(Washington, DC) - The Board of Directors, members and staff of the US-ASEAN Business Council offer sincere condolences to the Severino family, the ASEAN community, and the Government and people of the Philippines on the passing of Ambassador Rodolfo C. Severino Jr., who served as Secretary General of ASEAN from 1998 - 2002. Ambassador Severino passed at age 82 on April 19, 2019.
“I am saddened to learn of this great loss to the ASEAN Community and the Philippines,” said Alexander C. Feldman, President and CEO of the US-ASEAN Business Council. “Ambassador Severino saw ASEAN through to the new millennium, and his contributions to both his country and ASEAN are admirable and impressive. Having been Secretary General of ASEAN through the peak of the Asian financial crisis, Ambassador Severino leaves an important legacy for a resilient, prosperous and peaceful region.”
Ambassador Severino was the 10th Secretary General of ASEAN and the second Filipino to hold the position. After working as a journalist in the 1950s, Ambassador Severino began his diplomatic career in 1966, rising through the ranks at the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs until becoming Secretary General of ASEAN in 1997. His diplomatic career included posts in Washington, D.C., Beijing and Houston.
The Ambassador also made contributions to the study of ASEAN, as an author of four books on ASEAN and the Philippines, and as an Adjunct Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. Ambassador Severino was also the first to lead the ASEAN Studies Center at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore, holding this position from 2008 – 2015.