Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate &
Member Of Parliament, Myanmar

About The Speaker

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is one of the founding members and current Chairperson of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Burma (Myanmar). In the by elections held in April, 2012, she was elected to Parliament, representing the NLD. She chairs the Rule of Law and Tranquility Committee in Pyithu Hluttaw. In addition, she also chairs the Committees for Reinvigoration of Rangoon General Hospital and Rangoon University.  

One of the world’s most renowned human rights activists, she has dedicated much of her life to bringing democracy, dignity and human rights to the citizens of Burma. She spent decades under house arrest, before finally being freed in 2010. Citing her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded Daw Aung San Suu Kyi the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. In addition, she has received more than 130 awards and honors from all over the world, including the Sakharov Freedom of Thought award from the European Parliament (1991), the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding by the Government of India (1993), the Companion of the Order of Australia by the Australian Government (1996), and the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal (2008).  

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi holds degrees from the University of Delhi, St. Hugh’s College (Oxford), and the University of London.

Mindset in Leadership

22 September 2013

You should never let your fears prevent you from doing what you know is right.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi: A role model, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, an acclaimed author, an opposition party leader, and now a parliamentarian.

Myanmar had its general elections in November 2010 and consequently, the world saw a peaceful transition from 60 years of military rule to a quasi-civilian government headed by President Thein Sein. Since then, the government has initiated a series of political and economic reforms including the parliamentary by-elections in 2012. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her party won 43 of the 44 seats which they contested for in that by-elections and gained representation in parliament – marking the beginning of a new era in Myanmar. The pro-democracy champion has been working almost non-stop to try to improve things and reinvigorate hopes of the people in the country ever since.

In the most recent times, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has highlighted job creation as a top priority and she believes that foreign investment is the key to creating jobs. She has also publicly announced her desire to run for Presidency in 2015. This envisioned move, however, requires a shift of leadership mindset and rule of law in the country.

What defines leadership and what are the key attributes of leadership? How can leaders move the needle?  Most importantly, how does one build the right mindset that will lead to successful leadership?

On 22 September 2013, Singapore Management University’s Ho Rih Hwa Leadership in Asia Public Lecture Series is proud to present Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as its sixth distinguished speaker. She will share her views on how leadership mindsets and styles set the tone for transformational change and why it is critical to do so in today’s fast-changing world.

Media Coverage

Myanmar's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi delivered a lecture on leadership at SMU on Sunday. She said that leaders should respect their people, work to get their support and fulfill their needs. However, she added a good leader will not necessarily be a popular one. Her frank and candid style won her fans, as much as her call for young people in Myanmar to think more of their country and society. “I really loved her speech. I think she really resonated with what it means for her to build a new Myanmar.” said SMU Vice President, Business Development and External Relations, Associate Professor Annie Koh. Suu Kyi's inspirational speech also left a deep impression on the students. SMU students, Aung Myat Ko and Kyi Lai Lai Shoon shared their thoughts.
At the Ho Rih Hwa Leadership in Asia Public Lecture held at SMU on Sunday, a member of the audience asked Myanmar’s democracy icon and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi if given the military’s tendency to claim power by force, a leopard can change its spots. Ms Suu Kyi said that soldiers should not be in the government, and that Myanmar should change its Constitution to have a professional army instead, as in Britain, which is “well looked after by a civilian government and loved by its people”. She recalled how her father, General Aung San – who led then Burma to independence from British colonial rule – set an example when he resigned from the military to join politics in 1945. Government officials, business leaders, academics and students attended the lecture.
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi sketched out her vision for reform and economic growth at SMU on Sunday, saying that the transition to civilian rule has been too slow. "I think we have to question how far along the way this transition process is, or whether it is genuine enough, whether it is stable enough, whether it is strong enough," she said.
Speaking at SMU on Sunday, Myanmar’s opposition Aung San Suu Kyi said there is no surety that Myanmar won’t return to military rule, highlighting the “need to change the constitution, which provides the military with a privileged space in national politics”.
Leaders should value and respect their people and fulfil their needs, but it is not only those in government who need to embrace change – “those who are governed (should) change as well”, said Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi at a lecture on leadership held at SMU on Sunday. Addressing an audience that included Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim, Senior Minister of State (Transport and Finance) Josephine Teo, business leaders, academics and students, Ms Suu Kyi said: “What we want now is not a military dictatorship, but a democratic mindset that values the people, that understands that whatever we achieve, we have to achieve with the willing support of the people.”