During the Asia Society's 36th Annual Williamsburg Conference in April in Bali, Indonesia, we asked policy leaders from across Asia which US presidential candidate is most favorably viewed in their part of the world.
A large number of respondents said Barack Obama was the most popular, and the Indonesian respondents in particular talked about the significance of Senator Obama's early childhood in the country. Meanwhile, the city named "Obama" in Japan is enjoying increasing popularity!- Asia Society
M.J. Akbar is a leading Indian journalist and author. He is the Chairman of the fortnightly newsmagazine Covert which he launched in May 2008.
He is also the founder and former editor-in-chief and managing director of The Asian Age, a daily multi-edition Indian newspaper with a global perspective.
He has written several non-fiction books, including Byline, a biography of Jawaharlal Nehru titled Nehru: The Making of India, a book on Kashmir titled Kashmir: Behind the Vale, Riot After Riot and India: The Siege Within. He also authored The Shade of Swords, a cohesive history of jihad.
Akbar's recent published book is Blood Brothers, a skilfully crafted family saga covering three generations and packed with information of events in India and the world, particularly the changing Hindu-Muslim relations.
Ms. Alisjahbana is the co-founder of the American Indonesian Education Foundation (AMINEF) that handles the selection for the Fulbright scholarships in Indonesia.
As one of the founders of the WWF Indonesia, she is an active board member. She is also active in promoting the arts as member of the Jakarta Foundation for the Arts and she is also a board member of the Indonesian Society for the Performing Arts.
Together with her husband, Sofjan Alisjahbana and his younger sister, Ms. Alisjahbana established the FEMINA group of magazines that started with an Indonesian women's magazine called FEMINA. In 1973 she started the first Indonesian teen-age girls' magazine called GADIS (which means young girl), which is until now still read by Indonesian teenagers. The group now has eleven magazines.
Dewi Fortuna Anwar
Dr. Dewi Anwar has been Associate Director for Research, The Habibie Center since November 1999.
She is also a Researcher at the Centre for Political and Regional Studies, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (PPW-LIPI), Jakarta.
Endy M. Bayuni took up the job of chief editor of The Jakarta Post, Indonesia's independent and leading English language newspaper, in August 2004 shortly after he returned from a one-year Nieman Fellowship at the Harvard University.
Bayuni has been with the newspaper since 1991, working his way up from Production Manager (Night Editor), to National Editor, Managing Editor, and Deputy Chief Editor.
He previously worked as the Indonesian correspondent for Reuters and Agence France-Presse between 1984 and 1991, and began his journalistic career with The Jakarta Post in 1983. Bayuni completed his Bachelors of Arts degree in economics from Kingston University in Surrey, England, in 1981.
Shen Dingli, a physicist by training, is a professor of international relations at Fudan University.
He is the Executive Dean of Fudan University's Institute of International Studies, and Director of Center for American Studies.
He is also the founder and director of China's first non-government-based Program on Arms Control and Regional Security at Fudan University.
Gareth Evans co-chaired the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (2000-2001), is the author of The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and For All (Brookings Institution Press, 2008, 2009), and is Co-Chair of the International Advisory Board of the New York-based Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. Now Chancellor of the Australian National University and a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne, he was formerly Australia's Foreign Minister (1988-96) and President of the International Crisis Group (2000-09). A participant in many international commissions and panels, he has written or edited nine books, and many other chapters, journal articles, and opinion pieces.
Pan Guang is the Director of and Professor at the Shanghai Center for International Studies and Institute of European & Asian Studies at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.
He also is the Director of SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) Studies Center in Shanghai, Dean of Center of Jewish Studies Shanghai (CJSS) and Vice Chairman of the Chinese Society of Middle East Studies.
Carolina G. Hernandez is currently Professor of Political Science at the University of the Philippines and the holder of its Carlos P. Romulo Professorial Chair in International Relations.
She is founder and President of the Institute for Strategic and Development Studies, an independent, non-profit think tank on foreign policy, domestic politics, and security concerns and development issues.
Kunihiko Miyake is the President of AOI Foreign Policy Institute.
He also is the former deputy director general of the Middle East Bureau of the Foreign Ministry.
Dr C Raja Mohan is an analyst of Indian foreign policy and international security affairs and an advocate of India's strategical alignment with America.
He has served on India's National Security Advisory Board during 1998-2000. He is currently a professor at the Nanyang Technical University in Singapore.
Rizal Sukma is currently Deputy Executive at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS),Jakarta, Indonesia.
He is also the Chairman of International Relations Division, Central Executive Board of Muhammadiyah (second largest Islamic organisation in Indonesia with approximately 25 million members); member of the board at Syafii Maarif Institute for Culture and Humanity; a visiting lecturer at Department of International Relations at Muhammadiyah University - Malang; and a member of the National Committee on Strategic Defense Review, Indonesia's Ministry of Defence.
Mr. Simon Tay teaches international and public law at the National University of Singapore.
Between 2002-2007, he was the Chairman of the National Environment Agency. In fall 2003, he was a visiting professor at the Harvard Law School and Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy.
He was selected for three terms as a Nominated Member of Parliament (1997-2001) and has led public consultations concerning Singapore on several panels.