PROF Datuk Dr Woo Wing Thye (pic) has been appointed the first president of the Jeffrey Cheah Institute (JCI) in Southeast Asia as of January this year.
The announcement was made following the setting up of the institute as a component of the Sunway Education Group after the creation of two Jeffrey Cheah Professorships of Southeast Asia studies at Harvard University in 2013.
Prof Woo brings with him a wealth of expertise and experience gained as a professor at University of California, Davis in the United States, Cheung Kong (chang jiang) professor in the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing, distinguished professor at Fudan University in Shanghai, China and as the director of the East Asia programme within the Columbia University Earth Institute at Columbia University, US, and executive director of the Penang Institute in Malaysia.
Prof Woo from Penang, graduated with a Master’s degree and a PhD in economics from Harvard University in 1982. His work has appeared in the Journal of International Economics.
He is also an expert on the Indonesian economy, which will be an asset when curating information on the region at the institute.
He has served as a special advisor to the US Treasury (1997 to 1998) and was also special advisor for East Asian Economics in the Millennium Project for the United Nations (2002 to 2005).
In July 2005, he was appointed to the International Advisory Panel under former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and in April 2009, he was appointed chairman of the International Economic Advisory Panel of Penang.
As JCI president, Prof Woo will advise on research priorities and academic activities provided by the International Academic Advisory Council (IAAC), whose members will consist of individuals from the region and beyond.