NIU alumnus elected Jakarta governor

Anies Baswedan casts his vote on election day in Jakarta, April 19.

NIU alumnus Anies Baswedan (Ph.D., political science, 2007) was elected governor of Jakarta on Wednesday, April 19, in a tumultuous election that unseated Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, the former vice governor who succeeded then-Governor Joko Widodo when he was elected president in 2014.

Baswedan, 47, who was named one of 50 Distinguished Alumni of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2009, won the governorship of Indonesia’s capital with 58 percent of the votes to Purnama’s 42 percent. The vote count will be officially announced in early May. Baswedan’s win came during the same week that U.S. Vice President Mike Pence made a trip to Jakarta in pursuit of strengthening relations with the country.

While at NIU, Baswedan was a student of the late Dwight King, political science professor emeritus and former director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies. After receiving his doctorate, Baswedan served as Rector of Paramadina University in Jakarta from 2007 to January 2015. While in that position, Baswedan also served as a campaign spokesman for Widodo and a deputy on the transition team after Widodo’s 2014 win. He was later appointed Minister of Education and Culture of Indonesia and served in that office until 2016.

Named by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the world’s top 100 intellectuals in 2008, Baswedan will take office in October. He is married with four children.

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