2010, he was a recipient of a Nanyang Award, the university’s highest honour for teaching excellence.

Before joining academia, he was a journalist at The Straits Times, where he wrote mainly on politics and media and served as the art and photo editor for three years. Early in his career, he twice won the company's Feature of the Year Award. He continues to practice professional journalism as the publisher of What’s Up, an independent monthly current affairs newspaper for children, which was honoured for editorial excellence by the Society of Publishers in Asia in 2006.

Dr. George takes an active interest in media policy and media reform. He was a member of the Internet and Media Advisory Committee under the Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts, and was part of “Bloggers 13”, a group lobbying for greater internet freedom. He runs an online portal dedicated to Singapore journalism issues, journalism.sg. His other civil society contributions include serving as a founding member of The Roundtable in the 1990s. He is a member of the selection committee of the Goh Chok Tong Mendaki Youth Promise Awards. He also serves on the board of management of the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC). He received his Ph.D. in Communication from Stanford University. He has a Masters from Columbia University’s School of Journalism and a B.A. in Social and Political Sciences from Cambridge University. He is an old boy of St Andrew’s Junior and Secondary Schools, and Hwa Chong Junior College. He served his full-time National Service as a corporal in the Singapore Armed Forces, never managing to pass the standing broad jump.

Find out more about Dr. George on his website.