Building U.S.-Indonesia Mutual Understanding Since 1994

Speaker Biographies – USINDO’s 2020 Gala Dinner

USINDO is pleased to announce our exciting 2020 Gala Dinner Thursday, February 13 at the Four Seasons Hotel. This year’s special Gala Dinner will have the theme “U.S.-Indonesia Economic Relations 2020: Seizing the Potential for Trade and Investment.”

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H.E. Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan was appointed as Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment in October 2019 by President Joko Widodo. In his new role, he supervises core ministries for Indonesia’s development, including the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), Environment and Forestry, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, and Tourism.

Minister Pandjaitan has served several pivotal roles over the years, including Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs in 2016, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs in 2015, and Chief of Staff to President Jokowi in 2015. Earlier, he was Minister of Industry and Trade, and Indonesia’s Ambassador to Singapore.

Minister Pandjaitan spent most of his military career with Kopassus TNI AD (Special Forces Command). He is well known for being the first Commander of Detachment 81, one of the world’s best counterterrorism units. His many important military career positions include Commander of Group 3 Kopassus, Commander of Infantry Weaponry (Pussenif), to the Commander of Army Education and Training (Kodiklat).

Aside from his work in the government and military, Minister Pandjaitan founded the DEL Foundation, which has created schools including a technology college for underprivileged students, and a bilingual high school for gifted children. The Foundation also awards scholarships and funds education infrastructure development and construction.

Born and raised in North Sumatera, Minister Pandjaitan was awarded the Adhi Makayasa in 1970, the annual award conferred to the best graduate of Indonesia Armed Forces Academy. In 1988, he graduated from George Washington University with a Master’s in Public Administration. A year later, he graduated from the National Defense University.

H.E. Agus Suparmanto joined President Jokowi’s cabinet as Minister of Trade in October 2019. He has been assigned to advancing Indonesia’s exports. He is a member of National Awakening Party (PKB). Prior to his position in politics, he was President Director of PT Galangan Manggar Biliton, a dockyard company operating in Bangka Belitung, Sumatera.

H.E. Johnny G. Plate was recently appointed by President Jokowi as Minister of Communication and Information Technology in October 2019. He has been assigned to advance Indonesia’s communication technology, shape data protection law, and improve Indonesian digital economy. Previously, he was a member of the People’s Representative Council (DPR), constituent from East Nusa Tenggara. He was also Secretary General of National Democrats Party in 2017 – 2018.

Prior to joining politics, Minister Plate held several positions in aviation and agriculture business. He was a Managing Director of P.T. Air Asia Investama in 2012, Managing Director of Bina Palma Group in 2008 and Commissioner of P.T. Indonesia Air Asia in 2005.

Minister Plate earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Business Management from Atmajaya University, Jakarta in 1986.

H.E. Mahendra Siregar was appointed as Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs in October 2019 when he was serving as Indonesia’s Ambassador to the U.S. In his new position, Vice Minister Siregar has been given primary responsibility by President Jokowi to manage Indonesia-U.S. trade issues and advance Indonesia’s economic position in the current global climate.

Earlier, Ambassador Siregar held many high Indonesian government positions in economics and business. He was appointed Chairman of Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) in 2013. From 2011 he was Indonesia’s Vice Minister of Finance. From 2009-2011 he was Vice Minister of Trade, and from 2005-2009, Deputy Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs. Previously he was Chairman of the Board of Indonesia’s Export-Import Bank, and Special Staff of the Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs.

Vice Minister Siregar graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Indonesia in 1986, and received his Master’s Degree in Economics from Monash University, Australia in 1991.