Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (KKR) has appointed Steven R. Okun as Director of Public Affairs in Asia Pacific, beginning February 13. Okun will be responsible for overseeing KKR’s public affairs, corporate citizenship and external communications in Asia Pacific, as well as for helping to support the public affairs and communications efforts of the PE major’s portfolio companies.
Okun will report to Kenneth B. Mehlman, Member and Global Head of Public Affairs, and will be based in the Asia Pacific region. He is currently the Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, and until October 2010, was Vice President for Public Affairs for UPS in Asia Pacific.
In 2010, KKR has done a mix of fixed income and equity deals in India. It took equity stakes in the cement unit of Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Ltd, Avantha Power and also invested $200 million with a consortium in Coffee Day Holdings. It has made debt investments in Sajjan Jindal Group and Max India group. It completed the investment in Bharti Infratel and the leveraged buyout of Aricent before opening office in India in 2008.
“Steve’s appointment reflects our growing commitment to the Asia Pacific region, where we now have a growing number of portfolio companies in China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Australia, and India. We look forward to benefiting from Steve’s many years of experience in both the public and private sectors, as well as his depth of knowledge of Asia Pacific, as we continue to invest as responsible corporate citizens in a dynamic economy,” said Mehlman.
Okun was with UPS for more than a decade, and before working in Asia Pacific he worked with UPS’ Washington, DC office, where he coordinated the company’s successful efforts in obtaining its initial aviation authority to China.
Okun served in the Administration of President Bill Clinton as Deputy General Counsel at the Department of Transportation, being at the Department from 1994 to 1999.
Okun has been elected to a two-year term on the Council of the Singapore Business Federation (2010-2012), and has been named to the Industry Advisory Panel of the SP Jain Center of Management, which is recognized as one of the top ten business schools in South Asia. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of Virginia School of Law.