Charles Phua Cao Rong
Charles Phua Chao Rong
Senior Fellow
Strategic Trust-Building

Charles Phua Chao Rong is a pracademic and civil society leader: deputy director (designate) for the Centre for Liveable Cities, Ministry of National Development (Singapore), concurrently Lee Kong Chian scholar at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP).‎

An academic, he is a Fulbright Fellow with 13 essay awards (including first prize Chief of Defence Force essay competition) and 46 (including commissioned/forthcoming) publications. Charles also serves as assistant editor for Comparative Public Policy Series (Cambridge University Press), editor-in-chief of Asian Journal of Public Affairs, and sits on the editorial boards of POINTER (SAF Journal) and International Relations and Diplomacy. He completed his undergraduate and research masters in International Relations at the London School of Economics and holds a Specialist Postgraduate Diploma from National Institute of Education. His PhD thesis at LKYSPP is on pragmatism in the foreign policy of US, China and Singapore. His research interests include public-business-not-for-profit management, corporate-military-public sector strategy, international relations, security studies, East-Southeast Asian studies, American, Chinese and Singapore studies, innovation and thinking, research methods and philosophy of social sciences.

A practitioner, he was head research trainer at the Ministry of Defence, training captains and majors in research work. He spearheaded two military start-ups, was deputy lead for Singapore’s contingent in Afghanistan, and served as President’s Honorary Aide-de-Camp for 6 years. 

Charles' 15-year civil-society leadership record from London to Singapore includes spearheading five civil society start-ups, being the first Singaporean to run Commonwealth Youth Forum in Malta, spearheading the inaugural international Youth Olympics community song album, two MINDEF-wide charity carnivals involving 4,000 and raising $61,000, the Global Social Innovators Forum, and recently the nation-wide SG100 (self-raised $200,000 sponsorship from public-private-people sectors) for Singapore’s youths to discuss vision and policy recommendations for SG100 nation-building, as president of the Association for Public Affairs. He also served as a SPRING’s Business Excellence assessor offering advice on strategic planning and organizational excellence to heads of public and private organizations, and is the youngest Singapore Scout Council member. He is a NIQCC and IETEX judge, and volunteers with Facilitator Network Singapore as a process facilitator.

The first Singaporean recipient of the Goldman Sachs Global Leader and the HSBC Youth Excellence Awardee, Charles consistently excelled internationally to be named World Economic Forum Global Shaper, CSIS Pacific-Forum Young Leader, Thai Institute of Justice Fellow, and inducted into Stars "Next Generation Leader" and Dragon 100 (for Chinese young leaders‎) networks.


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