International Strategy Forum – Asia Fellows
International Strategy Forum – Asia aims to forge an interdisciplinary network of rising leaders across the Asia-Pacific to strengthen progress and security amid technological innovation and a changing world order.
Representing 10 countries from across the Asia-Pacific, the ISF 2022 Asia Fellows are a diverse cohort composed of business professionals, technologists, security experts, government leaders, academics, and more. In collaboration with the S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), the group convened in Singapore for the inaugural Asia forum from April 24-28.
The International Strategy Forum aims to forge an interdisciplinary network of rising leaders to strengthen progress and security amid technological innovation and a changing world order. We bet early on the next generation of problem-solvers with
extraordinary potential in geopolitics, innovation, and public leadership.
ISF 2022 Asia Fellows
Akira Sakano is the Founder and Director of Zero Waste Japan, an organization that helps local governments, communities, and businesses plan and implement zero-waste policies. She is also the co-founder of Green Innovation Japan, an initiative to develop more than 1,000 “green innovators” to tackle climate change by 2030.
Previously, Akira worked in Mongolia as Managing Director of AIESEC in Mongolia, and in the Philippines as a Trade Lane Management Head for Sales in DHL Global Forwarding. She received a Bachelor of Policy Studies from Kwansei Gakuin University’s School of Policy Studies and Master from Kyoto University’s Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies.
Akira is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and served as
Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019.
Andrea Phua is the Director of Industry at the Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore, where she drives policies that enable the growth of the Digital Economy. Previously, Andrea was Deputy Chief Negotiator of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, and headed the diplomatic department for trade at the Embassy of Singapore in Washington DC. Andrea started her career as an educator in English Literature, and graduated with distinction from University College London for her BA, followed by an MSt at Oxford University.
Assel Zhanassova, born in 1987 in Almaty, graduated from Zhautykov National physics and mathematics school in 2005. In 2006 she became Bolashak presidential scholarship and has earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Computer science from Cambridge University.
She began her career in 2010 at Eurasian Natural Resources Group in London. Within 5 years she led a Cybersecurity team in the Group covering Brazil, African, Europe and Kazakhstan operations.
ln 2014 she moved back to Kazakhstan as a Deputy Director of IT Department at National Bank of Kazakhstan as a lead for Financial Technology Strategy and reforms. ln 2016 she was appointed as a CEO of Government digital Transformation company – National IT Holding Zerde. Within a year she developed a Digital Kazakhstan 2020 program. ln 2018 Assel was invited to build a Central Asian Fintech Hub in Astana International Financial Center. Since 2020 Assel is working as a Vice Ministry of Trade and Integration covering Digital Trade direction. ln 2019 she was awarded a global nomination “Woman in Fintech Powerlist 2019″ by lnnovate Finance.
Diah Saminarsih currently serves as the Senior Advisor on Gender and Youth to the WHO Directorate General. Diah is also the founder and board of trustee of CISDI (Center for Indonesia’s Strategic Development Initiatives), a Jakarta-based think tank working to alleviate health service delivery problems ini Indonesia.
Diah’s journey in Indonesia health system strengthening began when she designed and implemented Pencerah Nusantara, an initiative that strengthens primary healthcare services in various rural locations in Indonesia. The initiative became a breakthrough innovation that triggered a systemic change in Indonesia’s health sector.
ln 2014, upon her appointment as Special Adviser for the Minister of Health, Diah has represented Indonesia in numerous global agendas including the UN General Assembly on the conception of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within the duration of 2012 – 2014, World Health Assembly, Co-Moderating WHO Director General Candidates Debate, as well as Stockholm Food Forum 2017 where she presented the lndonesian government’s plan in co-hosting the first Asia Pacific Food Forum.
Dion is a commodity trader who has been in the industry for 8 years. He was born in lndonesia before going to school in Australia, and completing his undergraduate degree in Scotland, where he read economics & law. He currently spends his time between Singapore, where he works, and Bali, where his family lives. He has a keen interest in commodities, renewable energy, international relations and philosophy, and is looking forward to an Msc in International Political Economy commencing in August. Outside of academic pursuits he enjoys cooking (and eating), as well as traveling, cycling and wakeboarding
Geoffrey See is an entrepreneur and co-founder at Y Combinator-backed startup Poko, which replaces companies with blockchain-based DAOs for cross-border and emerging market businesses. He is formerly Chairman of the non-profit group Choson Exchange, which supports change in North Korea through exposure to knowledge and information in business, entrepreneurship and law. The initiative created the largest program for training female entrepreneurs in North Korea.
Geoffrey also helped established a blockchain exchange that partially exited to Binance. He is a Digital Currency taskforce member and consumer protection report author at World Economic Forum Global Council for Digital Currency Governance. He launched a digital identity product and onboarded 20M underbanked users in India/Vietnam.
Geoffrey is a World Economic Forum Global Future Council member and Kauffman Fellow. He graduated from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University.
Reuben Ng is an Assistant Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and Lead Scientist at the Lloyd’s Register Foundation Institute for the Public Understanding of Risk, NUS.
Reuben spent 16 years in government, consulting, and research. ln government, he was in the Prime Minister’s Office driving evidence-based policymaking through data analytics and Singapore’s Smart Nation strategies. In consulting, he co-built the advanced analytics practice at a global firm, and implemented complex analytics capabilities across industries and functions. In research, he is an expert in data strategy, analytics, behavioral insights, aging policy, and credited with creating innovative techniques to measure societal perceptions that are applied to strategic policy communications.
Reuben’s work achieved international media coverage including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, and CNN. He delivers masterclasses on innovation that blends data analytics, behavioral insights, and design thinking. He serves on advisory boards in finance, education and sustainability.
Reuben is a behavioral scientist trained at NUS, Oxford and Yale; he is the first Singaporean and Oxonian to win the International Fulbright Science and Technology Award, and recently won Singapore’s most prestigious prize for early career social scientists.
Evan Laksmana is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre on Asia and Globalisation of the National University of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. His research focuses on military change, civil-military relations and regional security in the lndo-Pacific.
Previously, Evan was Senior Researcher at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Indonesia and the Wang Gungwu Visiting Fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore. He has held research and visiting appointments with the National Bureau of Asian Research, the University of Sydney, the Lowy Institute for International Policy, German Marshall Fund of the United States, and the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. He has taught at or given lectures to the Indonesian Defense University, Australian Defence College, Australian National Security College, Indonesia Air Force Staff and Command School, and others.
Evan earned a PhD in political science from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs as a Fulbright Presidential Scholar. He also holds a MSc in Strategic Studies from Nanyang Technological University and BA (Cum Laude) in Political Science from Parahyangan Catholic University. He received additional training in social science methodology, security cooperation, and defense analysis from Columbia University (SWAMOS), University of Michigan (ICPSR), Syracuse University (IQMR), and U.S. Department of Defense (APCSS). His writing has appeared in Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, Washington Post, and other outlets.
June Park is a 2021-2022 Fung Global Fellow of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS) at Princeton University. She is a political economist by training and works on trade, energy, and tech conflicts, analyzing different policy outcomes as a response to pressures based on governance structures — domestic institutions, leaderships, and bureaucracies that shape the policy formation process. Her current work pertains to post-pandemic geoeconomic conflicts in data governance and emerging technology.
June is concurrently pursuing the publication of her first book manuscript, DIGITAL TRADE WARS & CURRENCY CONFLICT: China, South Korea and Japan’s Responses to
U.S. Protectionism since COVID-19 under a National Research Foundation of Korea book grant.
June advises public and private sectors with analyses at global, regional, and domestic levels. She provides expert commentary to various international media outlets and contributes her analysis to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the research and analysis division of Economist Group. She serves as an expert for global consulting firms Duco and Enquire, while providing analyses to policy think-tanks in Washington, DC as a non-resident fellow of the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR).
June earned her BA and MA in political science with a focus on international security from Korea University, and has held an internship at the UN Security Council Sanctions Subsidiary Organs Branch. She received her PhD in Political Science with a focus on international political economy from Boston University as a Fulbright Fellow and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.
Jung Kian Ng
Jung Kian Ng is an Economist at Vivid Economics, a McKinsey company. He specializes in modeling emission trading schemes and has advised public sector clients in Europe and North America on the establishment and functioning of compliance carbon markets.
Previously, Jung Kian worked on modeling the European power markets at Aurora Energy Research and has advised both public and private sector clients, notably a European national government on the security of supply in a Net Zero world. Before relocating to the UK, Jung Kian served as a Special Officer to the Minister, first at the Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government (Jan 2015 – June 2016) and later at the Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister’s Department (June 2016 – September 2017).
Jung Kian attended University of Southern California and graduated with a BSc and an MSc in Mechanical Engineering concurrently in 2014. He attended the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar in 2017 and graduated with an MSc in Environmental Change and Management in 2018 and a Master of Public Policy in 2019.
Liz Lee is a company news correspondent at Reuters, an international news agency. She has reported primarily on corporate developments, such as IPOs, M&As, politically linked company news, private equity and venture capital deals. She has also worked on exposing labor abuses by manufacturers in Malaysia. Liz has written about a variety of sectors, including aviation, chip makers, glove producers, banking and real estate. She has also covered supply chain issues, elections, and human interest stories. She will be joining the Reuters Beijing team later this year. Liz graduated from Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman with a bachelor’s degree in English.
Mercedes Page is the founder and CEO of Young Australians in lnternational Affairs (YAlA), a not-for-profit organization committed to engaging the next generation of Australians in international affairs and building the high caliber leaders necessary to navigate Australia’s future in an increasingly complex and contested 21st century.
Previously, Mercedes worked for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She was one of the lead authors of Australia’s 2021 lnternational Cyber and Critical Tech Engagement Strategy, which sets out how the Australian government will protect and promote its interests and values in cyberspace and technology. At DFAT, she also led Australia’s cyber and technology cooperation in Southeast Asia. This included efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and human rights online, build resilience to disinformation and misinformation, and counter cyber and technology-enabled coercion across the lndo-Pacific region.
Before joining DFAT, Mercedes worked in the private sector and at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. She was previously a non-resident WSD-Handa Fellow and member of the Young Leaders Program at the Pacific Forum, and was recognised as a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum.
Mercedes was awarded the 2021 Australian Leadership Award by the Australian Davos Connection; a leadership medal by Australia’s Governor-General in 2020; and was named by the Australian Financial Review as one of Australia’s 100 most influential women in 2018. ln 2016 she was awarded the Foundation for Young Australians Unleashed Award for promoting Australia’s engagement with Asia, and in 2015 was named by FYA as one of Australia’s Top Young Social Pioneers.
She holds a Master of Arts (International Studies), Bachelor of Arts (Politics and Asian Studies) and Bachelor of International
Studies from the University of Adelaide
Min Chey is the CFO and a founding member of Done, an ADHD telehealth platform.
Previously, she was the M&A Director at SK Hynix. She was a Visiting Fellow and Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a co-founder of Blueprint Korea. She was a surface warfare officer in the Korean Navy.
Nihal Chauhan leads policy partnership for Google’s Government Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP) Team in India. In this role, he lead’s Google’s efforts in India to partner and help the government leverage technology in its efforts to meaningfully impact the lives of a billion Indians.
Previously, Nihal served as Senior Manager, Chairman’s Office and the Global Corporate Affairs Team for Tata Sons where he managed Tata Sons’ business development partnerships and policy initiatives for key international markets including North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. He was a consultant at The Cohen Group, a Washington D.C. based strategic advisory and business consulting firm founded by US Secretary of Defense, William Cohen. Prior to joining The Cohen Group, Nihal worked at the International Marketing Headquarters of Hitachi Plant Technologies, Ltd. in Tokyo, Japan.
ln December 2019, Nihal was awarded the prestigious David Rockefeller Fellowship by the Trilateral Commission in recognition of contributions to commerce and international affairs. He was also named as one of 100 Leaders of Tomorrow by the St. Gallen Symposium, Switzerland. Nihal is a graduate of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, where he was named a Fletcher Board of Overseers Scholar, the Bosworth Fellow for academic merit and overall achievement in graduate studies. He completed his undergraduate studies from the Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan. ln addition to English, Nihal speaks Japanese, Hindi, and Nepali.
Liu Qian is Managing Director of The Economist Group in greater China. As an economist and business executive, Qian understands both China and the West, and has shown exceptional ability to bridge the two in the age of China rising and new globalization.
Previously, Qian headed the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Economics Unit and China research, and chaired internal review with the European Securities and Market Authority. As an economist, Qian has deep knowledge of Chinese economy, publishes in highly regarded academic journals and business including Oxford Economic Papers, Project Syndicate, The Economist World in, and is frequently interviewed by BBC, CNBC, NPR etc.
Qian is also a prominent advocate for gender equality, and introduces cutting edge global economic research on gender, and promotes intelligent public debates reaching millions of people. She also serves as Vice Chair for the British Chamber of Commerce in China. Outstanding Women Award in China by Caixin. She was named Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2019.
Qian was born and grew up in China, earned her PhD in economics from Uppsala University, Sweden, and was previously a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley, and received business executive leadership training from Stanford University and attended Global Leadership and Public Policy program at Harvard University.
Rwitwika Bhattacharya Agarwal
Rwitwika Bhattacharya is CEO of Swaniti Initiative, a social enterprise that lifts people out of poverty by strengthening public service delivery at a state and local level. As CEO, her role focuses on developing long-term growth strategies and formulating key partnerships with governments and civil society actors.
Previously, Rwitwika worked at the World Bank as an associate on labor market issues. She has worked for firms such as the United Nations Population Fund and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. She holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard Kennedy School and a bachelor’s degree in economics and political Science from Wake Forest University.
Rwitwika has published three books: Frontiers in Development Policy (World Bank), Labor Market Primer (World Bank), and Making of a Politician (Harper Collins). Bhattacharya was selected as part of Forbes lndia’s 30 under 30, Fortune lndia’s 40 under 40 and a young global leader at the World Economic Forum, amongst other accolades.
Sarah Teo is an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Regional Security Architecture Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. Her research interests include multilateral security and defense cooperation in ASEAN and the Asia Pacific, middle powers in the Asia Pacific, as well as lR theory.
Sarah is the co-author, with Ralf Emmers, of Security Strategies of Middle Powers in the Asia Pacific (Melbourne University Publishing, 2018) and the co-editor, with Bhubhindar Singh, of Minilateralism in the lndo-Pacific: The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Mechanism, and ASEAN (Routledge, 2020). Her articles have also been published in peer-reviewed journals including International Theory, The Pacific Review, lnternational Relations of the Asia-Pacific, and Australian Journal of International Affairs, as well as in various op-ed and commentary platforms. She has a PhD from the University of Sydney, MSc (International Relations) from RSIS, and Bachelor of Communication Studies (Honors) from NTU.
Shawn Ho is an Associate Research Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore.
Shawn conducts research as a member of the Regional Security Architecture Programme at RSIS. He also contributes to and supports the work done by the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) Singapore. His research interests are: East Asian politics, security and history (in particular Korean Peninsular affairs).
Prior to joining RSlS in April 2016, he was a Researcher at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Singapore for about three years. He has also worked at the National Security Coordination Secretariat, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore and the Ministry of Defence, Singapore.
Shawn obtained his Master’s Degree in Asian Studies from RSIS and his Bachelor’s Degree from the Singapore Management University (SMU) with a double major in Political Science and Economics. He also spent six months studying Korean intensively at the Yonsei University Korean Language Institute in Korea. He has been a fervent supporter of the English football club Tottenham Hotspur for over 25 years.
Shruti Gogia is an assistant manager of content and product research at a leading education technology company in India. With an educational background in Psychology and Public Policy, Shruti has worked across various aspects of education delivery, education policy and evaluation of edtech programs.
Shruti began her career as a special educator, working in India to provide intensive 1:1 therapy to children with autism. She has also worked with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in Cambodia, supporting the creation of a global tool to capture information on the challenges parents face in educating children with disabilities. She also worked at Central Square Foundation alongside states and the central government to design and implement scalable edtech programs.
Shruti holds a Master’s degree in Psychology from University of Delhi, India and a Masters degree in Public Policy from Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.
Sue Anne Tay
Sue Anne Tay is Head of Strategy and Chief of Staff for HSBC in Singapore.
She works closely with the CEO and businesses to develop and execute HSBC’s strategic vision and business development plans for Singapore. Priorities include growing Singapore as an ASEAN hub; delivering on the bank’s sustainability and net zero agenda, driving a digitalization agenda, and scaling up Singapore as an offshore wealth hub.
Tay has spent over a decade in diverse roles across HSBC’s Group operations. She served as HSBC’s group strategy lead for RMB (renminbi) internationalization, where she designed and implemented the bank’s RMB business strategy across its global network. She was also based in Shanghai for over five years driving China’s organic business in mainland China. As a champion of next-generation thought leadership, Tay chairs one of HSBC’s largest Employee Resource Group, called Generations, that has 10k members and is focused on inter-generational diversity.
Outside of HSBC, she co-leads Young China Watchers (YCW), a non-profit whose mission is to foster a network of 5,000 China-focused young professionals across Asia, Europe and the US as future China thought leaders.
In a personal capacity, she has launched documentary platforms ShanghaiStreetStories.com and ChinainCentralAsia. com, which have been featured in the Financial Times, the Guardian and Asia Society. Through her roles as WEF Young Global Leader and Global Director for Young China Watchers, she has been actively engaged on issues close to her heart including China’s evolving global role, ASEAN economic development, sustainable finance and female leadership in
Trisha Ray is an Associate Fellow with the Observer Research Foundation in India where she leads their work on emerging technologies and geopolitics. She co-chairs their flagship technology conference, CyFy and leads the ASEAN-India Track
1.5 on Cyber lssues. Her current research interests include Al and equitable economic transformation, ethical frameworks for quantum technologies, emerging tech supply chains and tech sovereignty narratives.
Trisha is also a member of the UNESCO Working Group on Information Accessibility.
Prior to joining ORF, Trisha was with the Asia Society Policy Institute, where she helped convene a series of US-ASEAN Dialogues with Congress representatives and Southeast Asian embassies. She also worked on AI and warfare, energy security and nuclear issues.
Trisha obtained her M.A. in security studies from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a B.A. (Hons) in Journalism from Lady Shri Ram College at Delhi University.
Tuan-Anh Nguyen Doan Duc
Tuan-Anh (Andy) Nguyen Doan Duc is a management consultant based in Vietnam. He is Managing Director at DI Vietnam office.
His practice is focused on corporate growth, market entry strategy and investment evaluation across the SEA countries with more than 15 years’ experience in strategy consulting, investment, and operations.
Previously, Andy was Finance Manager at Columbia Asia Hospitals and Business Development Manager at FPT Corporation in Vietnam.
Andy holds a BA in economics (NEU, Hanoi), an LL.B (Ho Chi Minh University School of Law) and an LL.M (IUC Law school of Turin, Italy). He is also a CPA Australia associate member.
Le Dinh Tinh
Le Dinh Tinh is Director General of Institute for Foreign Policy and Strategic Studies, a leading think tank in Vietnam.
As a senior researcher on international relations and diplomacy, Tinh has contributed his writings to prestigious platforms such as the Diplomat, East Asia Forum, Interpreter, RSIS-Commentaries, Asia Pacific Bulletin, Southeast Asian Affairs and peer-reviewed journals such as RBPI, Asian Affairs, Asian Politics and Policy, Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, and Contemporary Southeast Asia.
Previously, Tinh was Deputy Director General at the Bien Dong Institute for Maritime Studies. He was Political Counselor at the Vietnam Embassy in the United States and personal assistant to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam.
Tinh has appeared on the NHK, South China Morning Post, the Atlantic, Huffington Post, Sunday Guardian Live, Sputnik, Bernama, StratNewsGlobal, and Vietnam’s major media outlets and spoken at numerous academic and policy forums in Vietnam and in the region.
He serves as a foreign policy advisor to the Vietnamese Father Front — an umbrella group of mass movements in Vietnam. He is also an advisor to the Australia-Vietnam Leadership Dialogue. Tinh teaches at both undergraduate and graduate level at DAV and several other universities in Vietnam.
He obtained his PhD from DAV, MPA from the University of Hawaii, was a degree fellow at the East West Center (USA) during 2002-2004 and attended multiple training courses organized by PISA-George Washington University and the Ford Foundation.
YC Choy is the Head of Region (Europe) of the Economic Development Board (EDB) of Singapore. Aligned to EDB’s mission to create sustainable economic growth, his role is two-fold: to support UK and European businesses in their investments and expansion into Singapore and South-East Asia; and to develop ecosystems of the economy for innovation and structural transformation.
Previously, Yongcong was part of the Consumer Industry team in EDB, and has more than 15 years of experience in the larger public service, in domains of defense, diplomacy, and social policy and strategy.
Building networks of talent
We are working to create the best, largest, and most persistent network of exceptional people ready to make the world better together. Too many brilliant people with breakthrough ideas are never found, recognized, or given a voice. We aim to change that.