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Issues & Insights Vol. 21, SR4 — The United States and Singapore: Indo-Pacific Partners

  • Shaun Ee

    Nonresident Fellow, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Atlantic Council

  • Jarret Fisher

    Young Leader, Pacific Forum

  • Dr. James Guild

    Adjunct Fellow, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

  • Matthew Merighi

    Northeast Regional Director, National Security Innovation Network

  • Jasmine Ong

    Student, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore

  • Ankush Wagle

    Graduate Student, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore

  • Dr. Collin Koh

    Research Fellow, Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies

  • Dr. Jeffrey Ordaniel

    Non-resident Adjunct Fellow & Director for Maritime Security, Pacific Forum

  • Ariel Stenek

    Director, Young Leaders Program (2019-2021), Pacific Forum


About this Volume

Authors of this volume participated in the inaugural U.S.- Singapore Next-Generation Leaders Initiative, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, through the U.S. Embassy Singapore. With backgrounds from academia, public policy, civil society and industry, the cohort brings rich insights on the past, present, and future of the U.S.-Singapore relationship. Between September 2020 and August 2021, cohort members engaged with senior experts and practitioners as they developed research papers addressing various aspects of the bilateral relationship.

The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of their respective organizations and affiliations. Pacific Forum’s publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its staff, donors and sponsors.

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Table of Contents

  1. Pragmatic and Principled – U.S.-Singapore Relations as a Model Partnership in the Indo-Pacific | Jeffrey Ordaniel & Collin Koh
  2. U.S.-Singapore Cooperation on Tech and Security: Defense, Cyber, and Biotech | Shaun Ee
  3. Early-stage Defense Diplomacy: Leveraging U.S.- Singapore Startup Ecosystems | Matthew Merighi
  4. U.S.-Singapore Relations Amidst an Evolving Institutional Landscape | Jasmine Ong
  5. The FTA with the United States and Market Reforms in Singapore | James Guild
  6. Analyzing U.S.–Singapore Maritime Security Cooperation through the Indo-Pacific Lens | Ankush Wagle
  7. Singapore’s Bilateral Relations with the United States and China: A Historical Refresher | Jarret Fisher


About the Authors

Shaun Ee is a nonresident fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, working at the nexus of security policy, emerging tech, and U.S.-China relations. He is also a Yenching Scholar at Peking University and writes for TechNode, a Beijing- and Shanghai-based publication covering China’s tech ecosystem. Previously, Shaun was assistant director of the Scowcroft Center’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative, and served in the Singapore Armed Forces as a signals operator in an artillery unit. He holds a BA from Washington University in St. Louis, where he studied cognitive neuroscience and East African history.

Jarret Fisher is devoted to a values-based U.S. foreign policy. She studied finance, international business, economic policy, and international relations at the graduate level. Jarret is a proud alumna of the Obama Foundation Community Leadership Corps, and a U.S. Department of State Exchange alumna, having participated in a legislative exchange in South Korea and the ALLI Indo-Pacific Summit in Japan. Jarret’s research interests include nuclear nonproliferation, ASEAN centrality in the Indo-Pacific, the history of Singapore’s economic development, and meaningful youth participation in policymaking.

Dr. James Guild is an Adjunct Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, where he was awarded a PhD in International Political Economy in 2020. His work covers trade, finance and economic growth in Southeast Asia with a focus on Indonesia and has appeared in New Mandala, East Asia Forum, the Jakarta Post and Inside Indonesia. He currently writes a weekly column for The Diplomat’s Pacific Money blog, and is based out of Indonesia.

Matthew Merighi is the Northeast Regional Director for the National Security Innovation Network, a program office in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). In his role, Matthew builds relationships in New England between DoD entities, universities, and startups to accelerate innovation. A graduate of Georgetown University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Matthew began his career working as a civilian for the U.S. Air Force’s international office. He has since worked in academia at the Fletcher School and co-founded two startups. A native of southern New Jersey, Matthew currently resides outside of Boston.

Jasmine Ong is a recent graduate of International Affairs from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and she is currently working in the global development sector. Prior to her postgraduate studies, Jasmine was a staff officer at the Ministry of Defence (Singapore). Her research interests are in the regional security of East Asia, effective governance, and the democratization of access to information and technologies.

Ankush Wagle is graduate student and Li-Ka Shing Foundation Scholar at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore (NUS). He was previously a research analyst at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) at NUS, where he focused on relations between South and Southeast Asia, and maritime security. He has written articles for ISAS, the Jakarta Post, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, The Diplomat, and The Conversation. He has also co-authored two book chapters on ASEAN’s maritime engagement in the Indo-Pacific. Ankush has held internships at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, American Chamber of Commerce Singapore, and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

Dr. Collin Koh is Research Fellow at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies which is a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, based in Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He has research interests on naval affairs in the Indo-Pacific, focusing on Southeast Asia. Collin has published several op-eds, policy- and academic journal articles as well as chapters for edited volumes covering his research areas. He has also taught at Singapore Armed Forces professional military education and training courses. Besides research and teaching, Collin also contributes his perspectives to various local and international media outlets and participates in activities with geopolitical risks consultancies.

Dr. Jeffrey Ordaniel is is non-resident Adjunct Fellow and Director for Maritime Security at the Pacific Forum. Concurrently, he is also Assistant Professor of International Security Studies at Tokyo International University (TIU) in Japan. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations and specializes in the study of offshore territorial and maritime entitlement disputes in Asia. His teaching and research revolve around maritime security and ocean governance, ASEAN regionalism, and broadly, U.S. alliances and engagements in the Indo-Pacific. From 2016 to 2019, he was based in Honolulu and was the holder of the endowed Admiral Joe Vasey Fellowship at the Pacific Forum. Since 2019, Dr. Ordaniel has been convening the Indo-Pacific Maritime Security Expert Working Group, an informal network of select experts and scholars from Japan, Southeast Asia, Australia and North America, with the aim of generating sound, pragmatic and actionable policy prescriptions for the region. His current research on maritime security in Asia is funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), 2020-2022.

Ariel Stenek directed Pacific Forum’s Young Leaders Program, from Spring 2019 to Summer 2021. In addition to managing Pacific Forum’s next-generation engagements, she provided support to Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) activities. While at the Pacific Forum, she also researched and presented on U.S. Freedom of Navigation Operations, and marine environment considerations in the South China Sea. Previously, she was a Regional Security Studies Intern at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS), and worked at UNESCO in the division of Social and Human Sciences on The Silk Roads Online Platform. She holds an MA in International Relations from Queen Mary, University of London. She received her BA in International Studies with a minor in European Studies from the University of San Francisco. Her dissertation, “Four Cases Examining the Role of Maritime Militias in China’s Maritime Strategy,” won the J. Ann Tickner Prize for Best Masters Dissertation, and was presented at the 2018 International Graduate Student Conference at the East- West Center in Honolulu.

Photo: Soldiers from the Singapore Armed Forces stand in formation during the opening ceremony for Exercise Valiant Mark 2018 at Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, Aug. 27, 2018. Source U.S. Embassy Singapore Twitter / U.S. Marine Corps photo by LCpl. Rhita Daniel