Canada-ASEAN Connect: Bringing Together Government, Business and Education Sectors @ Virtual Event
Jul 29 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

This webinar will feature speakers from the government, education, and business sectors. Participants will gain a fuller picture of the Canada-ASEAN relationship in business and education, and learn more about ASEAN opportunities and how to promote stronger relations in the future.

Register in advance for this webinar here.


Dr Rhonda L. Lenton
President & Vice-Chancellor, York University

The Hon. Jean Charest
Honorary Chairman, Canada-ASEAN Business Council; Former Premier of Québec

HE Kallayana Vipattipumiprates
Ambassador, Royal Thai Embassy, Ottawa; Chair of ASEAN Committee in Ottawa

HE Colonel (R) Pengiran Haji Kamal Bashah bin Pengiran Haji Ahmad
High Commissioner, High Commission of Brunei Darussalam, Ottawa

HE Rodolfo Dia Robles
Ambassador, Embassy of the Philippines, Ottawa

HE Pham Cao Phong
Ambassador, Embassy of Vietnam, Ottawa

Dr Leonard F Hutabarat
Consul General, Consulate General of Indonesia in Toronto

Richard Le Bars
Chargé d’Affaires of the Mission of Canada to ASEAN

Professor Abidin Kusno
Director, York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR), York University

Dr Keri Ewart
Director of Programming, Asian Business and Management Program, YCAR

Arvind Vijh
Leader, International Services, Deloitte Canada; Advisory Board, Canada-ASEAN Initiatives

This event is organized by Canada-ASEAN Initiatives Project Director Dr Julie Nguyen.

For more information, please contact Julie Nguyen at


Dr. Rhonda L. Lenton
President & Vice-Chancellor, York University

Dr Rhonda Lenton is York University’s eighth president and vice-chancellor.  She is a dedicated proponent of community engagement and innovative partnerships. She played an instrumental role in the creation of the York University-TD Community Engagement Centre, and in expanding York’s institutional collaborations with other postsecondary education partners.  A sociologist by training, Dr. Lenton’s areas of teaching and research expertise include gender, family conflict, sexual harassment, research methods and more recently, higher education. She has published peer-reviewed book chapters and articles in academic journals. In recognition of her leadership and service as a senior executive in higher education, Dr. Lenton was once named one of the top 100 most powerful women in Canada by the Women’s Executive Network. She also recently received the Angela Hildyard Recognition Award for the continual demonstration of innovative leadership in achieving outstanding contributions to York University specifically and to higher education generally.

The Hon. Jean Charest
Honorary Chairman, Canada-ASEAN Business Council; Former Premier of Québec

The Honourable Jean Charest is Honorary Chairman of the Canada-ASEAN Business Council. Mr. Charest was Premier of Québec from 2003 to 2012, and is Member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada. With a public service career spanning almost 30 years, Mr. Charest was first elected to the House of Commons in 1984 and, at age 28, became Canada’s youngest cabinet minister as Minister of State for Youth. In 1991, he was named Minister of the Environment, and Minister of Industry and Deputy Prime Minister of Canada in 1993.

Mr Charest is notably the initiator of the negotiation for the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA).  He is today a Partner at Canadian law firm McCarthy Tétrault, where he provides invaluable expertise to the firm’s clients with his in-depth knowledge and experience with public policy, corporate Canada and international matters. As a strategic advisor with a unique perspective, he supports clients on complex transactions, projects and international mandates, as they navigate the global business environment.

HE Kallayana Vipattipumiprates
Ambassador, Royal Thai Embassy, Ottawa; Chair of ASEAN Committee in Ottawa

Kallayana Vipattipumiprates took up his appointment as Ambassador of Thailand to Canada on 13 October 2020 and Permanent Representative of Thailand to ICAO on 31 March 2020. Previously, he served as Ambassador of Thailand to the Islamic Republic of Iran (2017-2020) and the State of Libya (2015-2017). As a career diplomat, Ambassador Vipattipumiprates joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand in 1988 and has served overseas in London (1992-1996) and two terms in Yangon (2000-2005 and 2009-2012). He has also served in a number of senior positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, including Deputy Director-General of the Department of Consular Affairs (2012-2013) and Chief of the Office of the Minister (2014-2015). He was also seconded to the Secretariat of the Prime Minister from 2013 to 2014. Ambassador Vipattipumiprates holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (First Class Honours) from Ramkhamhaeng University, Thailand, and a Master of Arts in International Studies and Diplomacy at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK.

HE Rodolfo Dia Robles
Ambassador, Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Canada

Ambassador Rodolfo Dia Robles graduated Bachelor of Laws (Cum Laude) from San Beda University and topped the 1967 Bar Examinations First Place. He then finished Masters of Laws from Harvard Law School, prior to being elected Delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention at age 27, where he incorporated the Office of the Ombudsman in the 1972 Constitution as its principal author. After practicing law, he went into real estate business until he was appointed Ambassador to Canada.

HE Pham Cao Phong
Ambassador, Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam in Canada

Ambassador PHAM Cao Phong is a career diplomat who served as Viet Nam Ambassador to Malaysia (2014 – 2017), Viet Nam Consul General in Hong Kong SAR and Ma Cao SAR, the PRC (2008 – 2011). Ambassador Pham Cao Phong joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam in 1990 and has since been assigned to various postings at the Ministry. Ambassador Pham Cao Phong holds MA of International Policy and Practice from George Washington University.

Dr Leonard F Hutabarat
Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia in Toronto

Leonard F. Hutabarat, Ph.D. is the Indonesian Consul General in Toronto. Previously he was the Director of Centre for Policy Analysis and Development on American and European Region of MOFA of the Republic of Indonesia. He was a former United Nations Peacekeeper in Lebanon (UNIFIL). Diplomatic assignments of Dr. Leonard were in the Indonesian Embassy in Paris and New Delhi, and as the Indonesian Acting Trade Commissioner in India. He was also a visiting lecturer at the University of Indonesia and the Indonesian Christian University.

Richard Le Bars
Chargé d’Affaires of the Mission of Canada to ASEAN

Richard Le Bars is the Counsellor (Political) to the Mission of Canada to ASEAN. He started his duties in August 2018. Previously, he was Counsellor (Political) to The Embassy of Canada in Haiti from 2015-2018. He also served as Deputy Director Peacekeeping and Peace Operations Policy Division within Canada’s Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (START) from 2012 to 2015. Mr Le Bars also held positions as the Counsellor (Political) and Deputy Permanent Representative of Canada to UNEP and UN-Habitat, at the Canadian High Commission in Kenya from 2008 to 2012 and he was also posted to the Canadian Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia as the Political, Economic Relations and Public Affairs Manager from 2002 to 2006. He joined the Department of Foreign Affairs Trade and Development in 1999. In Headquarters he served in several capacities in the geographic desk within the Africa Bureau as well as within the Human Rights, Humanitarian and International Women’s Equality Division. Mr. Le Bars holds a Masters in International Development from the University Institute for Development Studies based in Geneva, Switzerland, and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science from the University of Ottawa.

Professor Abidin Kusno
Director, York Centre for Asian Research, York University

Professor Abidin Kusno is professor at Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change at York University where he also serves as director of YCAR. He is former President of the Canadian Council for Southeast Asian Studies (CCSEAS). His academic background is in Architectural Design and Engineering (BA from Petra University, Surabaya, Indonesia) and Art History (MA and PhD from SUNY Binghamton).

Dr. Keri Ewart
Director of Programming, Asian Business and Management Program, YCAR

Dr Keri Ewart is the Program Director of the Asian Business and Management Program at York University. She is a former faculty adviser and professor at Brock University where she worked with teacher candidates on policy, pedagogy, practice and practical application for professional certification. She also taught courses in Language and Literacy, 21st Century Mathematics, Geography and History, and Science and Technology.

She has worked with Ministries around the world (Finance, Transport, Health, Education, Foreign Affairs and Policies) and frequently presents to Senior Executives, Presidential leaders and Directors on a variety of subjects and topics. Dr. Ewart’s research and publications include integrated technologies into classrooms to promote literacy, numeracy and critical thinking skills, curriculum development for application-oriented education, and supporting all learners in elementary, high school and continuing education through STEAM pedagogy in order to succeed in 21st century society, sustainable systems, and organizational structures.

Arvind Vijh
Leader, International Services, Deloitte Canada; Advisory Board, Canada-ASEAN Initiatives

Arvind Vijh is the Leader, International Services and Director, India and Southeast Asia Services Group at Deloitte Canada. He specializes in advisory for cross-border business and mergers and acquisitions, life sciences, renewable energy and cleantech. He holds an Honours degree in Chemical Engineering, BITS, Pilani, India; MBA, IIM Calcutta; and Advanced Management Program, IIM Ahmedabad. He is a member of the Advisory Board, Canada-ASEAN Initiatives at YCAR, York University, and an active member of the Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce.

Introduction from the following organizations:
Trade Facilitation Office (TFO) Canada
Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada

Academic Jobs Outside the US
Aug 12 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Event poster for Academic Jobs Outside the US-Doing Chinese History seriesThis webinar turns to the question of professional development and careers outside of American academia. The academic job market remains highly competitive, and in recent years newly-minted PhDs have sought jobs around the world, including in Europe and Asia. However, students trained in the United States may be less familiar with both the international job search and the culture of universities abroad. This webinar brings together four professors who have recently taken jobs in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the UK. They will discuss the application process, academic life at their university, and the challenges and opportunities of a different academic system.

Register at:

Rowena He, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Taomo Zhou, Nanyang Technological University
Mary Brazelton, Cambridge University
Charles Chang, Duke Kunshan

This is the final event in the ‘Doing Chinese History in a New Era’ webinar series. Designed for—but not exclusive to—graduate students and junior scholars in Chinese history and Chinese studies, these webinars aim to address persistent challenges in research and professional development. It is presented by Emily Baum (University of California, Irvine) and Denise Y. Ho (Yale University) and sponsored by the Long US-China Institute (University of California, Irvine) and the Council on East Asian Studies (Yale University), with support from:

  • Hoover Institution, Project on China’s Global Sharp Power, Stanford University
  • Centre for Asian Research, York University
  • Department of History, Simon Fraser University
  • East Asian Studies Program, Johns Hopkins University
  • Institute of Asian Research, UBC
  • Center for East Asian Studies, Stanford University
  • Fairbank Center, Harvard University
  • East Asian Studies Program, UC Santa Cruz
  • Global China Center, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Hong Kong
Graduate Diploma in Asian Studies (GDAS) Information Session
Sep 29 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Poster for the 2021 GDAS Information Session The Graduate Diploma in Asian Studies (GDAS) is a one-of-a-kind diploma tailored specifically for York University students conducting their graduate research in Asia and Asian Diasporas. With support from a large number of experts in Asian Studies, the Diploma provides academic and professional exposure to students who can enrich their graduate training and strengthen their credentials in Asian Studies.

The 2021 GDAS Information Session for students will take place virtually, on Wednesday, 29 September 2021 from 14:30 to 15:30 EDT. If you would like to attend, please email

For more information, please email us at or visit the FAQ page.