Asia Pacific public affairs, sustainability and communications industry leader Steve Okun will chair the Gold Standard Awards ceremony and participate in this year’s Corporate Affairs Forum which takes place in Singapore on June 21.
The long-standing regional awards are, for a second year, operated by PublicAffairsAsia and PRCA Asia Pacific.
Steve said: “ This is both an honour and a real pleasure to once again chair this ground breaking Asian awards programme. The Gold Standard Awards have since their inception back in 2009 have contributed a huge amount in helping to consolidate and strengthen public affairs, corporate communications and ESG activity.
Steve added: “The industry has grown in confidence and profile thanks to an extensive awards programme that has placed highly valuable work under the spotlight across a wide range of different subjects. I am delighted to once again chair the programme.”
Mark O’Brien, PublicAffairsAsia Vice President, said: “Steve was our very first Chair and we are very pleased that he has again agreed to lead our awards which have gone from strength to strength since his first involvement back in 2009.”
He added: “Our programmme encompasses a vast range of work from government relations to issues management and crisis communications. Our awards continue to recognise very real achievement by individuals, teams and organisations demonstrating creativity and intelligence across a wide range of stakeholder engagement.”
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Biographical Note: Steven Okun, 2023 Awards Chair
Steven Okun is the Founder and CEO of APAC Advisors and a Senior Advisor with McClarty Associates. Mr. Okun is widely considered a leader on corporate public affairs, sustainability and stakeholder engagement in the Asia Pacific region. He is also the ASEAN representative for the Emerging Market Private Equity Association (EMPEA). Living and working in Singapore since 2003, Mr. Okun created and led Asia Pacific public affairs for both global investment firm KKR and global logistics firm UPS, as well as being a leader of multiple business chambers and industry associations, including having been elected three times each as Chairman of both the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore and the Asia Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC). He remains on the boards of both.
As KKR’s first Director of Asia Pacific Public Affairs, Mr. Okun’s responsibilities encompassed government affairs, communications, stakeholder engagement and environmental and social responsibility issues for KKR, as well as in supporting those efforts for its portfolio companies across the region. In particular, his responsibilities included working on Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) initiatives. Also, he created and led KKR’s impact investing pro bono program, a model for strategic philanthropic engagement for which KKR was awarded the Gold Standard Award for Corporate Citizenship by PublicAffairsAsia.
Mr. Okun led UPS Asia’s public affairs matters on aviation, competition and trade from 2003 until 2010, and before that worked in UPS’ Washington, DC office. He was instrumental in UPS Airlines obtaining it first-ever authority to operate in China in 2001. Mr. Okun 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 represents and advocates the views of the US business community in Asia, including as a periodic guest host on CNBC. 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. Mr. Okun received his BA from the University of Virginia and his JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.
The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) is the world’s largest professional PR body.
We represent more than 35,000 PR professionals in 82 countries worldwide. With offices in London, Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore, and Buenos Aires, we are a global advocate for excellence in public relations.
Our mission is to create a more professional, ethical, and prosperous PR industry. We champion – and enforce – professional standards around the world through our Professional Charter and Code of Conduct. The Code compels members to adhere to the highest standards of ethical practice.
We deliver exceptional training, authoritative industry data, and global networking, and development opportunities.
We also manage the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) – the umbrella body for 41 PR associations and 3,000 agencies across the world, and LG Comms – the UK’s national body for local government communicators. Additionally, we support the delivery of the Motor Industry Communicators Association (MICA).