Black Swan State Theatre Company has announced the appointment of Dr. Kenneth Chern, Professorial Research Fellow at Murdoch University, to the Board of Black Swan State Theatre Company.

Dr. Chern took up his duties as Professorial Research Fellow at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia in January 2011, returning to academia following a distinguished career in the United States Foreign Service. An expert in Asian affairs, Dr. Chern is playing a key role in supporting Murdoch’s world-leading research in that field, and is working with Western Australian business and industry to boost relationships with the US and Asia.

Dr. Chern served as United States Consul General in Perth from 2007 to 2010 and has a long and distinguished career in diplomacy, having served in the White House during President Bill Clinton’s administration and completed assignments in Vietnam, the Philippines, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. He also worked at the Department of State’s China, Japan and Australia-New Zealand Desks. Dr. Chern speaks fluent French, Chinese and Vietnamese and has been awarded three individual Superior Honour Awards by the US government for his work in counterterrorism, human rights and public diplomacy.

Dr. Chern said, “I am delighted to have been appointed to Black Swan’s Board at this exciting time in the Company’s history. My wife and I are both passionate theatre patrons and have thoroughly enjoyed attending Black Swan performances over the past years. I look forward to joining my fellow Board members in contributing to Black Swan’s ongoing success and helping to develop relationships that will support Black Swan’s growth and reach in Perth and Western Australia as well as nationally and internationally.”

Dr. Chern will take up his role on the Black Swan State Theatre Company Board in late June 2011. Duncan Ord has retired from Black Swan’s Board and his position as Co-Deputy Chair due to increasing work commitments.

Sam Walsh said, “I would like to thank Duncan Ord for his contribution as Co-Deputy Chair over the past two years, during which he helped to establish the Company’s clear strategic vision, secure its sound financial position and ensure the Company’s smooth move to the new State Theatre Centre of WA. The Board and I warmly welcome Dr. Chern as a Black Swan Board member, and look forward to working with him to lead Black Swan’s strategic development and growth in coming years.”

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