2018 Asian Studies Visiting Fellow: Dr. Kaewkamol “Karen” Pitakdumrongkit

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Get to Know Our 2018 Asian Studies Visiting Fellows -
Dr. Kaewkamol “Karen” Pitakdumrongkit

Residency: Mid-March through Mid-June
Contact Information: pitakduk@EastWestCenter.org*
Research Interests: US foreign policy towards Southeast Asia, Indo-Pacific, economic negotiation, Southeast Asian and East Asian economic governance, regional-global economic governance dynamics


BiographyPicture of Dr. Kaewkamol “Karen” Pitakdumrongkit. Image: Kaewkamol “Karen” Pitakdumrongkit.

Dr. Kaewkamol "Karen" Pitakdumrongkit is a Deputy Head and Assistant Professor at the Centre for Multilateralism Studies, at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She completed her MA and PhD in Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara, U.S.A. Her research interests include international economic negotiation, Southeast Asian and East Asian economic governance (focusing on trade, money and finance), regional-global economic governance dynamics, ASEAN Economic Community, and cooperation between ASEAN and dialogue partners (ASEAN-Plus frameworks). She has published in various outlets such as The Singapore Economic Review, The International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, The Pacific Review, Australian Outlook, The Diplomat, Eurasia Review and East Asia Forum. Her media interviews include Bangkok Post, Bloomberg, Business Times, Channel News Asia, CNBC Asia-Pacific, New Straits Times, The Strait Times, South China Morning Post, and Xinhua. Beside publications and media engagement, Dr. Karen organized several capacity-building programmes such as the Annual RSIS-World Trade Organization (WTO) Parliamentarian Workshops in Singapore, and In-Country Workshops on Technical Trade Issues which are tailored to the specific needs of the trade officials in Asian countries. She was also part of the team involved in composing the elements of the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025. In addition, Dr. Karen teaches courses on International Economics for International Political Economy, and the Political Economy of Southeast Asia at the RSIS MSc International Political Economy programme, and occasionally provides briefings to international diplomats and military students at Singapore’s Goh Keng Swee Command and Staff College.


Research Topic: The U.S.’ Indo-Pacific Strategy and Its Impacts on the Future Development of Asian Economic Architectures

Dr. Karen's East-West Center in Washington Asia Fellowship research focuses on the U.S.’ Indo-Pacific strategy and its impacts on the future development of Asian economic governance. Her project is aimed at: (1) assessing how Indo-Pacific and Asia-Pacific policies would interact to alter the future advancement of Asian economic architectures; and (2) coining policy recommendations for the U.S. and Asian governments on what they should do to lessen clashes among their different agendas and strategies, which in turn could help reduce the likelihood of competing regional economic initiatives in the future. Hence, the questions to be explored include: “What are the details of America’s Indo-Pacific strategy?”, “How will this strategy be received by Asian nations?”, “How will Indo-Pacific and Asia-Pacific policies interact to shape the future advancement of Asian economic architectures?”, and “What should American and Asian governments do to prevent or lessen conflicts among their different policies and strategies?”


*(Please note: Email addresses are only active during the visitor's residency at the East-West Center in Washington)