Harvard Kennedy School Establishes Professorship of U.S.-Asia Relations

Contact: Doug Gavel
Phone: (617) 495-1115
Date: February 28, 2011

Cambridge, MA – At a time when U.S.-Asia relations are playing an increasingly important role in ensuring stability and economic vitality for both regions, the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University is establishing a permanently endowed professorship dedicated to this critical area. Launched with a gift totaling $4 million, the professorship is named for internationally recognized business executive, philanthropist, and patron of the arts S.T. Lee. The S.T. Lee Professorship of U.S.-Asia Relations at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) will inaugurate a new area of study with a particular focus on policy making and diplomatic relations between the two regions.

The S.T. Lee Professorship of U.S.-Asia Relations will support a distinguished member of the faculty whose scholarship and research focuses on significant public policy initiatives, with expertise in the area of U.S.-Asia Relations. The Harvard University Professorship Challenge Fund has provided a $1 million matching contribution.

“Harvard Kennedy School is deeply grateful to Mr. Lee for establishing this endowed professorship,” said HKS Dean David T. Ellwood. “His generous gift will further the Kennedy School’s intellectual capital in Asia, providing for a distinguished and exceptional scholar in the field of U.S.-Asia relations. This growing area of study will inform our faculty, research centers, and students as we prepare them for careers in global leadership.”

“As the Kennedy School expands its global reach, it is especially important that we focus on the roles of both the United States and Asia in this new and challenging world,” remarked HKS Academic Dean Mary Jo Bane. “The S.T. Lee Professorship will enable us to dramatically expand our capacity for teaching and research on these issues, and we are deeply grateful for this gift.”

“As a philanthropist dedicated to higher education initiatives, I can think of no better way to support Asia-U.S. relations than by establishing this professorship,” said Lee. “Indeed, the world becomes smaller and our intellectual resources greater when we share scholarship across national boundaries.”

Lee has extended his philanthropy to higher education and the arts around the world. He is a director of the Lee Group of Companies headquartered in Singapore which includes the Lee Rubber Co., Lee Pineapple Company, and Singapore Investments. In 2001, he established the S.T. Lee Lecture Fund at HKS, focusing on military history, strategy, and policy making in the Asian, Middle Eastern, African, and South Pacific regions. His various philanthropic efforts include building a library and assembly hall at Wolfson College, Cambridge University; a library renovation at Oxford University; a public library in Nan’an, China; and a chess training institute in Beijing, China. In addition, he has also endowed numerous annual lectures at prestigious institutions such as the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Stanford University, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and the British Academy in London. He is a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and an honorary fellow of the British Academy, London.

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