Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ambassador of Indonesia to USA: Dino Patti Djalal

Dino Patti Djalal is an ambassador of Indonesia to USA. He inaugurated by Indonesia’s President at 10 august 2010. Who is Dino Pati Djalal? He is Presidential spokesperson, diplomat, speech writer, youth activist, academic, and author a national best seller.

He is presently Special Staff for International Affairs and Presidential Spokesperson for President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono – a position he has held since October 2004, and extended when SBY was re-elected by a landslide to a second term in 2009. That makes Dr. Dino Patti Djalal the longest serving Presidential spokesperson in Indonesia’s modern history.

Dr. Dino Patti Djalal was born into a diplomatic family on September 10th 1965 in Belgrade, (what was then) Yugoslavia, the second of 3 children. The experience of being born in a country that no longer exists (Yugoslavia) serves to remind him of the supreme importance of maintaining national unity for multi-cultural Indonesia. His father, Professor Hasjim Djalal, was Indonesia’s Ambassador to Canada and Germany, and an international expert on the law of the sea. Hasjim Djalal is a key figure in the “archipelago concept”, a legal innovation on maritime territory which dramatically – and peacefully - multiplied the area of Indonesia’s territorial sovereignty. The archipelago concept, rejected and opposed by maritime powers when it was announced by Indonesia in 1957, is now part of international law and is fully endorsed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

As a student, Dino Djalal was exposed to Islamic education (Muhammadiyah elementary and Al Azhar junior High) and western education - he graduated from Maclean High School in Virginia in 1981 at the early age of 15, and then obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada) and his Masters Degree in Political Science from Simon Fraser University (British Columbia, Canada).

In 2000, he received a Doctorate Degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science, after completing and defending a thesis on preventive diplomacy under the supervision of distinguished scholar on Southeast Asia the late Professor Michael Leifer.

Dr. Dino Patti Djalal joined the Department of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia in 1987. He has been posted to Dili, London and Washington DC, before being appointed as Director for North American Affairs (2002-2004). In the early years of his career, as assistant to Director General for Political Affairs Wiryono Sastrohandoyo, he was involved in the Cambodian conflict, the settlement of the Moro conflict in The Philippines, the South China Sea disputes, and the East Timor conflict.

Dr. Dino Patti Djalal’s first public and international exposure was when he served as spokesperson for the Task Force for the Implementation of Popular Consultation in East Timor in 1999. He was deeply saddened and severely distressed that the referendum ended in chaos and violence – just the opposite of the orderly and peaceful outcome that the Indonesian Government then had promised the UN. During that time, Dr. Dino also served as informal conduit between Foreign Minister Ali Alatas and resistance leader Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, then held in Cipinang prison. He now counts Jose Ramos Horta and Xanana Gusmao among his good friends.

Dr. Dino Djalal – working closely with Robert Scher from the Pentagon - is the conceptor of the “US-Indonesia Security Dialogue”, an annual bilateral consultations on security and defense matters that was conceived in 2001, and has continued to this day. Significantly, this dialogue was started 4 years before Indonesia-US military-to-military relations were normalized in 2005.

Dr. Dino Djalal was also the conceptor of the Forestry-11 process, a consultative process involving tropical rainforests nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America, to enhance their critical role as part of the global carbon sinks to climate change.

He was also one of the architects of the Global Inter-Media Dialogue, a process co-sponsored between Indonesia and Norway to promote press freedom as well as religious and cultural tolerance, and conceived by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in the aftermath of the cartoon crisis. The first Global Inter-Media Dialogue convened in Bali on 2 September 2006 attended by journalists from the western and Islamic countries. The discussions proceeded freely without Government intervention.

Dr. Dino is also the conceptor of the Presidential Visitor’s Program, an annual program for inviting Friends of Indonesia from around the world to visit Indonesia during the time of independence celebration in mid-August. The program is now run by Department of Foreign Affairs by the able diplomat Umar Hadi.

Dr. Dino was the Indonesia Sherpa for the G-8 Outreach Summit meeting in Hokkaido, Japan in 2008. He was also the Indonesian representative of “the Leaders Network in Support of United Nations Reform” in 2005, chaired by Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson. In May 2009, in New York City, Dr. Dino represented President Yudhoyono in the annual gala dinner for Time’s 100 Most Influential Persons in the world.

As Presidential speech-writer, Dr. Dino Djalal has worked closely with President Yudhoyono to change the style and tone of the President’s international speeches – more personality, more punchy and less mechanical, less conventional, less flowery, short and clear sentences, easier to the ear. Dr. Dino now runs a workshop on speech-writing for Government officials.

Dino’s greatest passion is in youth affairs. Since 2008, he has established the “Innovative Leaders Forum” to promote innovative leadership from all sectors of Indonesian society. The Forum has held a series of public seminars presenting emerging leaders in the field of : local governance, education, peace workers, health, bureaucratic reform, entrepreneurship, moderate Islam, and climate change.

Dr. Dino has appeared on radio shows and toured Universities in Java and Sumatra to present the case for open pluralistic nationalism and a new Indonesian internationalism. A recurring theme in his speeches is the imperative for the youth to think for themselves and for their own time, and avoid the rigid dogmatism that was characteristic of the intellectual upbringing of the past. He has argued that the key to Indonesia’s success is to develop a mindset driven by opportunity, not fear; and that xenophobia, ultra-nationalism and radicalism are as destructive and distractive to Indonesia’s present generation as corruption, collusion and nepotism (KKN) was to the generation of the 1980’s.

He also constantly reminds Indonesians that they now have a strategic luxury to live in the world where not a single state regards Indonesia as an enemy and conversely no state is regarded by Indonesia as an enemy. This presents a rare chance to make the whole world to be pro-Indonesia, and that the anti-west or xenophobic views still held by some quarters only leads to lost opportunities that harm the national interests. He has also encouraged the youth to creatively embrace – rather than shun – globalization, which he describes as the greatest force of the 21st century, just as Indonesians successfully embraced nationalism as the greatest force of the 20th century.

Within the bureaucracy, Dr. Dino has persistently advocated on the need for officials and observers to do away with excessive conspiracy theories and siege mentality, and to courageously fine-tune their worldview to the emerging realities of the brave new world. His favorite phase, one which he tirelessly points out, is : “Today, Indonesia is a different country in a different place in a different world”.

To promote a healthy nationalism, Dino has also produced several video clips featuring popular bands Cokelat and Samsons, which depict the activities of Indonesian peace-keeping troops in Lebanon.

Dr. Dino Djalal is the founder of Modernisator – a movement of like-minded progressive and reformist young leaders who embrace the slogan “service, innovation, excellence, openness, connectivity”. The Modernisator team boasts dynamic young leaders from various sectors, such as : Chatib Basri, Emirsyah Satar, Gita Wiryawan, Sandiaga Uno, Lin Che Wei, Omar Anwar, Chrisma Al-banjar, Dian Sasatrowardoyo. The Modernisator Manifesto, which outlines a vision of 21st century Indonesia, was regarded by Asian thinker Prof. Kishore Mahbubani as “a bold message which embrace modernity and diversity. Its cosmopolitan message contrasts sharply with the message of the radical religious groups. If the Modernisator movement catches fire, it will further strengthen the open and toleant nature of Indonesian society”, and by GE Chairman Jeff Imelt as “the best business vision he had ever heard” – both were guest speakers at Modernisator events.

Dr. Dino is also the conceptor of Generation-21, a program which aims to awaken and develop a sense of unique identity – and challenge – among the youth as the first generation of the 21st century – hence, the term “Generation 21”. The culmination of this program is a television show “Generation 21 : Asia Pacific Young Leaders Dialogue” which features 60 young leaders from 16 countries in the Asia Pacific (including Myanmar) engaging in a lively debate about the challenges of the 21st century and their possible solutions – covering geopolitics, financial crisis, globalization, conflicts, regional affairs, education, technology, entrepreneurship, climate change. The 90-minute television show was actually a condensed version of the 6-hour long discussions among the young leaders. While the stars of the television show were the participants, world leaders also took part to inspire them either directly in the studi or thrugh video and written messages : President Barack Obama, Vice President Budiono, Prime Minister of Thailand Abhisit Vejjajiva, Kishore Mahbubani, ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan, Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus, Tony Fernandez. The program was aired in November 2009 by SCTV, and was jointly produced by Modernisator, Asialink (Australia) and Mckinsey.

In October 2009, Dr. Dino also produced “Remarkable Indonesia”, short film clips to celebrate and project Indonesia’s transformation into stable vibrant democracy, which aired in CNN, CNBC, Al Jazeera, BBC and other international stations.

Dr. Dino Patti Djalal is a member of the Governing Board of the Institute for Peace and Democracy, which was established by the Bali Democracy Forum; a member of the Executive Board of the Indonesian Council on World Affairs (ICWA); and a commissioner at Danareksa, a Government investment company.

Dr. Dino Patti Djalal has written many articles for domestic and international media. He has also written 5 books :

“The geopolitics of Indonesia’s maritime territorial policy” (Jakarta : CSIS, 1996)

“Transforming Indonesia” (Jakarta : Gramedia, 2005)

“Indonesia on the move” (Jakarta : Gramedia, 2006); later translated into “Indonesia Unggul” (Jakarta : Gramedia, 2008)

“Harus Bisa !” (Jakarta : Red and White, 2008)

“Energi Positif” (Jakarta : Red and White, 2009)

His fourth book “Harus Bisa !” has become a national best seller in Indonesia – some 1,7 million copies have been printed. The book contains political stories, anecdotes and leadership lessons from the SBY Presidency, taken from his personal diary as Presidential Spokesperson- the Jakarta Globe calls it “the best book on leadership in Indonesia”. Thousands of comments posted on Facebook have called the book “inspirational”.

The book was turned into a television show by TransTV in 2009. “Harus Bisa !” has been translated into English with the title “The Can Do Leadership”, and is now being translated into Mandarin. The book is also used in the educational/training curriculum of Department of Foreign Affairs, the Indonesian military ( TNI) and national police. In 2008, in commemoration of the Indonesian Centennial, the book was sent to libraries of High Schools, Pesantrens, Higher Education and Universities throughout Indonesia.

Dino Djalal is married to Rosa Rai Djalal, and they are blessed with 3 young children : Alexa, Keanu and Chloe. Rosa is a dentist, a graduate of University of Indonesia and was trained at Columbia University. She also runs an elementary school which provides education, free of charge, to children from poor families in Cilegon, the Province of Banten. (

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