Visiting Speakers

  • William Brustein

    Vice President for Global Strategies and International Affairs, Eberly Family Distinguished Professor of Sociology, West Virginia University
    29 March 2019

    William Brustein is Vice President for Global Strategies and International Affairs, and the Emberly Family Distinguished Professor of Sociology, at West Virginia University. He is also a widely-published scholar in the areas of political extremism and ethnic, religious, and racial prejudice. His 1996 book The Logic of Evil: The Social Origins of the Nazi Party, 1925-1933 was the winner of the 1997 James S. Coleman Distinguished Contribution to Rational-Choice Scholarship from the American Sociological Association, Rational-Choice Section.

  • Peter Vale

    Professor of Humanities, University of Johannesburg
    26 March 2019

    Peter Vale is Professor of Humanities at the University of Johannesburg, and Director of the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study, an initiative of the University of Johannesburg and Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

  • Judith Simmer-Brown

    Distinguished Professor of Contemplative and Religious Studies, Naropa University
    25 March 2019

    Judith Simmer-Brown is the Distinguished Professor of Contemplative and Religious Studies at Naropa University, where she is a Founding Faculty member and has taught for over 40 years. She is the founder of Naropa's Centre for the Advancement of Contemplative Education (CACE), and now serves as Senior Advisor.

  • Resil Mojares

    Writer, Historian, Artist
    21 March 2019

    Resil Mojares is a Filipino writer and historian. He was recognised in 2018 as a National Artist of the Philippines for Literature – a conferment which represents the Philippine state's highest recognition for artists. He is the author of Isabelo's Archive, House of Memory, and Waiting for Mariang Makiling. His work explores various topics, including Southeast Asian intellectual history, urban architecture, and the history of the Filipino novel. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of San Carlos in Cebu.

  • Sonny Liew

    Comics Artist, Painter, Illustrator
    21 March 2019

    Sonny Liew is an award-winning comics artist, painter, and illustrator whose work includes The New York Times bestsellers The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye and The Shadow Hero (with Gene Luen Yang), My Faith in Frankie (Mike Carey) and Doctor Fate (with Paul Levitz). He is the first cartoonist to be awarded the Young Artist Award and the Singapore Literature Prize.

  • Susan Sentler

    Lecturer, Dance Artist, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore
    21 March 2019

    Susan Sentler is a dance artist working as choreographer/maker, teacher, researcher, director, and performer. She is a lecturer in the School of Dance & Theatre at LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore. She has worked in higher education for over 20 years, in numerous institutions globally, most notably serving as Senior Lecturer with Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

  • Elaine Tan

    Executive Director, ASEAN Foundation
    20 March 2019

    Elaine Tan is the Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation in 2014. Before joining the ASEAN Foundation, she has worked at Yayasan Sejahtera in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as Programme Director. She has been the Country Programme Manager of UNIFEM (now UN Women) in Cambodia and Timor-Leste, and served at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia.

  • Lynne Regan

    Head of the Institute of Quantitative Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, University of Edinburgh
    19 March 2019

    Lynne Regan is Chair of Interdisciplinary Science in the Centre for Synthetic and Systems Biology, Institute for Quantitative Biology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology at the University of Edinburg. Professor Regan is the recipient of numerous honours, including the Fulbright Fellowship, and the Guggenheim Fellowship. Prior to that, she was Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and of Chemistry at Yale University.

  • Tom Jaffe

    CEO and Founder, ThoughtMatter
    19 March 2019

    Tom Jaffe is a former journalist and currently the CEO and founder of ThoughtMatter, a design and branding consultancy that seeks to build on the counter-intuitive links between business and the fine arts. A life-long art collector, his transformative gift of Southeast Asian sculpture and textiles to the Yale Art Gallery established the department of Indo-Pacific Art.

  • Nelson Cunningham

    President, Governing Board Member, McLarty Associates, Yale-NUS Governing Board
    18 March 2019

    Nelson Cunningham is the President of McLarty Associates and a Yale-NUS Governing Board Member. Prior to co-founding McLarty Associates, an international business and policy consultancy, in 1998, Mr Cunningham served in the White House as Special Advisor to President Clinton on Western Hemisphere affairs and as General Counsel at the White House of Administration. He previously served as General Counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee, under then-Chairman Joseph R. Biden. He is a member of the Department of State's Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy, a past member of the Secretary of State's Foreign Affairs Policy Board, past Chairman of the Export-Import Bank Advisory Committee, and serves as President of the Board of the American Security Project.

  • Kelley Cheng

    Founder and Creative Director, The Press Room
    14 March 2019

    Kelley Cheng runs her own publishing and designing consultancy The Press Room. As a creative director, her graphic and branding projects include the Youth Olympics Games, Singapore Pavilion at the World Expo Yeosu 2012, Singapore Writers’ Festival 2014, etc.

  • Khong Yuen Foong

    Vice Dean (Research), Li Ka Shing Professor of Political Science, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore
    14 March 2019

    Khong Yuen Foong is Li Ka Shing Professor in Political Science at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. He was formerly a Professor of International Relations, and a Professorial Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford University. His book, Analogies at War: Korea, Munich, Dien Bien Phu, and the Vietnam Decisions of 1965 (Princeton, 1992, sixth printing 2006) was co-winner of the American Political Science Associations Political Psychology Book Award (1994). He also received the Erik Erikson Award for distinguished early career contribution to political psychology in 1996.

  • Teo Yi-Ling

    Senior Fellow, Centre of excellence for National Security (CENS) at RSIS
    14 March 2019

    Teo Yi Ling is a Senior Fellow with the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS) at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) at NTU. She explores policy, legal, and regulatory issues around the cyber domain.

  • Vuk Jeremić

    President, Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development
    14 March 2019

    Vuk Jeremić is the President of the Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development (CIRSD), a public policy think-tank based in Belgrade, Serbia, and Editor-in-Chief of Horizons – Journal of International Relations and Sustainable Development. He is a former President of the United Nations General Assembly and a former Foreign Minister of Serbia.

  • Wesley Loh

    Founder and photographer, Memphis West Pictures
    14 March 2019

    Wesley Loh is the Founder of Memphis West Pictures. He has shot for clients such as McDonald's, Hewlett-Packard, National University of Singapore, and the National Arts Council.

  • Yeo Kok Siew

    Lawyer and media professional
    14 March 2019

    Yeo Kok Siew is a trained lawyer who has worked in the public and private sector, including media organisations. He has been involved in the local theatre scene, both as a performer and as a producer.

  • Benjamin Tay

    Executive Director, People's Movement to Stop the Haze
    8 March 2019

    Benjamin Tay is the Executive Director of the People's Movement to Stop Haze, known as PM Haze, a non-profit organisation focusing on outreach, research and advocacy on the transboundary haze crisis. He first got involved in transboundary haze advocacy as he wanted to go beyond adaptation strategies and find solutions for haze and fire prevention.

  • Nirmala Rao

    Professor and Vice Chancellor, Asian University for Women, Bangladesh
    8 March 2019

    Nirmala Rao is a British academic and the current vice chancellor of Asian University for Women, Bangladesh. She formerly served as Pro-Director of the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. In the 2011 Queen's Birthday honours, she was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her services to scholarship.

  • Inderjit Singh Dhaliwal

    Entrepreneur, Former Member of Parliament, Singapore
    4 March 2019

    Inderjit Singh Dhaliwal is the Founder and CEO of Solstar International, a Singapore-based consumer electronics products company. Mr Singh is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). A former Member of Parliament, he is a Co-President of the World Entrepreneurship Forum, a global organisation on entrepreneurship development.

  • Jolene Tan

    Activist, Author
    22 February 2019

    Jolene Tan is the author of A Certain Exposure, which was selected by The Straits Times as one of the Best Books of 2014 and by The Business Times as one of the Best Books of 2014. Her book is also recommended by the National Library Board, Singapore and Ministry of Communications and Information.

  • José Medina

    Walter Hill Scott professor of Philosophy, Northwestern University
    22 February 2019

    José Medina works primarily in critical race theory, feminist and queer theory, political philosophy, communication theory and social epistemology. His books include The Epistemology of Resistance: Gender and Racial Oppression, Epistemic Injustice, and Resistant Imaginations (Oxford University Press; recipient of the 2013 North-American Society for Social Philosophy Book Award), and Speaking from Elsewhere (SUNY Press, 2006).His current projects focus on how social perception and the social imagination contribute to the formation of vulnerabilities to different kinds of violence and oppression.

  • Stephanie Chok

    Manager (Research/Advocacy), Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics
    22 February 2019

    Stephanie Chok served as Manager (Research/Advocacy) at Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics, Singaporean non-governmental organisation that provides services to, and advocates on behalf of, migrant workers, until February 2019. She holds a PhD from Murdoch University, Western Australia. Her research focused on the precarious situation of low-paid migrant workers in Singapore—particularly male construction workers. She is currently an independent researcher working on issues related to migrant labour. Dr Chok also has a postgraduate diploma in Policy Studies and a Master’s degree in Development Studies.

  • Alfian Sa'at

    Resident Playwright, WILD R!CE
    20 February 2019

    Alfian Sa'at is a Resident Playwright with W!LD R!CE. In 2001, he won the National Arts Council Young Artist Award for Literature. He has been nominated 10 times and won four4 times for Best Original Script at the Life! Theatre Awards. Alfian He has also been awarded the Boh-Cameronian Award Best Book and Lyrics for The Secret Life of Nora and Best Original Script for Parah.

  • Melissa De Silva

    20 February 2019

    Melissa De Silva is the author of 'Others' is Not a Race, awarded the Singapore Literature Prize 2018. Her fiction work has been published in Best New Singaporean Short Stories Vol. 3, Singapore Quarterly Literary Review and LONTAR: The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction. Melissa Ms De Silva is Singapore's Education Ambassador for online creative writing platform Write the World.

  • Theophilus Kwek

    Writer, Editor, Researcher
    19 February 2019

    Theophilus Kwek holds an MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from Oxford University, and is a researcher in public policy and migration issues. He has written about migration policy for IRIN, Open Migration, The Diplomat, South China Morning Post, and other platforms. Most recently, he helped to organisze the Global Migrant Festival.

  • Prajval Shastri

    Professor, Indian Institute for Astrophysics, Bangalore
    14 February 2019

    Prajval Shastri is an astrophysicist at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore and specialiszes in the area of phenomenology of active galaxies driven by supermassive blackholes using multi-wavelength observations ranging from radio to X-ray wavelengths.

  • Tomotaka Umemura

    Associate Professor, Hiroshima University
    14 February 2019

    Tomotaka Umemura is currently an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Education in Hiroshima University. His research focuses on the transfer of attachment figures from infancy to adulthood, and cross-cultural differences in the nature of attached relationships.

  • Bilahari Kausikan

    Chairman, Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore
    13 February 2019

    Bilahari Kausikan is currently Chairman of the Middle East Institute, an autonomous institute of the National University of Singapore. Mr Kausikan was Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs until May 2018. From 2001 to 2013, Mr Kausikan was the was the first second Permanent Secretary and then Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. he was subsequently Ambassador-at-Large until May 2018. He had previously served in a variety of appointments in the Ministry, including as the Permanent Secretary, Deputy Secretary for Southeast Asia, the Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York and as Ambassador to the Russian Federation.

  • Kenneth J. DeWwoskin

    Professor and Senior Advisor and China Subject Matter Expert, Deloitte Services, LLP
    12 February 2019

    Kenneth DeWwoskin is a former partner for China Strategy and Business Development at one of the Big FourDeloitte Services. The, founder of Deloitte's China Research and Insight Centre, he and now serves as a Senior Advisor and Eminence Fellow to Deloitte for China research and insight. Hhe concurrently serves as Senior Advisor to The Conference Board China Centre for Economics and Business. A former professor of International Business and chairman and professor of Asian Cultures at the University of Michigan, Dr DeWoskin has been involved with China for over 50 years and has lived and worked extensively in both China and Japan.

  • Stephen Murphy

    Senior Curator, Southeast Asia Asian Civilizations Museum
    11 February 2019

    Stephen Murphy holds a PhD from the Department of History of Art and Archaeology, SOAS, University of London (2010). He recently co-curated Raffles in Southeast Asia Revisiting the Scholar and the Statesmen

  • Irfan Kasban

    Associate Artist, Teater Ekamatra and the Theatre Practice
    31 January 2019

    Through writing, directing, performing, and designing, Irfan Kasban hopes to create intricate universes as a celebration of space and time. Mr Irfan is an Associate Artist with Teater Ekamatra, and The Theatre Practice. He is currently developing a work based on Sun Tzu's Art of War.

  • Ng Yi-Sheng

    Writer, Researcher, Activist
    31 January 2019

    Ng Yi-Sheng is a Singaporean writer, researcher and activist. He often explores forgotten histories in works such as his play The Last Temptation of Stamford Raffles, his spoken word collection Loud Poems for a Very Obliging Audience, his short story collection Lion City, and his mobile lecture performance Painted Shadows.

  • Sharon Frese

    Theatre Practitioner
    31 January 2019

    Sharon Frese is a British Afro-Caribbean Theatre Practitioner. A resident in Singapore since 2009, Sharon has felt very privileged to have worked with several of the local theatre companies. If not creating works, Ms Frese could be found watching theatre or delighting in the rich culinary scene of Singapore.

  • Azhar Ibrahim

    Lecturer, Deputy Head at Department of Malay Studies, National University of SIngapore
    30 January 2019

    Dr Azhar Ibrahim is a Lecturer and Deputy Head at the Department of Malay Studies, National University of Singapore (NUS). He teaches Malay-Indonesian literature and ideologies of development at the Department. His research interest includes sociology of religion, sociology of literature and critical literacy, and the Malay-Indonesian intellectual development.

  • Nazry Bahrawi

    Literary and Cultural Critic, Singapore University of Technology and Design
    30 January 2019

    Nazry Bahrawi is a literary and cultural critic at Singapore University of Technology and Design. He specialises in the comparative study of Muslim texts, thoughts and traditions between Southeast Asia and the Middle East, and has published in these areas within, and outside, the academia. He is also the co-founder of the Bras Basah Open School for Theory and Philosophy, a collective for critical humanities in Singapore.

  • Suren Pillay

    Associate Professor, DST-NRF Flagship in African Humanities, Centre for Humanities Research
    30 January 2019

    Suren Pillay is an Associate Professor at the DST-NRF Flagship in African Humanities, at the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. His current research focuses on the political and intellectual legacies of colonialism in the present. He leads three Mellon-funded research projects: ‘Migrating Violence’; ‘Citizenship and justice on rethinking political theory from the South’; and ‘Other Universals’, which involves setting up a consortium of scholars and graduate students in Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean, thinking about intellectual traditions, notions of difference, and emancipatory discourses.

  • Bianca Stringuini

    Senior Director, Inclusion and Community, Visa, Asia Pacific
    29 January 2019

    Bianca Stringuini is the Senior Director, Inclusion & Community for the Asia Pacific VISA. Her portfolio includes leading the team responsible for implementing inclusion, diversity (I&D), community and social responsibility and strategy for the region. Ms Stringuini is also a certified facilitator in cultural awareness, change management and cultural transformation training and has been a speaker at multiple international conferences.

  • Eridhan Estria

    Digital Solutions Expert, Mercer, Regional Indirect Sales Marketing Team for Asia
    29 January 2019

    Eridhan Estria is the digital solutions expert of Mercer's regional Indirect Sales Marketing team for Asia, Middle East and Africa. Mr Estria is currently chairing the Singapore chapter of Marsh & McLennan Companies' Pride Business Resource Group and co-chairing InterEnergy Group - an informal network of like-minded individuals representing LGBT+ in the professional workplace.

  • Laurindo Garcia

    Technologist and Business Strategist; Founder, B-Change Group
    29 January 2019

    Laurindo Garcia is a technologist and business strategist on a mission to create inclusive places. He has dedicated the last 10 years to research how to promote inclusion in five Asian markets using technology. Pink Dot Singapore, AWARE and the Disabled Persons Association are among the growing list of community partners who have signed onto Laurindo's vision. He is Asia's only Ashoka Fellow who is openly gay and HIV-positive.

  • Nicole Kwan

    Adjunct Associate Professor, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
    29 January 2019

    Nicole Kwan taught “Doing Business in China” at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Stanford, and Beijing’s University of International Business and Economics. She has over 20 years of international banking experience in Asia, focusing on China, at Citicorp and Standard Chartered Bank. Ms Kwan holds degrees from Smith College (BA), Yale University (MA), and the University of Hong Kong (MJ), and has published on the Asia Financial Crisis in Hong Kong.

  • Shubigi Rao

    Artist and Writer
    29 January 2019

    Shubigi Rao makes layered installations of books, etchings, drawings, pseudo-scientific machines, metaphysical puzzles, video, ideological board games, garbage and archives, and has been exhibited and collected in Singapore and internationally. Her interests include archaeology, neuroscience, libraries, archival systems, histories and lies, literature and violence, ecologies and natural history. The first instalment of the project 'Written in the Margins', won the Juror's Choice Award at the APB Signature Art Prize 2018. She was included in the 10th Taipei Biennial (2016), 3rd Pune Biennale (2017), and the 2nd Singapore Biennale (2008), as well as the upcoming Kochi Biennale (2018).

  • Akshita Nanda

    Writer, Straits Times
    28 January 2019

    Akshita Nanda has been with The Straits Times since 2007, where she writes about arts, culture and lifestyle. Her first novel, Nimita's Place, was shortlisted for the 2017 Peigram Books Fiction Prize. She has been in the media and publishing industry since 2002, following a brief flirtation with cancer research.

  • Debra Lam

    Co-Founder, Society Staples
    28 January 2019

    Debra Lam is the co-founder of Society Staples, a social enterprise that creates a more inclusive future for Persons with Disabilities and has won the President's Challenge Social Enterprise Start-up of the Year in 2015. She is the youngest Singapore representative for the 2018 Young Societal Leaders Programme. She is currently pursuing her honours degree in Psychology and Sociology at the Singapore University of Social Sciences.

  • Dureen Shahnaz

    Founder, Impact Investment Exchange (IIX)
    28 January 2019

    Dureen Shahnaz has received numerous awards for her work including the Oslo Business for Peace Award, the "Nobel Prize for Business," 2016 Asia Game Changer Award and 2015 Joseph Wharton Social Impact Award. Additionally, she currently serves on the advisory board for UNDP, United Nations ESCAP, G20 Steering Committee for Impact Investing, and was also an appointed member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council.

  • Nur Warsame

    28 January 2019

    Originally from Somalia, and now residing in Melbourne, Imam Nur Warsame is Australia's first and only openly gay Imam. He has an incredible depth of knowledge of Islamic scripture, and is one of the few people who has memorised the entire Quran in Arabic. Imam Nur is able to use this knowledge to credibly challenge conservative interpretations of Islamic texts and is actively heling queer Muslim people to reconcile their faith and sexuality or gender through his queer Muslim support group, Marhaba Inc. The importance of this work cannot be overstated.

  • Pauline Ong

    Executive Pastor, Free Community Church
    28 January 2019

    Pauline Ong is one of the executive pastors at Free Community Church, an affirming Christian congregation of diverse individuals in Singapore. She holds a Masters in Intercultural Studies from Singapore Bible College and a Master in Counselling from Monash University, Australia. She is passionate about the spiritual and emotional well-being of individuals and communities, and works towards helping every person know they are beloved.

  • Rachel Loh

    Disability Social Worker and Programme Coordinator, SPD
    28 January 2019

    Rachel Loh is a disability social worker and programme coordinator at SPD, formerly known as Society for the Physically Disabled, with a strong commitment to serving and advocating for persons with disabilities. Prior to serving the disability sector as a community social worker, Ms Loh accumulated four years of youth policy-making in the Ministry of Community, Culture and Youth. Her passion to serve vulnerable communities started back in school where Ms Loh actively volunteered in mentoring programmes with at-risk youth and vulnerable/abused children.

  • Rahul Daswani

    Senior Manager, Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs
    28 January 2019

    Rahul Daswani was a management consultant at McKinsey and now leads the Futures team on strategic resource allocation at the Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Mr Daswani’s career journey has taken him across multiple locations including Southeast Asia, Papua New Guinea and Ethiopia where he worked on various projects involving Education, Community Development and Climate Change. He has a BSE in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and a Master in Public Policy, Political and Economic Development from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

  • Siddhanth Melwani

    Writer, RICE Media
    28 January 2019

    Siddhanth Melwani writes for RICE Media, focusing on socio-political issues such as Dharmic (primarily Hindu and Buddhist) perspectives on LGBT rights and the religions' historically pluralistic interpretations of person in Singapore to have publicly pushed for LGBT rights in this area. While not writing, Mr Melwani invents consumer biotech with a primary focus on the prevention of skin cancer.

  • Jina Moore

    24 January 2019

    Jina Moore has been the East Africa Bureau Chief for The New York Times; she inaugurated Global Women’s Rights coverage for Buzzfeed News; and her work has also been published by The New Yorker; the Atlantic, Newsweek, Foreign Policy, the Christian Science Monitor, and in Best American Science Writing, as well as on public radio. She has reported from 30 countries around the world, more than half of them in Africa. In her words, her work is to create pieces that bridge the ubiquitous gap between Western readers and “others”. She also works hard to hold the powerful to account by telling stories about the people around us.

  • Alethia Tan

    OH! Open House Community Manager
    21 January 2019

    Alethia Tan is passionate about bringing surreal, immersive art experiences to life. Apart from developing the volunteer programme, Ms Tan also project manages and spearheads marketing. She is interested in cross-cultural understanding, tourism and pushing the boundary between art and technology.

  • Graham Priest

    Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Graduate Center, City University of New York; Professor Emeritus, University of Melbourne
    21 January 2019

    Graham Priest is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the CUNY Graduate Center, as well as a regular visitor at the University of Melbourne where he was Boyce Gibson Professor of Philosophy and also at the University of St Andrews. He is known for his defence of dialetheism, his in-depth analyses of the logical paradoxes (holding the thesis that there is a uniform treatment for many well-known paradoxes, such as the semantic, set-theoretic and Liar paradoxes), and his many writings related to paraconsistent and other non-classical logics.