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Strong leadership is judgment of the steps needed for the common good, the courage to take those steps, and the persuasive power to enlist support.
As Australia enters the 'Asian Century,' issues of globalisation, technological change, resource scarcity and environmental risk make clear the imperative for principled leadership. And yet leadership failures around the world since the Global Financial Crisis have drained public trust to dangerously low levels. In an era of urgency, high stakes and uncertainty, the time is ripe for action to reverse these dynamics.
We have established the Swinburne Leadership Institute in direct response to this recognised need.
Australia and our Asia-Pacific neighbours have deep cultural roots and vast human potential. We aim to tap this potential and serve as a trusted resource where scholarship meets values to improve the quality of leadership, building twin pillars – ethics and leadership for the private sector, and public trust and service in government – to develop shared leadership and meet shared challenges. Our long-term goal is to build a vibrant community of strong and ethical leaders.
To accomplish these goals, the Swinburne Leadership Institute will:
■conduct an integrated public diplomacy program of lecture series and seminars, online commentaries, and print and broadcast media analyses to engage the broader community
■serve as a node of interdisciplinary research while working with Swinburne Faculties to shape a University-wide research focus on leadership
■provide high-impact teaching through Executive programs, master classes, and postgraduate courses
|Interests:||Asian American History / Studies
Asian History / Studies
Australian and New Zealand History / Studies
Diplomacy and International Relations
Management and Leadership Studies
Dr Kenneth Chern was appointed as Professor of Asian Policy and Executive Director of the Swinburne Leadership Institute in January 2012.
Previously, Dr Chern was a Professorial Research Fellow at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia, following a career in the United States Foreign Service.
He served as United States Consul General in Perth from 2007 – 2010. His immediate prior assignment was as Deputy Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; before that, he served as Deputy Director of the Office of Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Focusing on East Asian and Pacific affairs, he has also been posted to Beijing, Taipei, Hong Kong, Manila, and Cebu. In earlier Washington assignments, he worked at the State Department’s China Desk, the Japan Desk, and the Australia/New Zealand Desk. He served in the White House as Director of Asian Affairs at the National Security Council, helping to organize the first APEC leaders meeting hosted by President Bill Clinton in Seattle.
He has won three individual Superior Honor Awards for his work in counterterrorism, human rights, and public diplomacy, and has been cited in several group awards. He has an extensive background in political affairs, and is experienced in trade, science and technology issues.
Ken has a BA degree from Brooklyn College, and an MA and PhD from the University of Chicago, where he specialized in the history of U.S.-East Asian relations.
Before joining the Foreign Service, he taught for two years at the University of Rochester and for ten years at the University of Hong Kong, where he attained the rank of Senior Lecturer in History. During his academic tenure, he published a book, numerous scholarly articles and op-eds on U.S.–East Asian relations, and researched and presented a seven-week television series on Twentieth-Century China. He speaks Chinese, Vietnamese, and French.