Murdoch University is delighted to announce the appointment of the former United States of America Consul General to Perth, Dr Kenneth Chern, as Professorial Research Fellow.
Dr Chern, an expert in Asian affairs, will not only play a key role in supporting Murdoch’s world-leading research in that field, but also work with Western Australian business and industry to boost relationships with the US and Asia.
Vice Chancellor Professor John Yovich said the appointment, funded by the Murdoch University Foundation, would have significant benefits for the University and the State.
“Dr Chern has an outstanding international profile and I am delighted that we have been able to persuade him to return to Perth to take up this new post,” said Professor Yovich.
“Murdoch University is already a world leader in the area of Asia research, and Dr Chern’s vast experience in that region will be of huge benefit to our work.
“But we also recognise that to have someone of Dr Chern’s calibre here in Perth is an opportunity for Western Australia. We hope business and industry will take advantage of his knowledge and experience to help them build better relationships with Asia and the United States.
“The creation of this post is an investment in the future of Western Australia as well as Murdoch University.”
Dr Chern will work across Murdoch University to support its leading-edge research into South East Asian affairs. In particular, he will assist the Asia Research Centre, the Asia Pacific Intellectual Property Law Institute and programs in Asian Studies.
He will also support the University’s international engagement strategy, with specific focus on the United States of America and the Asia-Pacific regions.
Externally, he will work with business and industry to strengthen Western Australian links with Asia and the US.
Dr Chern said: “It is a wonderful opportunity to return to Perth and join Vice Chancellor Yovich and this great university. I look forward to working with the University’s leaders and scholars to promote research in Asian affairs and build Murdoch’s ties in the Asia-Pacific region.
“In concert with colleagues at the University, I will seek to expand the role of Perth and Western Australia in discovering new areas of cooperation across the region to help solve 21st-century problems.”
Dr Chern has had a long and distinguished career in diplomacy, having served in the White House during President Bill Clinton’s administration and completed assignments in Vietnam, the Philippines, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan.
He took up the post of US Consul General to Perth in 2007 after a period as Deputy Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Prior to this he served as Deputy Director of the Office of Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore Affairs at the US Department of State. He also worked at the Department of State’s China, Japan and Australia-New Zealand Desks.
Dr Chern speaks fluent French, Chinese and Vietnamese and has been awarded three individual Superior Honour Awards by the US government for his work in counterterrorism, human rights and public diplomacy.
He will take up his post at Murdoch University in January 2011.