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The Jeffrey Cheah Institute on Southeast Asia (JCI) is an independent public policy think-tank, based at Sunway University on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. JCI was established on 18th March 2014.


The mission of JCI is to develop efficient and equitable solutions to some of the region’s most pressing development problems.



Its research programme is grouped around three core areas: economic development, governance, and social progress (including education). JCI works closely with the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development (JSC) at Sunway University for the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations in 2016.


JCI engages with policymakers, scholars and ordinary citizens through regular public lectures and specialized workshops.

JCI has forged many academic partnerships in the region and the wider Asia-Pacific. International partners include Harvard University (United States), Columbia University (United States), ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute (Singapore), Keio University (Japan), Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP), and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. In Malaysia, JCI’s collaborators include the Foreign Policy Study Group, Merdeka Center, Penang Institute, and the Centre for Public Policy Studies. JCI also manages the Jeffrey Cheah Travel Grants, which are designed to further academic exchange between Malaysia/Southeast Asia and the United States.