SOAS University of London

About SOAS

Ms Desi Anwar

Desi Anwar

Desi Anwar is a renowned Indonesian national broadcaster in television journalism and news production.

Ms Anwar was born in Bandung, Indonesia in 1962 and studied for her BA in French and European Studies at the University of Sussex.

She is a SOAS alumna and holds an MA in Indonesian and Malay Studies.

Ms Anwar started her television career as a reporter, anchor and producer with Indonesia’s first commercial television channel and pioneered the country’s leading prime time news programme ‘Seputar Indonesia’.

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Ms Desi Anwar, Honorary Fellowship, 2013 Graduation

In the 1990s she produced various daily news shows, a weekly documentary programme ‘Special Report’ and created the country’s first English language news programme, ‘Indonesia Today’.

As a reporter, Ms Anwar was part of the Presidential press corps, travelling with Indonesia’s President Soeharto on his state visits to cover international summits from 1991 – 1997. She interviewed many heads of state and prominent international figures such as Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, Baroness Thatcher and Henry Kissinger.

Ms Anwar left television journalism to found a dotcom company, Astaga!, Indonesia’s first internet portal and news and information website but later returned to her career in television, joining the national channel, Metro TV. There she produced and hosted the prime time economic talk show,
‘Economic Challenges’ and interviewed Bill Gates and former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Ms Anwar has been a columnist for the English language daily newspaper The Jakarta Globe since its launch in 2009.

Since 2010 Ms Anwar has hosted ‘Face 2 Face with Desi Anwar’, a monthly interview-based magazine featuring inspiring and influential figures, including exclusive interviews with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, entrepreneur Richard Branson and International Monetary Fund Chief, Christine Lagarde as well as heads of state and government from around the world.