Board of Governors
We report to a Board of Governors that reflects the cultural diversity of our organisation. Our Governors are picked by ASEM partners, and they hold office for three years. Many of our Governors are currently in ambassadorial positions; also on the Board are individuals with a wealth of experience in the areas of policy-making and education.
The Board meets three times in two years. It reviews our strategy and policies to ensure that we are keeping with the ASEM's principles and priorities. The Board also oversees our finances and budgeting, and this includes granting approval for our projects and programmes.
The Board elects a new Chair and Deputy Chair every year. To ensure fair representation, if the Chair is a European, the Deputy Chair will be an Asian, and vice-versa. The Board is also responsible for appointing our Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director.
CHAIRPERSON 2014: Ambassador Rosario G. MANALO (The Philippines)
VICE-CHAIRPERSON 2014: Ambassador Claude BLANCHEMAISON (France)
- Ambassador NYAN LynnGovernor for ASEAN
- Ms Julie HECKSCHERGovernor for Australia
- Ms Gabriele MEON-TSCHÜRTZGovernor for Austria
- Mr Asad Alam SIAMGovernor for Bangladesh
- Ambassador Gerard COCKX Governor for Belgium
- Pengiran Dato YUNUS Mahmud Governor for Brunei Darussalam
- Ambassador Ivan DIMITROVGovernor for Bulgaria
- Mr NEY SamolGovernor for Cambodia
- Ambassador LÜ YongshouGovernor for China
- High Commissioner Maria MICHAILGovernor for Cyprus
- Ambassador Rudolf HYKLGovernor for Czech Republic
- Ambassador Prof. Jørgen Ørstrøm MØLLERGovernor for Denmark
- Prof Rein RAUDGovernor for Estonia
- Mr Michael MATTHIESSENGovernor for European Union
- Ms Eva BIAUDETGovernor for Finland
- Ambassador Claude BLANCHEMAISONGovernor for France
- Prof Helmut HAUSSMANNGovernor for Germany
- Ambassador Dr Sotirios MOUSOURISGovernor for Greece
- Ambassador Dr András BALOGHGovernor for Hungary
- High Commissioner Vijay THAKUR SINGHGovernor for India
- Ambassador SOEMADI BrotodiningratGovernor for Indonesia
- Ambassador Joseph HAYESGovernor for Ireland
- Ambassador Paolo CRUDELEGovernor for Italy
- Ambassador Prof Takahiro SHINYO Governor for Japan
- Ambassador KIM Sam-hoonGovernor for Korea
- Mr Thongphane SAVANPHETGovernor for Laos
- Ms Daiga UPENIECEGovernor for Latvia
- Ambassador Egidijus MEILŪNASGovernor for Lithuania
- Dr Jacques F. POOSGovernor for Luxembourg
- High Commissioner Dato' Md. HUSSIN Bin NayanGovernor for Malaysia
- Prof Henry Joseph FRENDOGovernor for Malta
- Ambassador Banzragch DELGERMAA Governor for Mongolia
- N.N.Governor for Myanmar
- High Commissioner Bernadette CAVANAGHGovernor for New Zealand
- Ambassador Tormod ENDRESENGovernor for Norway
- High Commissioner Syed Hasan JAVEDGovernor for Pakistan
- N.N.Governor for Poland
- Ambassador Afonso Henriques ABREU DE AZEREDO MALHEIROGovernor for Portugal
- Ambassador Gheorghe MAGHERUGovernor for Romania
- Ambassador Leonid P. MOISEEVGovernor for Russian Federation
- Prof Leo TAN Wee HinGovernor for Singapore
- Ambassador Stanislav VALLOGovernor for Slovakia
- Ambassador Dr Marjan CENCENGovernor for Slovenia
- Mr Ramón María MORENO GONZÁLEZ Governor for Spain
- Ambassador Olof EHRENKRONAGovernor for Sweden
- Ambassador Thomas KUPFER Governor for Switzerland
- Ambassador Sawanit KONGSIRIGovernor for Thailand
- Prof Wim.A.L.STOKHOFGovernor for The Netherlands
- Ambassador Rosario G. MANALO Governor for The Philippines
- High Commissioner Antony John PHILLIPSONGovernor for United Kingdom
- Ambassador NGUYEN Duc Hung Governor for Vietnam
Ambassador NYAN LynnGovernor for ASEAN
The biography of Ambassador Nyan Lynn will be available soon.
Ms Julie HECKSCHERGovernor for Australia
Julie Heckscher took up the position of Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian High Commission in Singapore in September 2010.
Ms Heckscher was most recently Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian High Commission in Ottawa. Prior to this, Ms Heckscher was Director of the Administrative and Domestic Law Section (2007-2010), Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy in Moscow (2006-2007), Director of the Climate Change Section (2001-2004), and Second Secretary at the Australian Embassy in Moscow (1998-2001). Ms Heckscher joined DFAT in 1995 after working for some years as a commercial lawyer in private practice.
Ms Heckscher holds a Bachelor's Degree in Arts and Law (Honours) from the University of Tasmania, a Master's Degree in Arts (International Relations) from Monash University, and is undertaking an Executive Master's Degree in Public Administration through the Australian and New Zealand School of Government.
Ms Heckscher is married with one daughter.
[Last updated: 04/11/2011]
Ms Gabriele MEON-TSCHÜRTZGovernor for Austria
The biography and photo of Governor Gabriele Meon-Tschürtz will be available shortly.
Mr Asad Alam SIAMGovernor for Bangladesh
The biography and photo of Mr Siam will be available soon.
Ambassador Gerard COCKXGovernor for Belgium
The biography and photo of Ambassador Cockx will be available soon.
Pengiran Dato YUNUS MahmudGovernor for Brunei Darussalam
Pengiran Dato Yunus Mahmud is currently the Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Having studied Humanities for his Bachelor’s degree in the United Kingdom, he pursued his Masters in International Relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in the United States.
His career with the Brunei Ministry of Foreign Affairs began in 1981, training at the Japanese Foreign Service Institute in Japan. He was then appointed as the Second Secretary at the Brunei High Commission in Singapore and later the Private Secretary to the Bruneian Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Pengiran Yunus was then the First Secretary at the Brunei High Commission in London and Deputy Director of the ASEAN Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Among other foreign postings, he was variously appointed Charge d’Affaires in Jordan, Ambassador to Cambodia, Greece, Ireland and Belgium and High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Nordic Countries.
[Last updated 17/11/08]
Ambassador Ivan DIMITROVGovernor for Bulgaria
The photo and biography of Governor Polendakov will be available soon.
Mr NEY SamolGovernor for Cambodia
The biography and photo of Governor Ney Samol will be available soon.
Ambassador LÜ YongshouGovernor for China
Ambassador Lϋ has been a Commissioner of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission since 2005.
Before assuming his current post, Ambassador Lϋ was Second and First Secretary of the Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations and the Permanent Representative of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
Previously, he was Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Ghana. He has also worked in the Department of International Organizations and Conferences at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and served as the Attaché of the Embassy of China in the Republic of Liberia.
Ambassador Lϋ pursued his studies at the Department of Foreign Languages of Shandong University and the Beijing Foreign Studies University.
[Last updated: 17/11/08]
High Commissioner Maria MICHAILGovernor for Cyprus
Mrs Maria Michail was born in Nicosia, Cyprus on October 14, 1973. She graduated from the University of Leicester, UK in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and obtained a Master of Arts in European Studies from the University of Surrey, UK in 1995.
She joined the Diplomatic Service in 1997.
After three years in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nicosia, where she served consecutively in the Protocol and Consular Affairs Division, and the Cyprus Problem/Political Affairs Division, she was posted at the Embassy of Cyprus in Washington D.C. in 2000.
In 2003 she was appointed Deputy High Commissioner in London, and between 2006 and 2007 served at the Foreign Minister's Cabinet.
In 2008 she served as Deputy Director of the Cyprus Problem Division and since January 2009, she has been posted as Deputy Permanent Representative at the Mission of Cyprus to the United Nations in Geneva.
She is fluent in Greek and English and able to communicate in Spanish and French.
Maria Michail is married to Vladimir Glukhodid.
[Last updated: 03/05/2012]
Ambassador Rudolf HYKLGovernor for Czech Republic
Ambassador Rudolf Hykl assumed his position of the Governor for the Czech Republic in February 2014. He currently serves as the Ambassador of the Czech Republic in Malaysia. Mr Hykl is a career diplomat with the Czech foreign service since 1990. In the past, he held two Head of Mission positions in the Asia region, as the Consul General of the Czech Republic in Hong Kong (2005-2010) and the Chargé d´Affaires of the Czech Republic in Singapore (2000-2004). Prior to that he was posted at the Czech Embassy in Washington DC, followed by an appointment of the Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic in 1998. Ambassador Hykl is an economist by training, he also received master’s degree in public policy from Princeton. He is married with two children.
[Last updated: 26/03/2014]
Ambassador Prof. Jørgen Ørstrøm MØLLERGovernor for Denmark
Ambassador Møller is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of South-east Asian Studies, Singapore. He is also the former Ambassador to Singapore and Brunei.
He joined the Royal Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 1968, and is well-versed in European community issues, having served as a national expert on EC co-operation for more than a decade.
Ambassador Møller is widely published, with 27 books to his credit, including Future of the European Community -- Implications for ASEAN and Thailand (1989) and The Future European Model (1995). He has also contributed articles to many magazines and journals including The Futurist, Strategic Review, and the Revue du Marché Commun.
[Last updated: 15/04/09]
Prof Rein RAUDGovernor for Estonia
The biography of Governor Rein Raud will be available shortly.
Mr Michael MATTHIESSENGovernor for European Union
Michael Matthiessen is a Principal Advisor in the Asia and Pacific Department of the European External Action Service (EEAS) in Brussels, responsible for the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). In this capacity he is also the Alternate Senior Official for the EEAS in ASEM.
Prior to becoming Principal Advisor ASEM in July 2013, Michael Matthiessen was the EU Visiting Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore for the academic year 2012-2013. Prior to his Fellowship in Singapore, Michael Matthiessen had a diplomatic career over 30 years, the last 14 years in senior positions in the European institutions.
He joined the Secretariat General of the Council of the European Union (SGC) in 1999 as a Head of Unit in the “Policy Unit” of the High Representative, responsible for the Situation Centre and civilian crisis management. He then became the Personal Representative of the High Representative for Human Rights from 2005 to 2007 and for Parliamentary Affairs from 2007 to 2009. With the creation under the Lisbon Treaty of the European External Action Service (EEAS) in 2011 he became Director for Parliamentary Affairs in the EEAS.
Prior to joining the European institutions, Michael Matthiessen was a diplomat in the Danish Foreign Service from 1982 to 1999. He served as Head of Department for European Affairs in the MFA in Copenhagen from 1997 to 1999 and as Counsellor at the Permanent Representation of Denmark to the EU in Brussels from 1992 to 1997. He was the Private Secretary to the Prime Minister of Denmark from 1988 to 1992 and seconded as Deputy Director of the Private Office of the Secretary General of NATO in Brussels from 1985 to 1987.
Michael Matthiessen holds a Masters’ degree in Political Science from the University of Aarhus in Denmark (1982) and a Diplome d’Etudes Approfondies (DEA) from Science Po Paris (1981). In addition to his mother tongue Danish, he is fluent in English and French.
He was born in 1956 in Denmark. He is married and has two children.
[Last updated: 31/10/2013]
Ms Eva BIAUDETGovernor for Finland
Ms Biaudet recently ended her posting as OSCE Special Representative for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings.
She was formerly Minister of Health and Social Services as well as Gender Issues, and a member of the Finnish parliament for 16 years. Apart from being a Fraction Leader for four years, she maintained her membership in committees such as Foreign Affairs, Finance, Tax, Education and Science, Social and Labour Affairs, Social Affairs and Health, and Equality.
As an MP, she served in various delegations of Finland such as the Nordic Council, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the Conference of the Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region.
Prior to her political and diplomatic career, she pursued Law Studies at the University of Helsinki, Finland.
[Last updated: 12/4/2010]
Ambassador Claude BLANCHEMAISONGovernor for France
Ambassador Claude BLANCHEMAISON has previously served as Ambassador of France to Spain (2005 - 2007), to Russia and Tajikistan (2000 - 2003), to India (1996 - 2000) and to Vietnam (1989 - 1993). He was the Secretary General of the French Presidency 2008 of the Council of the European Union in the Prime Minister Office.
He has held different positions at the Foreign Ministry: Director for Asia Pacific between 1993 and 1996, Director for Europe in 1993, Joint-Secretary for East Asia between 1987 and 1989. From 1982 to 1985, he was appointed the Deputy Secretary General for European Cooperation in the Prime Minister Office.
He served at the Permanent Representation of France to the European Union in Brussels between 1978 and 1982. Prior to that appointment, he had worked in the European Cooperation Department between 1973 and 1978.
Ambassador Blanchemaison has graduated from “Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales” (Business School – Paris) and from the Paris University.
[Last updated: 20 June 2011]
Prof Helmut HAUSSMANNGovernor for Germany
Prof Haussmann is currently a member of the German Parliament and spokesman for European Politics of the Liberal Parliamentary Group. He is also Senior Vice President of Cap Gemini Ernst & Young GmbH.
Prof Haussmann was formerly the Federal Economic Minister of Germany. A member of the Bundestag since 1976, he has served on numerous committees dealing with foreign affairs, economics, EC policies, and security policies. He was also Secretary-General of the Free Democratic Party.
He holds a doctorate in Business Management from Erlangen-Nuremberg University. He has also read economics and sociology in Tübingen and Hamburg. Since 1978, he has lectured at Erlangen-Nuremberg University, where he holds an honorary professorship in management, specialising in international management.
[Last updated: 31/11/2008]
Ambassador Dr Sotirios MOUSOURISGovernor for Greece
Ambassador Mousouris is currently the President of the Organization for the Construction of the New Acropolis Museum. He also holds the position of Ambassador-at-Large and Special Envoy of the Greek Government and is a governor of the Open University of Greece.
Ambassador Mousouris was previously the Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations. During his tenure, he served in numerous positions, including Director of the Centre Against Apartheid, Deputy Head of the Department of Political Affairs, and Personal Representative of the Secretary General for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
He was also formerly Deputy Governor of the Hellenic Industrial Bank, where he headed several bank-owned corporations and was on the Board of Directors of the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg.
Ambassador Mousouris received his degrees from the University of Athens and Boston University, and obtained his doctorate from Harvard Business School.
[Last updated: 15/04/09]
Ambassador Dr András BALOGHGovernor for Hungary
Ambassador Balogh is currently the Chief Advisor on international strategy to the former Prime Minister of Hungary, as well as coordinator of the National Development Task Force of the Government of Hungary.
He is also Head of the Modern World History Department at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest and Vice-President of the Hungarian Foreign Political Society.
During his diplomatic career, Ambassador Balogh has been based in Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, the Maldives, and Afghanistan.
He earned his PhD in Development Studies at the Eötvös Loránd University and his D.Sc. in History at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He has written more than 150 studies and books on international relations and modern Asian history.
[Last updated: 22/09/10]
High Commissioner Vijay THAKUR SINGHGovernor for India
Prior to being appointed as High Commissioner of India to Singapore, Ms Vijay Thakur Singh, Indian Foreign Service, has served as Joint Secretary in the National Security Council Secretariat (from September 2012 to June 2013), Joint Secretary to the President of India (August 2007 till August 2012), Deputy Chief of Mission in Embassy of India, Madrid (February 2006 to August 2007), Counsellor in the Embassy of India in Kabul (September 2003 to November 2005), Counsellor in the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations in New York (June 2000 to July 2003), Director in the UN Division in the Ministry of External Affairs (January 2000 to June 2000), and as Under Secretary, Deputy Secretary and Director in the Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran Division in the Ministry of External Affairs (April 1989 to December 1999). Ms Singh has also served as Third Secretary in Embassy of India, Madrid (December 1986 to March 1989).
Ms Singh who was born on 18 September 1960 is married. Her mother tongue is Hindi; she also speaks Spanish and French. Her educational qualification is an MA in Economics and Bachelor of Laws.
[Last updated: 28/10/13]
Ambassador SOEMADI BrotodiningratGovernor for Indonesia
Ambassador Brotodiningrat was Ambassador of Indonesia to the US, and prior to that he was Ambassador to Japan.
He has also served as Director General for Foreign Economic Relations with the Department of Foreign Affairs in Indonesia, and was Permanent Representative to the United Nations, General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organization, and other international organisations in Geneva, Switzerland.
Earlier in his career, Ambassador Brotodiningrat was Deputy Director for the Multilateral Economic Cooperation Directorate, and Minister Counsellor of the Indonesian Mission at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
He pursued his studies at the Institut International d’Administration Publique in Paris and also majored in International Relations at the Gajah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
[Last updated: 31/09/2009]
Ambassador Joseph HAYESGovernor for Ireland
Ambassador Joseph Hayes joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland in 1972 and has been a career diplomat since then. He is currently Ambassador of Ireland to Singapore, and non-resident Ambassador to the Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei and Timor Leste. Prior to this post, Ambassador Hayes served in various Irish Missions abroad: He was Ambassador to Denmark (and also Iceland) from 2006 to 2010, Ambassador to the Czech Republic (and also to Ukraine) from 2001 to 2005, Ambassador to China (and also to Cambodia and Mongolia) from 1995 to 1999. He also served in the Irish Embassies in London as Counsellor from 1989 to 1994, in Moscow as First Secretary from 1982 to 1986, and in Bonn as Third and First Secretary from 1974 to 1978.
He has also served in a variety of posts at the Department's headquarters including in the Legal Division from 1978 to 1982, in the Political Division from 1986 to 1988, in the Press and Information Division from 1988 to 1989 and as the Assistant Secretary General responsible for Ireland's Asia Strategy from 1999 to 2001. He also served as Joint Secretary of the North South Ministerial Council based in Armagh, Northern Ireland from 2005 to 2006.
Ambassador Hayes is a graduate in History and Politics of University College Dublin and a Barrister at Law from the Kings Inns.
[Last updated: 14/11/2011]
Ambassador Paolo CRUDELEGovernor for Italy
Mr Paolo Crudele joined the Diplomatic Service of Italy in March 1992 with a commercial specialisation. Since then, he has served in various positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy, including Directorate General for Economic Affairs (1992-1994), Press and Institutional Communication Services (1994), Immigration and Social Affairs Directorate (1994-1996). In 2004, Mr Crudele became the Head of the Secretariat of the Directorate General for the Americas. Apart from his positions in Rome, he also served in different Italian missions abroad: in Guatemala from 1996 to 2000, in Madrid from 2000 to 2002, as Head of the Commercial Office and then Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Italy in Beijing between 2009 and 2013. Since February 2013, he was appointed as Ambassador of Italy to Singapore.
Born in Salerno, Italy in May 1965, Mr Paolo Crudele graduated in Political Science from Salerno University in 1989.
Mr Crudele was awarded “Knight of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy” in 2002.
[Last updated: 06/05/2013]
Ambassador Prof Takahiro SHINYOGovernor for Japan
Ambassador/Professor Takahiro SHINYO is the Vice-President of Kwansei Gakuin University. He served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Federal Republic of Germany from 2008 to 2012.
As a career diplomat, his background encompasses a broad range of issues: His assignments include Deputy Director-General of European and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, Counsul-General of Japan in Düsseldorf, Director-General of Multilateral Cooperation Department and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations.
As a professor, he has taught at Osaka University, both at Faculty of Law and Osaka School of International Public Policy. He is currently responsible for International Strategy at Kwansei Gakuin University.
[Last Updated 08/03/2013]
Ambassador KIM Sam-hoonGovernor for Korea
Ambassador Kim has served as the Permanent Representative (Ambassador) of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Canada and to the Federative Republic of Brazil.
He was the Deputy Minister for International Organizations and Policy Planning at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Seoul. He was also appointed as the Special Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador to the North Korean Nuclear Issue.
Following this, Ambassador Kim acted as the Deputy Permanent Representative (Ambassador) to the UN and International Organizations in Geneva. In that capacity, he attended the Uruguay Round Trade Negotiations of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (World Trade Organization).
Among Ambassador Kim's previous responsibilities: he was Director-General for International Affairs of the Seoul Olympic Organizing Committee, and he participated in preliminary talks for the first High Level South-North Korean dialogue in 1990 as a member of the South Korean delegation.
In his work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Kim has held a number of positions, including Political Counsellor at the Korean Embassy in the US; Counsellor at the Korean Embassy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; First Secretary at the Korean Embassy in the US; and Consul at the Korean Consulate General in Chicago, US.
Ambassador Kim holds his country's Order of Civil Service Merit (Green Stripes) and Sport Merit Medal of Honour as well as the Ordem Nacional do Cruzeiro do Sul of Brazil. A graduate of the College of Law, Seoul National University, he is married with a daughter and a son.
[Last updated: 15/04/2009]
Mr Thongphane SAVANPHETGovernor for Laos
Mr Thongphane Savanphet has been the Director-General of the Economic Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lao PDR since September 2011, after serving as the Deputy Director-General of the Department for nearly two years. Prior to this appointment, he had served at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia. He held the position of the Assistant Director/Head of ASEAN Political Cooperation Division from 2009 to 2010; ASEAN Plus Three (China, Japan and Republic of Korea) Unit between 2007 and 2009; Senior Officer of ASEAN Plus Three Unit between 2003 and 2006 and Social Development Unit between 2002 and 2003.
From 1996 to 2002, Mr Savanphet served at different positions at the ASEAN Political and Security Cooperation Division, ASEAN Affairs Department, Ministry of Foreign Affair of the Lao PDR. He was the Third Secretary at the Lao Embassy in Canberra, Australia between 1993 and 1996.
Mr Savanphet joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1989. He holds two M.A. degrees: M.A. in International Law from Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University), Moscow, Russia and M.A. in Diplomatic Studies from the Leicester University, Leicester, United Kingdom.
[Last updated: 12/12/2011]
Ms Daiga UPENIECEGovernor for Latvia
Head of Art Museum RIGA BOURSE. Riga, Latvia.
Ms Daiga Upeniece started her career at the Foreign Art Museum of Latvia in 1981, and became the Curator of Graphic and Head of Graphic Department of the Foreign Art Museum in 1985. In 1995, Ms Upeniece was appointed the Director of the Foreign Art Museum. After the merge of Riga’s leading art museum into united institution in 2010, she became the Head of Art Museum RIGA BOURSE and Head of Foreign Art Department of Latvian National Museum of Art.
Ms Daiga Upeniece has been involved in various art projects and important curated exhibitions, including conceptions and organisation of cultural weeks in cooperation with the various Embassies in Asia: she organized art projects in Indonesia (2009, 2001), Japan (2012, 2011), China (2011), South Korea (2011) the Philippines (2011), Pakistan (2012) and Thailand (2013). Ms Upeniece has also published extensively on art (books, catalogues of exhibitions).
Ms Upeniece has been honoured several awards, including the Diploma from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia in 2012, L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from France in 2008, L’Ordre de Leopold II from Belgium in 2007 and Order of Three Stars from Latvia in 2007. She received her Master’s degree from the Latvian Art Academy in 2001 and she commenced her doctoral studies at the Latvian Art Academy in 2009.
Ms Daiga Upeniece is Member of International Council of Museums ICOM, International Network for Curators of Art from the Low Countries CODART,European Etnology Museum Directors Group EEMD, takes part in Asia-Europe Museum Network ASEMUS.
[Last updated: 14/03/2014]
Ambassador Egidijus MEILŪNASGovernor for Lithuania
Mr Egidijus Meilūnas began his diplomatic career by holding positions at the Embassy of Lithuania in Poland from 1992 to 1995. Since then, he has held various positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: he was Deputy Political Director and later Head of the Central Europe Division from 1995 to 1998, Deputy Adviser on national security and foreign policy issues to the President of Lithuania between 1998 and 2002, and Diplomatic Adviser to the President between 2002 and 2003. Mr Meilūnas was appointed as Ambassador-at-Large and Inspector General at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania in 2003 and as Ambassador of Lithuania to Poland between 2004 and 2010. In 2010, he became Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs before his appointment as Ambassador to Japan in 2012.
Born in Vilnius in 1964, Mr Meilūnas obtained his diploma in Paediatrics at the Faculty of Medicine of Vilnius University in 1989. He worked at the Surgery Division of the Faculty of Medicine for a year after having obtained the diploma. He also had a Master degree from the Faculty of Law of Vilnius University in 2001. Apart from his positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Meilūnas also served as Secretary of the Foreign Policy Coordination Council of Lithuania between 1998 and 2003, and as Co-Chairman of Advisory Committee of the Presidents of Lithuania and Poland between 1998 and 2003.
Mr Meilūnas is fluent at English, Polish and Russian.
[Last updated: 10/04/2013]
Dr Jacques F. POOSGovernor for Luxembourg
Jacques Poos was appointed as adviser to the Ministry of Economy in 1959, he worked as a researcher at the Service for Economic and Statistical Studies (STATEC) from 1962 to 1964. His first public office was as member of the Economic and Social Council, in which he held a held a scat in the ranks of the trade-unions delegation, since the establishment of the Council in 1966 until 1972. From 1969 to 1976, he was elected member of the Town Council of the City of Esch-sur-Alzette. In 1974 he won a seat in Parliament and in 1975 became chairman of the Socialist Parliamentary Group (POSL). In July 1976, he was appointed Minister of Finance and National Planning in the Cabinet of Gaston Thorn. As Minister of Finance, Jacques Poos was the instigator of the Societe Nationale de Credit et d’Investissement (SNCI), and one of the architects of the Luxembourgish crisis management model in the steel industry. At European level, he took part in the negotiations of the European Monetary System (EMS), which was launched on 13 March 1979. Following the 1979 elections, Jacques Poos resumed work in the private sector while remaining a Member of Parliament. He was first Executive Director of the Banque Continentale, and then of the Banque Paribas (Luxembourg) S.A. from 1980 to 1984.
From 1984, he continuously acted as Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development, with varying additional portefolios in the different governments. From 1984 to 1989, he was Minister for the Treasury and Minister for Economy, and from 1989 to 1994 Minister for the Armed Forces. In his capacity as Foreign Minister, Jacques Poos was Luxembourg’s negotiator for major European Treaties. In the late 1990s he was, with his 15 years in office, the longest serving Foreign Minister in Europe. He was elected Member of the European Parliament in June 1999. He was also a full member of the Committee for Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defense Policy and a substitute member of the Committee for Constitutional Affairs.
Since 2000 until 2004, Mr Poos was draftsman of the European Parliament for Cyprus’ accession to the EU. From 2000 to 2010, he was member of the board of the Banque BNP – Paribas (Luxembourg) S.A. In June 2006, he was appointed member of the council of the Luxembourg Central Bank (BCL). Since December 2008, he is an independent non-executive member of the board of Directors of Bank of China (Luxembourg) S.A.
[Last updated: 14/12/2011]
High Commissioner Dato' Md. HUSSIN Bin NayanGovernor for Malaysia
Dato’ Md. Hussin bin Nayan started his diplomatic career with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia as Assistant Secretary at the South East Asia Division in 1976. He was assigned to various postings of the Malaysian Missions abroad, including the USA and Bangladesh. He was appointed Counsellor at the Embassy of Malaysia in Austria and Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Vienna (UNOV) in 1989. In 1993, he was appointed Principal Assistant Secretary for Policy Planning at the MFA, and became the Under Secretary for International Organisations in 1996.
In 1998, Dato’ Md. Hussin bin Nayan was appointed as Ambassador of Malaysia to Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2000, he was appointed Under Secretary for Territorial and Maritime Affairs. Three years later, he was appointed High Commissioner of Malaysia to Australia. He became the Director General of the Southeast Asia Regional Centre for Counter-Terrorism (SEARCCT) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2005.
In 2009, Dato’ Md. Hussin bin Nayan was appointed the High Commissioner of Malaysia to Singapore. He was appointed the ASEF Governor for Malaysia in October 2011.
Dato’ Md. Hussin bin Nayan is married to Datin Jamaliah binti Hassan and has three grown-up children.
[Last updated: 15/11/2011]
Prof Henry Joseph FRENDOGovernor for Malta
Prof Frendo is a Professor of History at the University of Malta, Director of the Institute of Maltese Studies, and Chairman of the Malta University Press.
He was earlier appointed as Programme Officer at the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and continues to be the Chairman of the Refugee Appeals Board at the Maltese Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs.
After completing a BA and Master's degree at the University of Malta, he also attained a DPhil in History at Oxford University. He was a Producer-Presenter of the weekly interview programme Voice of the Mediterranean. He also worked at the Headquarters of the UN High Commission for Human Rights in Switzerland and was later posted as a Programme Officer in Eqypt, Mozambique, and Rhodesia-Zimbabwe, and subsequently became Head of Mission in Papua New Guinea.
Prof Frendo is Founder-President of the Maltese Historical Association of Australia, where he has held academic and consultancy positions for several years. He was also appointed the Mayor of Attard and Head of Delegation to the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe.
[Last updated: 17/11/08]
Ambassador Banzragch DELGERMAAGovernor for Mongolia
Ms Banzragch Delgermaa is currently Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Republic of Singapore, as well as a non-resident Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines and to Brunei Darussalam.
Ambassador B. Delgermaa holds a Honourary Masters degree in Law from the University of Kubani, former Soviet Union and Ph.D. degree in History from the Siberia Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Federation. She studied English at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom in 1992 and at California State Legislature, USA in 1995.
She began her career as a Researcher at the State General Prosecutor's Office of Mongolia in 1982. After spending three years in the State General Prosecutor's Office, she became a Lecturer at the National University of Mongolia in 1986. Her previous duties also include Researcher at the Academy of Sciences of Mongolia (1989-1990), Advisor to the Standing Committee on Economic Affairs, Parliament of Mongolia (1991-1993), Director of the Academy of Political Education of Mongolia (1993-1996), Member of the Executive Board of the Mongolian National Olympic Committee (1996-2002).
In 1996, she was elected as a Member of Parliament of Mongolia. At the same time she acted as Chair of the Sub-committee on Human Rights and Secretary General of the Democratic Party.
After four years in Parliament, she served as the President of the Board of the Academy of Political Education until 2004. She also served as Advisor for Social Policy to the Prime Minister of Mongolia during 2004-2006.
Ambassador B. Delgermaa is one of the successful woman politicians in Mongolia and she also served as the President of the Democratic Women's Union of the Democratic Party of Mongolia from 2003 to 2010. In 2002 she served as a national advisor of human rights for UNDP in the National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia.
Prior to her appointment to the Republic of Singapore, she served as General Director of the Post-Graduate School of Social Sciences "LIBERTY" in Mongolia.
Ambassador Delgermaa speaks English and Russian.
[Last updated 11/03/2013]
N.N.Governor for Myanmar
High Commissioner Bernadette CAVANAGHGovernor for New Zealand
Bernadette Cavanagh has been working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) since 2000. Prior to joining the Ministry, Bernadette worked for the New Zealand Defence Force and Ministry of Defence in a number of roles, including in the Office of the Chief of Defence Force.
On joining MFAT, Bernadette worked in the Regional Security Unit, Security Policy Division, and Europe Division. From 2004 – 2007 Bernadette was Deputy Head of Mission at the New Zealand Embassy in Moscow. From October 2007 to March 2010 Bernadette was Head of the South East Asia Unit in Wellington. The unit managed New Zealand’s bilateral political, cultural and trade relations with the 10 countries of ASEAN (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam), plus Timor-Leste. From July 2010 – December 2012, Bernadette held the position of Deputy Permanent Representative at the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.
Bernadette took up the position of New Zealand High Commissioner to Singapore, with cross accreditation to the Maldives, in January 2013.
[Last updated: 31/10/2013]
Ambassador Tormod ENDRESENGovernor for Norway
The biography and photo of Governor Tormod Endresen will be available soon.
High Commissioner Syed Hasan JAVEDGovernor for Pakistan
Syed Hasan Javed was born on 9th December 1955. He holds Master’s Degree in Economics. In March 1979, he joined the Foreign Service of Pakistan and has since then become a career diplomat. He started at the Headquarters as Section Officer in 1980, and became Director from 1987 until 1991, and Director General from 1999 to 2001.
He has held various diplomatic assignments in Pakistan’s Missions abroad, including in Beijing (1981 – 1987 and 2001 – 2003), Harare (1991 - 2001), Dushanbe (1994 – 1996) and Brussels (1996 – 1999). He also served as the High Commissioner for Pakistan to Mauritius from 2003 to 2007.
In February 2008, Syed Hasan Javed was appointed Additional Foreign Secretary at the Headquarters. In September 2011, he was appointed as the High Commissioner for Pakistan to Singapore and became the ASEF Governor for Pakistan.
[Last updated: 04/11/2011]
N.N.Governor for Poland
Ambassador Afonso Henriques ABREU DE AZEREDO MALHEIROGovernor for Portugal
Ambassador Afonso Malheiro is currently the Ambassador of Portugal to Singapore.
Before assuming his current post, he was the Director of Asia/Pacific at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, in Lisbon and simultaneously, the Portuguese ASEM Senior Official.
In the course of his diplomatic carrier, he served as Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy in Jakarta, Counsellor at the Permanent Delegation to NATO and Consul-General in Marseille and the Principality of Monaco.
He was also an international civil servant of the European Commission, in Brussels, Assistant Professor of International Cooperation at Universidade Lusíada, in Lisbon, and Director of the Indian delegation of the Lisbon based Orient Foundation.
Ambassador Afonso Malheiro obtained his Bachelor and Master degrees in Economics from Sorbonne University, Paris.
Ambassador Gheorghe MAGHERUGovernor for Romania
Ambassador Magheru is the Director General for Bilateral Relations at the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His previous appointments at the ministry include Director General for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (Asia-Pacific, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America) and Director General for Relations with Central and South-East Europe and Regional Cooperation.
He has also represented Romania at the Council of Europe as the Deputy Permanent Representative, and was the Ambassador of Romania to the Council of Europe as well as Chairman of Ministers’ Deputies of the Committee of Ministers.
A graduate in Language and Literature from the University of Bucharest, Romania, Ambassador Magheru specialises in literary translations and publishes articles on modern history.
[Last updated: 15/04/09]
Ambassador Leonid P. MOISEEVGovernor for Russian Federation
Prof Leo TAN Wee HinGovernor for Singapore
Prof Tan is the Chairman of the Pacific Science Association Committee on Science Communication and Education.
He attained his Bachelor of Science (Hon.), Graduate Research, and PhD qualifications from the National University of Singapore (NUS). He has been a lecturer at the NUS and was Director of the National Institute of Education.
In the course of his career, he has also been the Chairman of the National Parks Board, the President of the Asian Scientific Academies & Societies, the Director and CEO of the Singapore Science Centre, and the Chairman of the National Youth Achievement Award Council.
Prof Tan has received several Singapore National Day Awards for Public Service and Administration. He was also awarded the Green Leaf Environmental Award and the French National Order of Merit.
[Last updated: 15/04/09]
Ambassador Stanislav VALLOGovernor for Slovakia
The photo and biography of Governor Vello will be available soon.
Ambassador Dr Marjan CENCENGovernor for Slovenia
Dr Marjan Cencen graduated from the Faculty of Sociology, Political Sciences and Journalism, received his Master’s Degree from the Faculty of Arts and PhD from the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Ljubljana. He was an active athlete and Editor-in-Chief of the student newspaper Razmerja. Between 1983 and 1992, he was a class teacher at the Technical High School in Ljubljana and joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia in 1992 as Counsellor in the Department for Africa, Asia and Latin America. He was a member of the Slovenian Delegation to the UNGA in 1993 and 1994 and moved to the Department for Multilateral Relations as Deputy Head in 1995. Later that year, he was appointed Counsellor at the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in the People’s Republic of China. After his return to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2000, he was appointed Deputy Head of the Department for North America. In 2003, he was appointed Minister Plenipotentiary and Deputy Head of Mission to the Russian Federation, and in 2005, Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, also accredited to Vietnam, Mongolia, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and Thailand. He chaired EU Ambassadors in Beijing during the Slovenian EU Presidency in 2008. After his return to the Ministry in 2009, he was appointed Coordinator for the European Parliament and in February 2012, Director-General for bilateral relations.
Dr Cencen participated in several international seminars and training courses held in Geneva, Vienna, Garmisch P, Washington D.C., and Moscow, and authored several scientific and other articles published in Slovenia, China and the Russian Federation. Between 2002 and 2003, he was a visiting professor at the University of Ljubljana and later also held lectures at the universities of Beida, Fudan, Jilin, Tibet, and at the Beijing Foreign Studies University. He is also the author of six docummentaries on Western Himalayas and East Africa and in 2011, his book titled "International Position of the People’s Republic of China after the End of the Cold War" was published by the Faculty of Social Sciences in Ljubljana. He was awarded the title of "Friendship Ambassador" by the Organizational Board of the Chinese Association of the International Festival of Friendship and Culture.
Dr Cencen speaks English, German and Russian and also understands French, Spanish and Chinese.
He is married and has two children.
[Last updated: 06/11/2012]
Mr Ramón María MORENO GONZÁLEZGovernor for Spain
The biography and photo of Mr Ramón María Moreno González will be available soon.
Ambassador Olof EHRENKRONAGovernor for Sweden
Ambassador Ehrenkrona is currently Ambassador and Senior Advisor to the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Carl Bildt. In the Minister's office, he primarily deals with issues regarding globalisation.
He received his first public assignment in 1978, when he became advisor to the Minister for Economic Affairs. He was previously Head of Policy Planning in the Swedish Prime Minister's Office and served as CEO in a private consulting company.
Ambassador Ehrenkrona was also on the editorial team for the Svenska Dagbladet and has published a number of books about Swedish political and economic history. His academic subjects include History of Ideas and Learning, as well as Political Science and History.
[Last updated: 20/12/2010]
Ambassador Thomas KUPFERGovernor for Switzerland
Ambassador Thomas Kupfer has been Ambassador of Switzerland to Singapore since September 2012. He joined the Diplomatic Service of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in Bern, Switzerland in 1983. Since then, he has held different positions both in headquarters and overseas, including Swiss Embassy in Washington, USA (1984), Swiss Mission to the European Union in Brussels (1991) and Swiss Embassy in Rome, Italy (1995). Mr Kupfer served as Ambassador for Humanitarian Affairs based in Geneva (2000-2001), Ambassador to Colombia (2004-2008) and Ambassador to Korea (2008-2012). He also served in positions as Deputy Director General of Africa & Middle East Division of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (2001-2003) and Secretary General of the XXVIII International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in Geneva (2003-2004).
Ambassador Thomas Kupfer was born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1954. He completed his law studies at the University of Zurich in 1978 and obtained a license as an attorney for the Bar of Zurich in 1981. He is married to Mrs Fiorella Kupfer Monteriori. His hobbies include reading and golf.
[Last updated: 10/04/2013]
Ambassador Sawanit KONGSIRIGovernor for Thailand
Ambassador Sawanit Kongsiri is the Assistant Secretary General for External Relations at the Thai Red Cross Society.
His career with the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs began in 1966. He has worked in the Office of the Permanent Secretary, and has held Director-General appointments at the Department of Political Affairs, the Department of Economic Affairs, and the Department of Information.
Ambassador Sawanit was also appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Australia, China, and Vienna before becoming the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.
[Last updated: 17/11/08]
Prof Wim.A.L.STOKHOFGovernor for The Netherlands
Prof Stokhof was elected as Chairman of the Board in December 2010 during the ASEF’s 25th Board of Governors Meeting held in Luang Prabang, Laos. He also joined the ASEF's Executive Committee representing the Netherlands.
He is currently the Chair of Cultural and Societal Relations between Indonesia and the Netherlands at the Faculty of Arts, Leiden University. He was appointed Chairman of the Research School of Asian, African and Amerindian Studies, and was a member of the Advisory Committee for co-operation with Indonesia at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands. On 9 February 2013, the Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, bestowed the title of Doctor Honoris Causa on Dr Stokhof.
After completing his postgraduate studies in Linguistics, he went on to teach in a number of universities. He was also the Founding Director of the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World and the Director of the International Institute for Asian Studies.
He was born in 1941, is married, and enjoys semantics, descriptive linguistics, international relations, Asia and ASEM studies and antique Asian ceramics.
[Last updated: 18/02/13]
Ambassador Rosario G. MANALOGovernor for The Philippines
Ambassador Manalo is a member of the High Level Task Force for the ASEAN Human Rights Charter and the Chair of the European Studies Program in the Ateneo de Manila University.
She was previously a Presidential advisor and Special Envoy to Latin America. She was also appointed Undersecretary for International Economic Relations for the Department of Foreign Affairs and was variously the Ambassador to France, Portugal, Belgium & Luxembourg, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and the European Economic Community. A Permanent Delegate of the Philippines to UNESCO, she was later appointed Chairwoman for of the UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines.
Ambassador Manalo has held the post of Chairwoman for the UN Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and the UN Commission on the Status of Women. She has been lecturing at various universities in the Philippines for over 40 years.
She has two Master of Arts degrees, in International Studies & Diplomacy and Public Administration, and three Bachelor of Arts degrees in Foreign Service, Law, and Science in Jurisprudence.
[Last updated: 17/11/08]
High Commissioner Antony John PHILLIPSONGovernor for United Kingdom
Mr Antony Phillipson was appointed British High Commissioner to the Republic of Singapore in 2010. Prior to his current position, High Commissioner Phillipson worked in various positions for the UK’s Civil Service. He began his career in the Department of Trade and Industry in 1993. His posts included Private Secretary and then Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State. In 2000 he moved to the British Embassy in Washington DC, USA to serve as the First Secretary of Trade Policy and then as Counsellor (Global Issues) 2002-2004. In 2004, he was appointed Private Secretary to the Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs. In 2007, he moved to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) where he was Head of the Iran Co-ordination Group in the Middle East and North Africa Directorate.
In July 2011, High Commissioner Phillipson succeeded Sir Timothy Lankester as the ASEF Governor for the UK.
High Commissioner Phillipson is married to Julie Phillipson and they have three young boys.
[Last updated on 26/07/11]
Ambassador NGUYEN Duc HungGovernor for Vietnam
Ambassador Nguyen Duc Hung has held various positions within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam. Prior to his appointment as ASEF Governor, he served as the Ambassador of Vietnam to Canada and Singapore.
He has also been assigned to the Permanent Mission of Vietnam in the United Nations Headquarters in New York and the Vietnam Embassy in Moscow. His other appointments include Deputy and Chief of Staff, Assistant Minister, and Director General of the Americas Department, and Assistant Minister and Chief of Advisory Board to the Ministerial Leadership.
From 2000-2002, he was the ASEM Senior Official Leader for ASEAN Vietnam. Ambassador Nguyen is fluent in Vietnamese, English, and Russian, and holds a BA in Literature and English and an MA in International Law and Development.
[Last updated: 20/01/11]