SINGAPORE: Professor Kishore Mahbubani, the founding dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKY School), will retire from his leadership position at the school on Dec 31 this year, the National University of Singapore (NUS) announced on Monday (Nov 6).
Prof Mahbubani, 69, has headed the LKY School for more than 13 years since it was established in 2004. Prior to that, he served 33 years in the foreign service and was the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1993 to 1998.
The former diplomat's postings included Cambodia, Malaysia and Washington DC, and he has served as ambassador to the United Nations as well as president of the Security Council. He was also recognised as one of Foreign Policy magazine's Top Global Thinkers in 2010 and 2011.
Prof Mahbubani said it has been an "incredible privilege" to be the dean of LKY School, an autonomous postgraduate school of NUS.
"After 13 years, it is timely for a new leadership to take the school to greater heights ... I look forward to the opportunity of the nine-month sabbatical to expand and deepen my research and writing.”
Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, who is chairman of the LKY School governing board, said Prof Mahbubani demonstrated "dedication and leadership in building up the NUS Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy from scratch".
"He has firmly established the school as an internationally renowned institution for public policy education and research in Asia," Mr Goh said.
NUS president Tan Chorh Chuan also noted that Prof Mahbubani "built a solid academic and institutional foundation for the school, and positioned it well for its next stage of growth".
"I thank him for leading the LKY School with passion, dedication, and vision, for building up the team in the school and positioning it as a global thought leader in public policy with an Asian focus. We thank Kishore for his many contributions and wish him well on his well-deserved sabbatical," he said.
Prof Mahbubani will remain a faculty member of NUS, and an acting dean will be appointed from Jan 1 next year while a search process is initiated for the next dean, NUS said in a press release.