Dennis Ignatius, a graduate in international relations from the University of Malaya, is a 36 year veteran of the Malaysian Foreign Service. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he served as cross-cultural coordinator with the US Peace Corps in Malaysia.
He has served in London, Beijing and Washington and was subsequently appointed ambassador to Chile and later to Argentina. He was also concurrently accredited as Ambassador of Malaysia to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay and Uruguay. From 2001 to June 2008 he was the High Commissioner (ambassador) for Malaysia to Canada.
His other appointments include Principal Assistant Secretary (Director) for East Asia, Undersecretary for European Affairs and Undersecretary for American Affairs. He was also Dean of the Asia-Pacific Heads of Mission in Ottawa.
From his vantage point at the Foreign Ministry and at Malaysian missions in key capitals of the world, and having lived and traveled in Asia, the Americas and Europe, he has met many world leaders and observed close hand the interaction of personalities and events that have shaped and influenced major world issues. He brings an insider view of events and possesses a unique perspective of present global challenges.
He retired from the foreign service in June 2008 and is presently a foreign policy consultant. He is Diplomatic Advisor to First Step Forum, a Helsinki-based NGO whose members are serving and retired prime ministers, parliamentarians, ambassadors, businessmen and professionals. First Step Forum is dedicated to building bridges between communities in conflict.
He also wrote a fortnightly column, ‘Diplomatically Speaking,’ on politics and foreign affairs for The Star, Malaysia’s largest English daily. His column is regularly carried by newspapers across the Asia-Pacific region. He presently writes on an ad hoc basis for Malaysiakini and Malaysian Insider.
He is especially interested in the challenges of democracy and human rights in the developing world, the response to international terrorism, and relations between the Islamic world and the West. He has appeared on public affairs television as a discussant on international issues.
He delights in a good game of tennis and enjoys golf whenever his swing comes together. He is intrigued by technology and is very fond of his Mac.
Dennis Ignatius is married to the love of his life, Cherry Ignatius. They have been blessed with two daughters and five grandchildren. They divide their time between Malaysia, Canada and the United States.