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Tête-à-tête: The US Political Landscape: Will there be CHANGE in 2010?

Members' Forum: The US Political Landscape: Will there be CHANGE in 2010?
Date/Time: Feb 25, 2010 / 5.00pm
Venue: SIIA House, 2 Nassim Road Singapore 258370

January 2010 brought the end of President Obama's first year in office and a major upset in Massachusetts with the Republicans taking Senator Ted Kennedy's former seat, and with it the Democrat's filibuster-proof majority. Now, the focus in Washington begins to shift to the ramifications of both as well as the 2010 mid-term elections.

Join Steve Okun, Chairman of American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore in this exciting discussion on the political climate surrounding health care and the economy. This interactive session will analyse how each situation may impact the mid-term elections, a review of what is at stake in 2010, and analysis for the Democrats and the GOP.

Assoc. Prof. Simon Tay, Chairman, Singapore Institute of International Affairs, who has just returned from America as a Schwartz Fellow with Asia Society, will also give his insights on America. 


Steven R. Okun serves as Vice President for Public Affairs for UPS in Asia Pacific. In this capacity, Mr. Okun represents UPS before the governments of the region, focusing on matters concerning international aviation, trade and competition.
Mr. Okun also serves as Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, a position to which he was elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2009. His first election to the Board was in 2006. Prior to his posting in Singapore in 2003, Mr. Okun worked in the Washington, DC office of UPS where he coordinated UPS’ successful efforts in obtaining its initial authority from the US government to serve China.
From 1994 to 1999, Mr. Okun served in the Administration of President Bill Clinton at the Department of Transportation, where he served as Deputy General Counsel and Aviation Advisor to the Secretary. He was awarded the Secretary’s Award for Special Service Commendation in recognition of his outstanding service to the Department of Transportation, particularly in pursuit of its aviation initiatives. In recognition of his work on China matters, Mr. Okun was selected to serve as one of the 24 inaugural delegates to the National Committee on US-China Relation’s Young Leaders’ Forum. He was also selected as the inaugural Co-Chair of the 21st Century Leaders program of the Boao Forum for Asia.
A native of Chicago, IL, Mr. Okun is a graduate of the University of Virginia (1988) and the University of Virginia School of Law (1991), where he was a member on the Editorial Board of The Journal of Law and Politics.


Simon SC Tay LL.B Hons (National University of Singapore) LL.M (Harvard) is a public intellectual and adviser on in political and economic issues. He teaches international law and public policy at the National University of Singapore and is concurrently chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, a non-governmental think tank that represents Singapore in the influential ASEAN-ISIS network of regional think tanks. For 2009, he was with the Asia Society in New York, as Schwartz Fellow, directing a Task Force report on US-Asia relations under the Obama administration.
From 2002-08, he chaired the National Environment Agency, the country’s major agency for environmental protection. Prior to that, he was a Nominated Member of the Singapore Parliament (1997 – 2001) and led public consultations on Singapore in the 21st century, the national concept plan, and the Singapore Green Plan 2012. He has also directed the Singapore Volunteers Overseas, the country’s “peace corps”. In 2006, he received the Public Service Medal (Pingat Bakti Masyarakat, PBM), a Singaporean National Day award.
He was a visiting professor to teach at Yale, Harvard Law School and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He has spoken or chaired events for international business meetings including the World Economic Forum. He has featured in the international media, including the BBC, CNN, Bloomberg, Channel NewsAsia and Financial Times and has a regular column in TODAY newspaper in Singapore. He also has advised multinational corporations on regional business investments and on sustainability and environmental issues.
He was a Fulbright scholar (1993-94) at Harvard Law School, where he won the Laylin prize for the best thesis in international law. In Jan 2000, the World Economic Forum (Davos) named him a “global leader of tomorrow”. In 2002, he was awarded an Eisenhower Fellowship in the USA. He is also an award winning writer with five books of stories and poetry.

Event Photographs: 
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Photographs and images used are obtained from publicly-accessible resources. No copyright infringement is intended.

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