USC Price School of Public Policy

Global Reach:

USC Price strengthens connections in Singapore, Indonesia

March 26, 2014
Dean Jack Knott gathered with IPPAM alumni in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Dean Jack Knott gathered with IPPAM alumni in Jakarta, Indonesia.

By Cristy Lytal

USC Price School of Public Policy Dean Jack H. Knott joined USC President C. L. Max Nikias and a select delegation of deans and trustees on a recent visit to Singapore and Jakarta, Indonesia, where they aimed to strengthen ties with top universities and reconnect with USC’s thriving alumni base in the Southeast Asia region.

From Feb. 24-26, Knott met with key academic and government leaders, alumni and members of the media, further extending the Price School’s global reach.

“Singapore and Indonesia are very important partners for us,” Knott said. “Singapore is at a crossroads location in Asia. It’s a focal point for Australia, China, Japan and India.”

He added, “Indonesia is one of the five biggest countries in the world with about 250 million people. It’s an emerging economy and an emerging democracy, so it’s very dynamic and interesting from that point of view.”

Media Outreach

Throughout the trip, Knott took part in several print and on-air interviews, as news reporters called upon his expertise concerning significant policy issues in Asia.

He spoke with three newspapers about Indonesia’s infrastructure, urban development and decentralization of political power. He also appeared on the program, “Asia Connect,” on Channel NewsAsia to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a potential trade agreement among several Pacific Rim countries.

And, Knott was interviewed on the radio program “Small Talks, Big Returns” on the station 938LIVE about the growing philanthropy in Asian countries such as Singapore.

Partnerships in Singapore

Knott’s activities in Singapore included a meeting with Wu Wei, who directs the Nanyang Centre for Public Administration at Nanyang Technological University, a key international partner for USC Price.

Each year since 2012, USC Price has hosted a delegation of officials from the Nanyang Centre as part of a training program on public administration and public policy in the United States. Knott and other Price faculty have also participated in several annual Lien Conferences on Public Administration, which is co-hosted by the Nanyang Centre.

In addition, Knott met with Yongheng Deng, a former USC Price professor who now leads the Institute of Real Estate Studies at the National University of Singapore. They visited the new University Town development, an undergraduate living-and-learning environment similar to USC’s planned University Village. Knott also toured the NUS medical school, where he explored potential collaborations involving health policy, economics and service delivery.

“We were able to connect with our institutional partners on issues relating to real estate and urban planning, healthcare and in executive education,” Knott said of his visit to Singapore. “Our meetings there were very important and productive.”

Alumni Connections in Indonesia

In Indonesia, graduates from USC Price’s International Public Policy and Management Program, or IPPAM, sponsored a dinner reception for the school’s alumni in the area. In total, more than 130 USC Price alumni now live in Indonesia — and several have achieved significant positions in the government and private sector, Knott noted.

“They’re a remarkable alumni group both in the public and nonprofit sectors,” he said. “It was really nice for them to connect with each other and connect back to the school.”

The following day, Knott visited the University of Indonesia, engaging in a roundtable discussion about online education and plans to expand USC Price’s Master of Public Administration and Executive Master of Health Administration online degree programs.

He later met with USC Price alumnus Agus Dwiyanto MPA ’86, PhD ’90 – director of the National Institute of Public Administration for the Republic of Indonesia – to speak about potential collaborations in the future.

Knott also explored executive education opportunities for local officials with Inspector General Akmal Malik of Indonesia’s Ministry of Home Affairs.