We received the following note and statement from Asia-based geopolitical thinker Kishore Mahbubani, who is stepping down as the famed Founding Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew school of Public Policy. It is reprinted here virtually in its entirety.

“Dear friends,

Life is full of interesting twists and turns. I have just such an interesting turn and twist to share with you today.

This afternoon, I informed the Governing Board (GB) of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy that, after 13 years as Dean, I have decided to step down from this role on 31 December this year to proceed on a sabbatical for nine months. After that, I will return to NUS to play a new role. I thought that I should share with you the statement that I made to the GB today. It is attached below my signature. I hope it provides a sufficient explanation of my decision to begin a new chapter in my life. At the same time, I am also sharing with you the press release that was issued by NUS today.

I am confident that with your friendship and support, I will thrive and do well in this new chapter.

With warm regards,



Statement to the Governing Board of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Dear Chairman and members of the Governing Board,

I would like to inform you of a significant decision that I have made about my life.

On 24 October this year, I turned 69. As I approached this date, and as I thought about my experience with the double heart bypass surgery last year, I realize that the time had come for me to take a fresh look at what I should achieve over the next decade as I enter my 70s.

I have been working in some kind of administrative position for 46 years: 33 years at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and 13 years at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKY School). After 46 years, I thought that my life should take a new direction. I have therefore decided to step down as Dean on 31 December this year and to focus on a new career that involves more time spent on reading, reflection and writing. I need to re-build my store of intellectual capital, if I am to carry my writing up to a higher level.

I am truly grateful that, to help achieve this goal, the National University of Singapore (NUS) has kindly agreed to allow me to go on a sabbatical from 1 January 2018 for nine months. Following that, I will return to NUS before retiring fully in 2019.

It has been a real privilege and honour to be the founding Dean of the LKY School and to watch its spectacular growth and success. It is now in a very strong position to move ahead on its own. I am confident that under the new Chairman, ESM Goh Chok Tong, the School will be led to even greater heights. I will remain a strong friend of the School and will support it in any way that I can. I would also like to thank ESM Goh and the Governing Board for this unique privilege of having been the Dean for the past 13 years. I am now looking forward to the next chapter in my life.

Kishore Mahbubani

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.