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M. Rajaretnam

Mr. M. Rajaretnam is Director of the Asian Dialogue Society. He was formerly the Special Advisor to the ASEAN Secretary General on Community Building and Outreach. Before taking this appointment in 2008, he was the Director/Chief Executive of the International Centre Goa, India. Upon completing his studies, he joined the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (Singapore) as a Research Fellow in 1971. In 1985, he established the Information & Resource Center (IRC) as a private “think tank” focused on Asian-Pacific affairs. In 1991, the IRC initiated a major regional integration project, Interaction for Progress: ASEAN-Vietnam that aimed for the enlargement of ASEAN. He was concurrently Executive Director of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, Coordinator of the Singapore Institute of Pacific Economic Cooperation, and Secretary of Singapore-Council on Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific. In 1994, he was appointed advisor to the Institute for Policy Research, a policy think tank in Malaysia and coordinated the Institute’s Asian Renaissance Project. In the last decade, he expanded his activities to Central Asia and South Asia and worked on media, disabilities, and human security issues. His work now is directed at the building of a greater Asian community. In 2003, he convened a “fellowship” of “friends and citizens of Asia” - the Asian Dialogue Society - a pan-Asian idea of “building a better Asia”. He manages the Building a Better Asia's Young Asian Leaders' Retreat, a program held twice a year in China, India, and ASEAN.