The Economist magazine has hailed this historian as the Asian (Arnold) Toynbee for his social commitment to the poor.
It is not an idle bit of hype. Kishore Mahbubani, who was president of the United Nations Security Council twice, in January 2001 and May 2002, had a remarkable career in government while also writing prolifically on public issues.
India@60: Check out our special section
His 2002 book, Can Asians Think: Understanding the Divide Between the East and the West, a collection of essays, was called 'interesting, provocative and engaging' by no less a strategist than Henry Kissinger.
Mahbubani, who served two stints as Singapore's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, has served as his country's ambassador to a number of countries, including the United States.
Image: Kishore Mahbubani displays Singaporean style summer suits during the 'Cool Asia' fashion show aimed at easing global warming in Tokyo. 10 Japanese ministers and seven ambassadors from Asia participated in the fashion show.
Photograph: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images
Also read: 'In 2020 the two closest nations in the world will be India and US'