SINGAPORE - Prominent Singaporean academic Kishore Mahbubani has been elected a member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences, joining the ranks of luminaries such as Charles Darwin, Benjamin Franklin and Barack Obama.
The former diplomat, who is currently senior adviser and professor at the National University of Singapore (NUS), said he shares the award with those who have been his "stalwart supporters" throughout his career.
From 1993 to 1998, Professor Mahbubani was permanent secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He spent more than three decades in the diplomatic service, with postings in Cambodia, Malaysia, and the United States. He was twice appointed ambassador to the United Nations and in his time there he was also president of the Security Council.
Prof Mahbubani served as dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy from 2004 to 2017. In 2010 and 2011, he was selected as one of Foreign Policy magazine's Top Global Thinkers.
Prof Mahbubani is currently senior adviser (university and global relations) and Professor in the Practice of Public Policy at NUS. Other faculty members who have been elected to the academy include former university president Shih Choon Fong and historian Wang Gungwu.
"The American Academy is an august institution that includes some of America's founding fathers among its earliest members," Prof Mahbubani said. "I share this accolade with family and friends who have been my stalwart supporters throughout my journey in foreign affairs and academe."
He added: "This honour is also a reflection of the exceptional global stature of NUS, and a tribute to the talented people that I have had the privilege of working with over the years."
The academy was founded in 1780, and awards memberships to world leaders in the arts, sciences, business, philanthropy and public affairs. It has elected more than 13,500 members to date.
More than 200 people were elected this year. They include former US First Lady Michelle Obama, author Jonathan Franzen, and gender theorist Judith Butler. The new members will be formally inducted at a ceremony in October, which will be held in Cambridge, Massachusetts.