Kishore Mahbubani was in the Singapore foreign service from 1971 to 2004. He has been posted in Cambodia, Malaysia, and Washington D.C., and served two postings as Singapore ambassador to the UN.
Mahbubani has also served as president of the UN Security Council in January 2001 and May 2002. From 1993 to 1998 he was permanent secretary at the Foreign Ministry of Singapore. In 2004 he was appointed as dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.