Asia Society names Chan Heng Chee as its co-chair

Asia Society names Chan Heng Chee as its co-chair

File photo of Chan Heng Chee. (Photo: Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities)

SINGAPORE: Former Singapore ambassador to the United States Chan Heng Chee was named co-chair of the Asia Society board of trustees along with Goldman Sachs president John L Thornton.

The global non-profit organisation announced this in a news release on Wednesday (Nov 1).

"Ambassador Chan Heng Chee, Singapore’s longest-serving ambassador to the US, and John L Thornton, chair of Brookings Institution and a former president of Goldman Sachs, were named co-chairs of the board of trustees. Their appointment is effective Nov 6, 2017," the organisation said.

Professor Chan is currently Ambassador-at-Large at the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs, chairperson of the National Arts Council and a member of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights. 

Her involvement with Asia Society dates back to 1991, when she joined its global council. As Singapore’s ambassador to Washington, DC, from 1996 to 2012, she hosted numerous Asia Society events at the Residence.

She has served as a trustee of Asia Society since 2012 and as Vice Chair of the board since 2015.

“I look forward to helping Asia Society deepen its work in the ASEAN region,” said Prof Chan.

“China, the Korean Peninsula, India and the Middle East may dominate the headlines, but engagement in ASEAN is critical at a time when the region is going through profound economic, social and political transitions.

"Opportunities abound and a more comprehensive relationship between the US and the region would be greatly beneficial.” 

The new co-chairs succeed Ronnie C Chan and Henrietta Fore, who served a six-year term as co-chairs.

The Asia Society is known for its efforts in helping build relations between Asia and the West through education, arts, policy and business outreach.

The organisation also elected seven new trustees, including former US ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, and former Saudi Arabia ambassador to the US, Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Saud.

"New trustees elected were Richard Drobnick, director, Center for International Business Education at USC Marshall School of Business; John F Foster, chairman and CEO, HealthpointCapital; Dr Susan Hakkarainen, co-chair and co-CEO of Lutron Electronics; former US ambassador to Japan; Mahmood Khimji, president of Highgate Holdings; and James Zirin, former partner and senior counsel, Sidley Austin, LLP."

Source: CNA/mn

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