Political and Economic Department
ASEF’s Political and Economic department aims to provide and communicate quality, actionable inputs for the policy dialogue between Asia and Europe.
- To regularly monitor and analyse developments in Asia-Europe relations in order to identify relevant policy issues where ASEF provides an added value;
- To design and implement programmes responsive to the identified needs of Asia-Europe relations;
- To transform the outcomes of programmes into inputs actionable for Asia-Europe policy dialogue;
- To deliver and implement a communication strategy for the dissemination and advocacy of the outcomes of IE activities.
In 2011 the focus areas of the Intellectual Exchange Department include:
Human Rights and Governance: We bring together government and civil society actors to dialogue and share good practice.
- Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights: The largest government-civil society dialogue on human rights issues in Asia and Europe.
- Asia Europe Roundtable on Conflict Management: Promotes action-oriented discussion on conflict management and peace-building in Asia and Europe
Education and Academic Co-operation: We promote inter-regional partnership in Asian and European studies.
- The EU through the Eyes of Asia: measures and analyses the perceptions of the EU in Asian countries
- Asia in the Eyes of Europe: A mirror study to the EU through the Eyes of Asia project. Explores the perceptions of Asia amongst European ASEM members
Environment and Sustainable Development: We discuss environmental and sustainable development issues relevant to Asia and Europe.
- Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum): The ENVForum’s Asia-Europe Strategies for the Earth Summit 2012 aims to produce an analysis of International Framework for Sustainable Development (IFSD) options for Rio+20
Economy and Society: We explore a range of social and economic issues with the aim of developing policy recommendations for enhanced inter-regional cooperation.
- The impact of the Crisis on regional Economic Integration: Discusses coping strategies, mechanisms and long-term solutions to the crisis and potential future crises in Asia and Europe.
ASEF Public Health Network: A multi-sector and multi-level platform between Asia and Europe for public health policy dialogue.
The Network activities are classified under three thematic areas:
- Regional Integration and Infectious Diseases – The Network aims to create a platform for consistent exchange of knowledge and experience between Asia and Europe on regional integration and infectious diseases.
- Multi-sector Pandemic Preparedness and Response – Through the ASEF-ASAP (Accurate Scenarios Active Preparedness) scenario exercise, the Network aims to engage health and non-health sectors towards multi-sectoral pandemic preparedness and response.
- Public Health Dialogue – The Network aims to engage multiple actors to address the health issues that affect vulnerable groups such as young people, migrants as well as sexual and ethnic minorities.
- Mr Thierry SCHWARZDirector
- Ms Sunkyoung LEEActing Deputy Director
- Ms Grace FOOProject Manager
- Ms Grazyna PULAWSKAProject Executive
- Ms Ratna MATHAI-LUKE Project Executive
- Mr Shaun GAVIGAN Project Executive
- Ms Hanae HANZAWA Project Officer
Mr Thierry SCHWARZDirector
Thierry Schwarz, is nominated by the French government to head the Intellectual Exchange department in 2012.
Prior to his secondment to ASEF, he was Adviser to the Council for Administrative Reform and Founder and Director of the Joint Master degree program of Public Management between the French National School of Public Administration (ENA) and the Royal University of Law and Economics in Phnom Penh.
He was founder and Dean of the Europe-Asia Undergraduate Program at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques), France from 2007 to 2010. Between 2001 to 2007, Thierry was Regional Counsellor for Cooperation in South-East Asia with the French Embassy in Bangkok and Deputy Counsellor for Cooperation with the French Embassy in Beijing.
Thierry’s other prior experiences include CEO Asia-Pacific Region of the Waste Management Division, Suez Environment in Singapore, Executive Vice President, International Operations of the Waste Management Division, Suez Environment in Paris, CEO, Moulinex-Krups North America in New Jersey and Executive Vice President International Operations, Moulinex-Krups in Paris and Judge in the Paris Administrative Court from 1978 to 1980.
Thierry studied at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, California and the National School of Public Administration in Paris. He obtained his Master in Law with Paris II University.
Ms Sunkyoung LEEActing Deputy Director
Sunkyoung Lee joined ASEF in April 2009 as Project Executive for the ASEF Public Health Network. The Network promotes public health dialogue in Asia and Europe through a multi-level and multi-sector approach. Her involvement in this programme centres on overseeing the management of the Network as well as facilitating the establishment of interactive and sustainable networks across regions, organisations and individuals to tackle public health issues.
Sunkyoung has worked in Korea and Europe (Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium), and prior to joining ASEF, she interned at the Information Society and Media Directorate General of the European Commission. She obtained her BA degree in English Language and Literature at Ajou University and her MA degree in European Public Affairs from Universiteit Maastricht.
Ms Grace FOOProject Manager
Grace Foo reports to and assists the Director of Intellectual Exchange in administrative and departmental matters. She also helps in preparing various departmental reports. Grace also works with other project officers on the Informal ASEM Semianr on Human Rights series and the Asia-Europe Environment Forum.
Grace joined ASEF’s Intellectual Exchange Department in 2007. Prior to this, she worked at GP Batteries International Limited, the Singapore Manufacturer’s Federation, and GE Global Controls Services.
She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma City.
Ms Grazyna PULAWSKAProject Executive
Grazyna Pulawska joined ASEF in February 2010. She is responsible for the Asia-Europe Environment Forum programme, which aims to strengthen co-operation between Asian and European stakeholders in the field of environmental and sustainable development.
Grazyna worked for the Ministry of Economy in Poland, working in the field of regional development. She has also been active in the NGO sector, mainly with the Service Civil International network in Belgium and the Development Wheel, a Bangladesh-based NGO specialising in supporting local entrepreneurship and fair trade.
She received her Master's degree in International Relations through a joint programme between the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris and the Warsaw School of Economics.
Ms Ratna MATHAI-LUKEProject Executive
Ratna Mathai-Luke joined ASEF in 2009, where she has been working on programmes related to ASEF’s thematic focus of Human Rights and Governance. In particular, she coordinates the Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights series and the Asia-Europe Roundtable series on Conflict Management.
She received her BA (Hons) degree in History from Delhi University (St. Stephen’s College) and her Master's degree in Forced Migration from the University of Oxford. With a background in research and policy analysis, she has published papers with UNICEF, Refugee Watch, and the Global Action on Aging.
Mr Shaun GAVIGANProject Executive
Shaun GAVIGAN joined the Political and Economic Department of ASEF in February 2014. Prior to this, he worked with the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) Ireland the Irish government agency responsible for attracting foreign direct investment.
Other professional experiences include his work with the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to Ireland and the Environmental Protection Agency of Ireland. He has also held positions with leading companies in the finance, telecom, media and publishing industries.
Shaun received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics/Sociology and History at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He later went on to complete a Masters in Politics at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland.
In 2013, Shaun was awarded a place on the Farmleigh Fellowship Programme, a scholarship programme supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland. This Masters in Asian Business comprised of study at University College Cork’s School of Asian Studies in Ireland and enrolment in Nanyang Technological University’s executive MBA programme in Singapore.
Ms Hanae HANZAWAProject Officer
Hanae HANZAWA joined ASEF in January 2014 as a Project Officer for the ASEF Public Health Network. She also provides administrative support to the Director of ASEF’s Political and Economic department.
Hanae has years of experience in the non-profit organisations in Japan, USA and Canada, working on human rights advocacy, HIV/AIDS, mental health, addiction and homelessness. She interned at the Department of Economic and Social Affairs in the United Nations Headquarter, working on the Commission on the Status of Women.
Hanae obtained her BA degree in English and Sociology from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and studied as an exchange student at Mills College in California. She completed her MA degree in Women and Gender Studies with the collaborative program in Asia-Pacific Studies from University of Toronto.