Keynote Speakers

Listen to the Great Scholars in Keynotes Speeches


Professor Dr Jomo Kwame Sundaram


Jomo Kwame Sundaram was Assistant Director General and Coordinator for Economic and Social Development (ADG-ES), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations from August 2012 until the end of 2015. Before that, he was Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development in the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) from January 2005 until June 2012, and (Honorary) Research Coordinator for the G24 Intergovernmental Group on International Monetary Affairs and Development from December 2006 until September 2012. In 2007, he was awarded the Wassily Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought. He has authored and edited over a hundred books and translated 12 volumes besides writing many academic papers and articles for the media. Jomo was Professor in the Applied Economics Department, Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya until November 2004, Founder Director (1978-2004) of the Institute of Social Analysis (INSAN) and Founder Chair (2001-2004) of IDEAs, International Development Economics Associates, he now serves on its Advisory Panel. He was also on the Board of the United Nations Research Institute on Social Development (UNRISD), Geneva. He is on the editorial boards of several learned journals.

During 2008-2009, Jomo served as adviser to Father Miguel d’Escoto, the President of the 63rd United Nations General Assembly, and as a member of the [Stiglitz] Commission of Experts of the President of the United Nations General Assembly on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System. During 2010-2012, he was G20 sherpa to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and also UN G20 Finance Deputy during 2011-2012.

Born in Penang, Malaysia, in 1952, Jomo studied at the Penang Free School (PFS, 1964-1966), Royal Military College (RMC, 1967-1970), Yale (1970-1973) and Harvard (1973-1977). He has taught at Science University of Malaysia (USM, 1974), Harvard (1974-1975), Yale (1977), National University of Malaysia (UKM, 1977-1982), University of Malaya (1982-2004), and Cornell (1993). He has also been a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University (1987-1988; 1991-1992) and a Senior Research Fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore (2004).


Professor Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria

Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria, is no stranger to many Malaysians and is a well-known public figure.

He holds a PhD in Sociology from Oxford Brookes University, the United Kingdom. Currently, he is the Principal Research Fellow at the Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA), UKM and Secretary-General of PROHAM (Society for the Promotion of Human Rights).

His working career has been with Non-Governmental Organisations such as the Methodist Church (June 1981 – May 1986), Malaysian CARE (June 1986 – Dec 1993), Foundation for Community Studies & Development (Jan 1994 – July 1997) and Yayasan Strategik Sosial (the official think-tank of the Malaysian Indian Congress, as its Executive Director from August 1997 to May 2008).

He was a member of the Second National Economic Consultative Committee (1999-2000). He served as a member of the Royal Police Commission which was established to enhance the operations and management of the Royal Malaysian Police Force (2004-2005). He was a member of Suhakam-Human Rights Commission (2006-2010). He was former Secretary to a Special Implementation Taskforce on the Indian Community, Prime Minister’s Department, Malaysia (August 2010 and April 2011).

His fields of expertise are in social work, human rights, policy research on urban poverty, social development, minority concerns for social inclusion and effective public sector delivery of services. He is a frequent panellist at conferences and seminars including TV talk shows. He has a number of publications to his credit.