FORMER United Nations chief Kofi Annan will be based at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy as a professor from next February.
The 71-year-old, who served as UN secretary-general from 1997 to 2007, will be the first Li Ka Shing professor at the school, dean Kishore Mahbubani announced last night.
He also said that the school will launch its first Chinese-language programme next year - a master's programme in public administration and management targeted at senior Chinese government officials.
Professor Mahbubani made the announcements at a gala dinner marking the fifth anniversary of the school, an autonomous graduate school of the National University of Singapore (NUS).
More details about Mr Annan's professorship will be announced later.
Mr Annan and the UN jointly received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for working for human rights and to defuse global conflicts.
Theprofessorship was established in the name of Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka Shing, who donated $100million to the school's endowment fund in March 2007.
Speaking to 800 guests, including Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, Cabinet ministers and business leaders, Prof Mahbubani said the new master's programme in Chinese would be launched next March.
To be conducted by the Lee Kuan Yew School and the NUS Business School, the 10-month programme will provide senior Chinese officials with 'first-rate public administration and business management education to develop public sector leadership'.
In his update on the school's progress since it was set up in 2004, Prof Mahbubani said enrolment had grown from 40 students from a handful of countries, to today's 353 students from 53 countries and territories.
From just two master's programmes, the school has also expanded to a PhD programme and three master's programmes.
It had no research centres back then, but now has five.
'The success of the LKY School owes a lot to the founding fathers of Singapore whose legacy of principles, policies and institutions continues to amaze and often inspire the rest of the world,' he said.
During the dinner, the school also honoured new donors who have made contributions since March 2007 amounting to a total of $28.5million. This includes $16.5million raised this year.
Those who gave $1million or more received mementos from MM Lee, while Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean recognised other donors for their generosity.
KOR KIAN BENG
This article was first published in The Straits Times.