Keynote Speakers


Syed Farid Alatas is Professor of Sociology at the National University of Singapore. He is also appointed to the Department of Malay Studies at NUS and headed that department from 2007 till 2013. He lectured at the University of Malaya in the Department of Southeast Asian Studies prior to joining NUS. In the early 1990s, he was a Research Associate at the Women and Human Resource Studies Unit, Science University of Malaysia. Prof. Alatas has authored numerous books and articles, including Ibn Khaldun (Oxford University Press, 2013); Applying Ibn Khaldun: The Recovery of a Lost Tradition in Sociology (Routledge, 2014), and (with Vineeta Sinha) Sociological Theory Beyond the Canon (Palgrave, 2017) and “The State of Feminist Theory in Malaysia” in Maznah Mohamad & Wong Soak Koon, eds., Feminism: Malaysian Reflections and Experience (special issue of Kajian Malaysia: Journal of Malaysian Studies), 12, 1-2 (1994): 25-46. His areas of interest are the sociology of Islam, social theory, religion and reform, intra- and inter-religious dialogue, and the study of Orientalism.


Ramon Guillermo is a professor at the University of the Philippines Diliman Center for International Studies and currently serves as the Faculty Regent of the University of the Philippines. He holds a PhD Southeast Asian Studies from the University of Hamburg. He has widely published on topics pertaining to intellectual history, translation and language studies, Southeast Asian Studies, among others. 


Rufa Cagoco‐Guiam has “changed tires”, or retired from Philippine government service as Full Professor III, Sociology Department, College of Social Sciences and Humanities, of the Mindanao State University – General Santos City.  She is a cultural anthropologist by training, both from Silliman University – Dumaguete City, Philippines and from the University of Hawaii for her advanced studies. Prof Guiam has published numerous articles and chapters in books, largely focused on the following topics:  child soldiers, gender and armed conflict, gender and livelihoods among internally displaced communities, peace and development communities, illegal drug trade and its intersections with political violence and armed conflict in Muslim Mindanao; and lately, on transitional justice in the Bangsamoro communities in Mindanao. She is a Senior Asian Public Intellectual (API) Fellow of The Nippon Foundation in 2008-2009 and an Executive Education Grantee of the Institute of Politics, Harvard School of Government, Harvard University, in 2009.  She recently was a visiting scholar at the College of Intercultural Communications, Rikkyo University, Tokyo, Japan in October 2018. Currently, Ms. Guiam is one of the Conveners of the Independent Working on Transitional Justice – Dealing with the Past (TJ – DwP), an offshoot of her two-year engagement as the Lead Coordinator of the Listening Process of the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) in the Bangsamoro. The TJRC was part of the Joint Normalization Committee provided for in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.  She used to do a variety of consultancy work, in particular with the UN Women (mapping of initiatives to prevent Violent Extremism in the Bangsamoro and for the Conciliation Resources, London, for inclusive localized peace platforms; and more recently with the Asia Foundation and the UNICEF for projects providing technical assistance to the new government in the Bangsamoro.  In between her consultancy work, she writes a fortnightly column in the Opinion Page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI), under Kris-Crossing Mindanao (starting last June 18, 2018). She has just finished fieldwork for her latest research project  – Child Rights Situational Analysis for the children in the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) for the Save the Children – Philippines program. Starting November 26, 2019, she has been engaged as the National Gender Equality, Disability and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) Adviser for the Pathways education program for children in the Bangsamoro.  Pathways is a nine-year education program focusing on K-3 basic education funded by the Australian government through its Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).