The S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) was officially inaugurated on 1 January 2007. Prior to this, it was known as the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies (IDSS), which was established 10 years earlier, on 30 July 1996, by Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence. Dr Tony Tan later became the elected seventh President of the Republic of Singapore. Like its predecessor, RSIS was established as an autonomous entity within Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore). RSIS’ goal is to be a leading research and graduate teaching institution in strategic and international affairs in the Asia Pacific.
The school expanded its research agenda and took on the name S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in January 2007. The school was named after Mr S. Rajaratnam in recognition of his contributions to Singapore as its first Foreign Minister.