The RSIS World Humanitarian Day includes a public panel discussion and exhibition to commemorate those who have offered their lives in humanitarian service and those in need of assistance, and celebrates the spirit that inspires humanitarian work. The panel discussion will tackle the current nature of humanitarian engagement including the evolving landscape of complex humanitarian emergencies and international disaster relief in the Asia Pacific. It aims to raise public awareness on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the region by providing a venue for exchange of ideas, insights and experiences from Singaporean citizens and permanent residents involved in the protection and assistance of vulnerable groups displaced by natural and manmade disaster. The exhibition provides a forum to meet academics, policy professionals and practitioners from the field of humanitarian affairs.
About the Panellists:
Mr Benjamin Jeyaraj William has been the Secretary General/CEO of the Singapore Red Cross from 1 March 2012.Mr. William joined the Foreign Service in 1981 and held various positions which include the Regional and Economics Department; Country Officer for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific; First Secretary in the Singapore High Commission in Bandar Seri Begawan and Singapore Embassy in Manila; Deputy Director in the Management and Personnel Directorate; Deputy Director General in the ASEAN Directorate; Deputy Chief of Mission in the Singapore Embassy in Washington; Deputy Director at the Policy, Planning and Analysis Directorate II covering North America and Europe; Director-General for ASEAN Singapore; and Director of Consular Directorate. From 2007 to 2011, he served as Singapore’s Ambassador to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
Dr Marlene Lee is a member of the Board of Directors of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) Hong Kong. Originally from Malaysia, she has been residing in Singapore for the past twelve years. She is trained as a clinical psychologist and currently see clients in her psychotherapy private practice. From 2007-2009, Dr Lee was a full-time volunteer field worker with MSF. As a field psychologist, she developed and implemented community-based mental health programs, trained and supervised local counsellors, and provided psychosocial support to victims of armed conflict in Kashmir, India, and Yambio, South Sudan. In addition, she was part of the emergency intervention team for the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China, 2008 Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, and the 2009 Padang earthquake in Indonesia.
Professor Lionel Lee, PPA, MBBS, MSS, MPH, FAMS, graduated in Medicine from the University of Singapore in 1975. He joined the Singapore Armed Forces Medical Corps in 1976 and rose to the rank of Brigadier General and the Chief of the Medical Corps. He retired from the Singapore Armed Forces in 2001. He was an Adjunct Professor with the Duke University-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School. He was also Chairman of the Governing Council of the Dover Park Hospice. From 1997 to 2011, he was the Director of Defence Medical and Environmental Research Institute (DMERI) of DSO National Laboratories. Professor Lee is currently Professor and Executive Vice-Dean of the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.
Dr Alistair D. B. Cook is Coordinator of the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Programme and Research Fellow at the Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre), S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. His research interests focus geographically on the Asia-Pacific and thematically on peace and conflict studies, migration, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR), foreign policy and regional cooperation, and domestic politics in Myanmar. In March to April 2016, he interviewed key stakeholders with Maxim Shrestha and Zin Bo Htet of RSIS in Bangkok, Jakarta, Singapore and Nepal to assess the international relief effort in the aftermath of the 2015 Nepal Earthquake. This fieldwork forms the basis of an RSIS Policy Brief and NTS Report in 2016.