Barry Desker

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Barry Desker is the Distinguished Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. He is a Member of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights, Singapore and a Member of the Board of Directors of the Lee Kuan Yew Exchange Fellowship. He was the Chair of the ASEAN Inter-Governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) in 2018. From 2000 to 2014, he was the Director, Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies and served as founding Dean of RSIS from 2007 to 2014. He was the Chief Executive Officer of the Singapore Trade Development Board from 1994 to 2000 and Singapore’s Ambassador to Indonesia from 1986 to 1993. Ambassador Desker is currently also Non-Resident Ambassador of Singapore to the Holy See and Spain since 2007. A President’s Scholar, he was educated at the University of Singapore, University of London and Cornell University. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Warwick in 2012 and Doctor of Laws by the University of Exeter in 2013. Ambassador Desker has also been very active in the corporate world serving on the boards of Singaporean and multi-national corporations.