ALMOs 2010

December 2010

Ondrej Matl, Czech Republic (YLP ’02); Advisor to Czech Republic’s Member of European Parliament

Ondrej01Ondrej Matl (1977) is devoted to the modernization of public services. He currently works as an advisor in the European Parliament and consultant on European affairs in Union of Towns and Municipalities Czech Republic. He also carries out academic activities at the Faculty of Humanities and Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University. Previously he worked in management positions at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Interior, where he participated in the reform of social services and pursued strategy for modernization of public services. He also was a governmental appointee on health care finance reform in the Czech Republic. Ondrej was part of the very first batch of the GRIPS Young Leaders Program from which he graduated in 2002. Upon returning to Europe he moved to London to study postgraduate courses of European Social Policy at the London School of Economics. He graduated in engineering studies at the University of Economics in Prague, specializing on public finance and insurance mathematics. Ondrej Matl likes skiing, travelling and music. He is married and lives in Prague, Czech Republic.

…Read an interview with Ondrej Matl

November 2010

Saysamone Chanthachack, Laos (PP ’98); Deputy Secretary-General, Securities and Exchange Commission of the Lao PDR (SECO), Bank of the Lao PDR

Saysamone01Ms. Saysamone Chanthachack was appointed as Deputy Secretary-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SECO) of Lao PDR in early 2010. The SECO was established under the umbrella of the Bank of Lao PDR in late 2009 and is the supervising authority for the securities market. Laos, one of the world’s few remaining communist countries is about to take a great leap into the global capitalist marketplace with the recent launch, on 10-10-10, of a stock exchange. Ms Chanthachack joined the Bank of Lao PDR in 1993, immediately after she graduated with a Master of Economics degree from the Russian Kuban State University. She spent the first seven years of her career working at the Monetary Policy Department of the Bank. In 1997, she was selected to pursue further studies at GRIPS’ predecessor, the Graduate School of Policy Science (GSPS) at Saitama University from which she graduated with a Master of Public Policy degree in 1998.

…Read more about Saysamone Chanthachack

October 2010

Pavin Chachavalpongpun, Thailand (PP ’97); Lead Researcher, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Regional Strategic and Political Studies, and ASEAN Studies Centre, Singapore

Pavin01Dr. Pavin Chachavalpongpun is currently the Lead Researcher for Political and Strategic Affairs of the ASEAN Studies Centre at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore. Before joining ISEAS, he served in the Thai Foreign Service in various capacities for 16 years, most recently at the Royal Thai Embassy in Singapore. While working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pavin was granted study leave and came to Japan in 1995. He received his Master of Public Policy from GRIPS’ predecessor, the Graduate School of Policy Science (GSPS) in Saitama in 1997. Upon graduation from GSPS, Pavin moved to the United Kingdom to pursue further studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He obtained his Ph.D. from SOAS in 2002 with a dissertation on Thai-Burmese relations. Pavin has written widely on Thai politics, foreign policy and international relations, among others, in journals and newspapers. He is the author of A Plastic Nation: The Curse of Thainess in Thai-Burmese Relations (2005), and Reinventing Thailand: Thaksin Shinawatra and His Foreign Policy (ISEAS, 2010). Pavin has also written extensively on Myanmar issues and co-authored “Myanmar: Life After Nargis” (ISEAS, 2009).

…Read an interview with Pavin Chachavalpongpun

September 2010

John Akoten, Kenya (Ph.D. ’05); Deputy Director for Research, Awareness & Preventive Services, Anti-Counterfeit Agency, Ministry of Industrialization

John01Dr. John Akoten is a Deputy Director for Research, Awareness & Preventive Services at the Anti-Counterfeit Agency, a parastatal body within the Kenyan Ministry of Industrialization. In his current role he assists in the implementation of the vision and mission, and prepares strategic plans of the Agency. Until April ’10, Dr. Akoten was Ag. Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (IPAR), an independent, non-profit organization established in 1994 that aims to strengthen the national capacity to develop, implement, and evaluate public policy in Kenya. The Institute conducts policy analysis and research and shares the result with the government of Kenya, development partners, the private sector, and civil society. John Akoten holds a BSc. (Hons) in Horticulture from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. Upon the successful completion of the master’s program in International Development Studies (IDS) at GRIPS in 2001, John proceeded to the Ph.D. program and received his Doctoral degree in International Development Studies in 2005.

…Read an interview with John Akoten

August 2010

Abhai Kumar Srivastav, India (PF ’01); Additional Commissioner, Gujarat Customs Zone

Abhai01Abhai Kumar Srivastav was appointed as Additional Commissioner, Gujarat Customs Zone in April 2007. He is responsible for overall administration of ten customs assessment formations in Gujarat state spanning over 18 districts, including an International Airport and Air Cargo Complex. His main challenges are (i) collection of intelligence and execution thereof to unearth commercial frauds, and (ii) coastal & border security. He was deputed by the Indian Government to Republic Democratic Federal of Ethiopia in June-July 2009 for providing technical assistance to Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA). On 16th November, 2004, he was appointed as Deputy Secretary, by the Minister in the Finance Ministry, New Delhi; wherein he was responsible for formulation and implementation of Indirect Tax Policy and Budget. He also looked after the task of Coordinator for the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Technical Assistance Project 4263 – Capacity Building for Tax Administration- from June 2005 to July 2007. Prior to that, he worked for two years as Joint Director in Customs Valuation Directorate, Mumbai, wherein he conceptualized and administered various IT projects that helped in increasing transparency and efficiency of Indian Customs. He has represented India at various seminars and workshops organized by international organizations.

…Read an interview with Abhai Kumar Srivastav

July 2010

Lukman Hakim, Indonesia (PP ’86); Chairman, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI)

Lukman01On June 14, 2010, Prof. Dr. Lukman Hakim was appointed as chief of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), the preeminent science and research institution in Indonesia that directly reports to the President of the Republic of Indonesia. Dr. Hakim first graduated from the Department of Pharmacy of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Indonesia in 1979. He joined LIPI in 1980 as a researcher and has gradually worked his way up in the Institute. He was Assistant to the Deputy Chairman of Technology when he first came to Japan and enrolled in GSPS in 1984. Upon his graduation in 1986 with a Masters degree in Policy Science, Lukman had developed strong linkages with Japan and the Japanese Science and Technology community. He decided to pursue his doctoral studies in Japan and enrolled in he University of Tokyo from which he received a Ph.D. in General Systems Studies in 1994.

…Read more about Lukman Hakim

June 2010

Zhu Hong, China (TE ’01); Deputy Director General, Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs, Ministry of Commerce

John01Mr. Zhu Hong joined the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) in 1983 after he graduated from Nanjing University of China. He dealt with the import planning issues for about nine years and was appointed as Consulate General of China in New York as a commercial consul from 1993 to 1996. Upon his return to China he rejoined MOFCOM and was appointed as deputy director and director respectively in charge of trade statistics issues. He enrolled in GRIPS in 2000 and obtained a Master in Policy Science degree in 2001. He also received a Master of World Economy from Renmin University of China. Zhu Hong currently serves as Deputy Director General in charge of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations and Multilateral Cooperation in the Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs of MOFCOM.

…Read an interview with Zhu Hong

May 2010

Fabian Bigar, Malaysia (PP ’02); Associate Director, Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU), Prime Minister’s Department

Fabian01Fabian Bigar was born in Brunei Darussalam and received his primary and secondary education in Sarawak, Malaysia. He ventured out to the US to study at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio from which he received a Bsc in Biology in 1994. Upon returning to Malaysia, Fabian joined the Ministry of Health where he has served in various positions, including finance, policy, and international relations. While working at the Ministry of Health, Fabian studied at the National Institute for Public Administration in Kuala Lumpur and received a diploma in Public Management in 1997. Still eager to expand his knowledge and enrich his experience, Fabian applied for GRIPS and was selected for a scholarship from the Japanese Ministry of Education (Monbukagakusho) and accepted into the Public Policy Program. He graduated in 2002 with a Master of Public Policy. Until becoming Associate Director at Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) in January 2010, Fabian was Senior Principal Assistant Secretary (Policy) at the Health Ministry and also Special M-KPI officer to the Minister of Health.

…Read an interview with Fabian Bigar

April 2010

Waruna Sri Dhanapala, Sri Lanka (IDS ’07); Assistant Secretary to the President, Office of the President

Waruna01Waruna Sri Dhanapala (37) obtained his Bachelors Degree in Science (Geology Special with Computer Science) in 1998 from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. He joined the Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS) in 2000 after doing a few temporary jobs in the private sector and the government. He was appointed as an Assistant Secretary to the President in 2001 in the Policy Research & Information Unit of the Presidential Secretariat after the SLAS induction training and is serving at the same capacity in the Secretary’s Bureau up to date. He also serves as a Director of the National Administrative Reforms Council (NARC) and a Government’s Representative of the Country Operating Committee for Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development (JDS) Scholarship Program since its inception in Sri Lanka in 2009. During his career, he obtained a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the Postgraduate Institute of management (PIM), Colombo. Under a JICA scholarship, he joined GRIPS in 2005 to read for Masters in International Development Studies (IDS) under the FASID-GRIPS joint graduate program. He represented Sri Lanka in several overseas delegations including the first ICT Committee Meeting of the United Nations’ Economics and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP), held in Bangkok in 2008 and the First Meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Cabinet Secretaries (October, 2009). Waruna’s areas of professional interest are e-Government, International Relations, Public Administration and Good Governance, Human Resources Development (especially through ICT and language skills). He is married to Wasantha – a schoolteacher in Physics – and is a father of two sons.

…Read an interview with Waruna Sri Dhanapala

March 2010

Giang Thanh Long, Vietnam (Ph.D. ’08); Director of the Center for Economic Analysis, Forecasting, Training, and Sustainable Development, Faculty of Economics, National Economics University (NEU), Hanoi

Long01Dr. Giang Thanh Long is Director of the Center for Economic Analysis, Forecasting, Training, and Sustainable Development at the Faculty of Economics, National Economics University (NEU), Hanoi, Vietnam. He is also a researcher at the Vietnam Development Forum (VDF) and Indochina Research and Consulting Ltd., (IRC), in charge of social protection studies. His main research interests include social security pensions, the economics of aging, and simulation of anti-poverty programs for the older persons, particularly for Vietnam. His research outcomes have been published in various books and renowned journals. Currently. Long is a member of the drafting team for the Vietnam’s Social Protection Strategy in 2011-2020; and a member of task force team for the Vietnam’s Population and Reproductive Health Strategy 2011-2020. He has also been a consultant for a number of domestic and international organizations, including Ministry of Finance, Vietnam (MoF), Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, Vietnam (MoLISA), Ministry of Health, Vietnam (MoH), ADB, GTZ, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, and the World Bank, and WHO. Long earned a Master degree in public policy from Asian Public Policy Program (APPP), Hitotsubashi University, and a Ph.D. degree in Public Policy from GRIPS, both in Tokyo. Long has received many research grants, honors and awards. He was one of the finalists for the Global Development Network’s (GDN) prestigious Medals for Research and Development 2009; he received the “NEU Rector’s Award for Excellent Research Achievements in 2008”; and the “Sasakawa Scientific Research Award of Commendation” for his work “Non-contributory Pension Scheme as a Tool to Mitigate Poverty of the Elderly: An Exploration with Vietnam” in 2008. He also regularly presents his work at international conferences and participates in workshops around the globe.

…Read an interview with Giang Thanh Long

February 2010

Mubin Mirzaev, Uzbekistan (TE ’02); Deputy Minister of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Mubin01Mubin was born and raised in Uzbekistan’s famous historical city of Bukhara. Upon finishing high school Mubin entered Tashkent State University and graduated with a Diploma of Mathematics in 1993. Following his graduation, Mubin worked as researcher at Tashkent State University for one year and then enrolled as a post-graduate student in the Institute of Mathematics, in 1994. Mubin started his career at the Central Bank of Uzbekistan, in December 1996, first as Economist in the Monetary Policy Department and he was promoted to Leading Economist a year later. While working for the Central Bank, Mubin enrolled in the Tashkent Financial Institute from which he received a Diploma of Economics in 2001. Eager to pursue even further studies, Mubin applied for GRIPS and was admitted into the Transition Economy Program in 2001 from which he graduated with a Master of Public Policy a year later. Upon returning to Uzbekistan Mubin continued his career in the Central Bank where he gradually worked his way up in the Monetary Policy Department to finally become Director of the Department in September 2006. His hard work, dedicated studies and determination have been paying off; Mubin was appointed Deputy Minister of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan in May 2008, a position he still holds today.

…Read more about Mubin Mirzaev

January 2010

Arifur Rahman Khan, Bangladesh (PP ’05); Lecturer in Accounting, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia

Arif01After obtaining a Bachelors (’98) and Masters (’99) of Commerce in Accounting, both from the University of Dhaka, Arif started his career in academia at Queens University in Bangladesh where he lectured in accounting and financial management. He moved to East West University in 2001 and was offered a position as Lecturer in the Department of Accounting and Information Systems at the University of Dhaka in 2002. After completing the Public Policy Program at GRIPS in September 2005, Arif returned to Dhaka University and was promoted to Assistant Professor in January 2006. Around the same time, he was awarded a Ph.D. scholarship in the Department of Accounting and Finance at Monash University, Melbourne and Arif left for Australia in March ’06 to take up a new challenge of pursuing further studies abroad. He successfully completed his studies and earned a Ph.D. in Accounting and Finance from Monash University in 2009 with a dissertation entitled “Managerial share ownership, firm performance and dividends: Australian Evidence”. Arif has accepted a position as Lecturer in Accounting at the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance of Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, where he is currently teaching Management Accounting and International Financial Reporting System.

…Read an interview with Arifur Rahman Khan



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