Born and educated to senior high school level in Indonesia, Ratih Hardjono completed tertiary studies at the University of Sydney, Australia. She then became an international correspondent based in Sydney for Kompas, Indonesia’s leading daily newspaper, where she worked for 14 years. She studied at Harvard University, Boston, and remains the only Indonesian woman to have received a Nieman Fellowship from that university.
In 1999 Ratih joined the campaign team for Abdurrahman Wahid. After his election as President, she became Presidential Secretary. She managed the presidential staff and seven presidential palaces, and set up the first civilian Indonesian presidential office since 1965. While in office she introduced freedom of the press at the presidential palace, and enabled all members of the press to have open access to the President.
In 2000 she was a Programme Coordinator for Information and Publications for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Indonesia. Ratih then worked at PT. Indo Pacific Edelman and then at PT. APCO Indonesia as a Public Affairs specialist, before establishing her own Public Affairs company, PT. Mirah Sakethi Consultancy in 2004.
Ratih also helped established the NGO, Komunitas Indonesia untuk Demokrasi (KID), which has established five Sekolah Demokrasi in five districts across Indonesia, and is in the process of establishing another five Sekolah Demokrasi in five other districts. Sekolah Demokrasi works in democratic education using informal techniques in local communities at the district level. She has been the Secretary General of KID since 2005 and has just been reelected again until 2017.
While working as an international correspondent for Kompas and based in Sydney, Ratih specialized in reporting on countries undergoing the transition from military rule to democratization and also on countries at war. She reported on the break-up of the Soviet Union in Central Asia, the attempted military coups in Haiti and Papua New Guinea, and the transition process in South Africa, focusing on the Truth and Reconciliation process. Ratih also covered ethnic cleansing in Burundi and in Bosnia, where she traveled extensively into many theaters of war. She has also covered national elections in the United States and Australia, as well as many other matters encountered in her extensive travels at that time.
In 2002 Ratih edited a book with Stefanie Teggemann for the World Bank and the Partnership for Governance Reform entitled, “The Poor Speak Up, 17 Stories of Corruption.” Her first book “White Tribe of Asia” was published in 1993 in Indonesia and Australia.
Jimmy Richard Leiwakabessy
Jimmy Richard Leiwakabessy is the Co-Founder and Commissioner of PT Mirah Sakethi Consultancies, which he established in 2004 in partnership with Ratih Hardjono.
Jimmy began his banking career in 1976 by joining one of the biggest state-owned banks in Indonesia where he served for 20 years. Having gained extensive and recognized experience in banking and finance, he continued working at several private banks and financial institutions in Jakarta until 2003. He served in various executive leadership roles, including Senior Advisor and Finance Director at a number of companies in Jakarta until 2008.
During his banking career, Jimmy has visited, lived and worked in four global financial centers – New York, the Cayman Islands, Singapore and Hong Kong – gaining considerable expertise, experience and best practices in audit, banking operations and international banking business, which he brings to his current role. At PT Mirah Sakethi Consultancies, Jimmy also leads and oversees the company’s projects in the fields of Community Development and Community Relations.
Jimmy is an active member of the Indonesian Bankers Institute in Jakarta since 1997. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Trisakti University, Jakarta, and a Master of Business Administration degree in Marketing from Leicester University, Leicester, UK.