News Release

Lynn Kuok appointed Lee Kuan Yew Chair in Southeast Asia Studies

May 28, 2024

Washington, D.C. – The Brookings Institution announced today that Lynn Kuok has been appointed the Lee Kuan Yew Chair in Southeast Asia Studies and will join Brookings on May 28, 2024. She will be affiliated with the Center for Asia Policy Studies in the Foreign Policy program.

“We are delighted to welcome Lynn to Brookings,” said Vice President and Director of Foreign Policy Suzanne Maloney. “Her expertise and scholarship on Southeast Asia will be a strong addition to the Foreign Policy program.” Mireya Solís, director of the Center for Asia Policy Studies, also welcomed Kuok’s appointment. “Lynn has a broad knowledge of Southeast Asia issues, particularly in the maritime domain, that complements and extends the scope of the Center’s research. Southeast Asia is of critical importance to U.S. foreign policy and we are excited that Lynn will lead our policy work on this important region.”

Until recently, Kuok was a Shangri-La Dialogue Senior Fellow for Asia-Pacific Security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), where she also served as co-Editor of the Asia-Pacific Regional Security Assessment. Her previous appointments include Visiting Professor at Georgetown University, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, Visiting Scholar at Yale University’s Paul Tsai China Center, Nonresident Fellow at Brookings’s Center for East Asia Policy Studies, Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School’s East Asian Legal Studies Program, Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for International Law (Singapore), Visiting Fellow at CSIS’s Sumitro Chair for Southeast Asia Studies, and Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.  

Kuok’s research interests include the international relations, security and law of the Asia-Pacific region, focusing on Southeast Asia and the South China Sea; Europe’s engagement with the Indo-Pacific, particularly Southeast Asia; and the interplay between international law and power more broadly. Her analyses and expert commentary have appeared in influential journals and publications such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Survival, the Wall Street Journal and Nikkei Asia, and she is interviewed regularly by a variety of media outlets including Al Jazeera, the BBC, Bloomberg, Channel News Asia, CNBC, the Financial Times, the New York Times, the Straits Times, and the Washington Post. Kuok has provided expert oral and written testimony to the UK House of Lords International Relations and Defense Committee and the UK House of Commons Defence Committee. She is a council member of of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the Future of Geopolitics and was a member of its Global Future Council on the Future of International Security.

Kuok received her Ph.D. from the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge, M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the National University of Singapore.

The Lee Kuan Yew Chair in Southeast Asia Studies was established in 2013 through generous endowment gifts from a consortium of donors in the United States and Southeast Asia. The Chair is housed in the Center for Asia Policy Studies (CAPS), founded in 1998 as the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies, which promotes research and analysis of policy issues facing Asia and the United States. Under Solís’s leadership, CAPS scholars conduct research on the political, economic, security and social issues facing Asia, and organize an array of policy-oriented seminars, discussions, and publications.

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