Steve Okun

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The Founder and CEO of APAC Advisors, Steve Okun is a leader on corporate public affairs, communications, sustainability, and stakeholder engagement in Asia Pacific. APAC Advisors empowers clients -- ranging from global corporations and financial service firms to social enterprises and NGOs -- to operate at the intersection of business, government, and media.

As KKR’s first Director of Asia Public Affairs from 2011-2017, his responsibilities encompassed government affairs, communications, stakeholder engagement, and sustainability. In particular, he led KKR’s communications in Asia, from the positioning of the firm in terms of its investment philosophy to fund raise closings and portfolio investments. Previously, he created and led Asia public affairs for global logistics firm UPS.

He served in the Administration of President Bill Clinton as Deputy General Counsel at the US Department of Transportation, being at the Department from 1994 to 1999. For his public service, he was awarded the Secretary’s Award for Special Service Commendation.

He was elected three times each as Chairman of AmCham Singapore and the Asia Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC).

He represents and advocates the views of the US business community in Asia, including as a periodic guest host on CNBC and often appears on Channel NewsAsia. A sought after expert on public affairs, he speaks frequently in the media, at universities, businesses and conferences across the region, as well as is the author of numerous articles.

He received his B.A. from the University of Virginia and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Speaking topics


  • Navigating recent trade policy actions between US and China. Where is globalisation headed?
  • The potential economic and geopolitical consequences
  • Who are the key people to watch for in the US administration?
  • Currency manipulator: Tweet vs US Treasury report – US vs Singapore.
  • The trade tension is strategic and very difficult to predict. As investors, what is next?

''Where Politics and Trade Collide"

The shifting political, social and governmental environment in the United States over the past half-century was not created by Donald Trump -- but it enabled him to get elected. This, coupled with the realization that China was not going to become more like the US in terms of "rule of law" and "level playing field" led to a consensus across both political parties and the business community that the US needs a different, more confrontational approach to China. The 2020 Presidential campaign and election may shift the dynamics of US policy towards China, but not the overall direction.


The battlefronts are fought on trade and tech. We covered trade. Now let’s talk about tech. Made in China 2025. America is leading China in some areas of technology. Should America be that afraid of China?


  • South China Sea
  • One road one belt
  • North Korea
  • Hong Kong protest

Presidential elections 2020

  • US political scene and positioning - Trump compared with previous administrations
  • Impeachment scenarios and its likely consequences
  • The outlook for the US political landscape with the upcoming midterm elections
  • Next US President - who are the candidates we should watch out for?
Steve Okun speaker

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