Sri Mulyani Indrawati – two-time Indonesian minister of finance, economic reformer and powerful advocate for gender equality and education – will give the annual Bartels World Affairs Lecture April 10.
Sri Mulyani’s talk, “Industrial Evolution: How Developing Countries Can Build Human Capital,” explores the digital revolution and how emerging economies can help the workforce keep pace with rapid technological advancement.
“Asia’s high-value potential growth sectors are in digital, technology and electronics,” she wrote in a 2018 World Economic Forum article. “It is imperative the large digitization of the economy becomes truly transformative and inclusive for all.”
As finance minister since 2016, Sri Mulyani has used her platform to promote STEM education for girls and workplace opportunities for women, pointing to the economic costs of Asia’s deep-seated gender disparities.
She previously served as finance minister from 2005-10, steering Southeast Asia’s largest economy through the global financial crisis and its aftermath. A tough and effective reformer, she helped guide Indonesia through its transition to democracy, while strengthening the economy and increasing investments.
Sri Mulyani is also a leader in the world of international development banking. She served as managing director and chief operating officer of the World Bank Group and chaired the International Development Association, the World Bank’s fund for the poorest developing countries.
“Sri Mulyani is at the forefront of Indonesia’s economic growth and development story, and she has been for a long time,” said Victoria Beard, Einaudi International Faculty Fellow and SEAP core faculty member. “She is revered internationally and in Indonesia for her intellect, sound economic and fiscal policies, and strong ethical leadership.”
On the heels of Sri Mulyani’s visit, SEAP is hosting a two-day conference on Religious Pluralism in Indonesia. Part of the Cornell Modern Indonesia Project, the conference will feature Indonesia specialists from around the world leading discussions of ethnic diversity and religious tolerance in the context of post-authoritarian nation-building.
Together, the Bartels lecture and conference provide a remarkable opportunity for the campus and community to learn more about Indonesia, an island nation with hundreds of ethnic groups. It is the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.
Sheri Englund is associate director of communication for International Affairs. Priya Pradhan ’22 is a writing intern at the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies.