The National University of Singapore (NUS) today announced the appointment of business leaders Mr Gautam Banerjee, Mrs Theresa Foo and Mr Teo Siong Seng as Pro-Chancellors of the University. The appointments were made by Madam Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore and NUS Chancellor, with effect from 1 January 2019, for a term of three years.
Mr Ngiam Tong Dow and Dr Cheong Siew Keong have stepped down after serving as NUS Pro-Chancellors for 19 and 18 years respectively. Mr Stephen Lee Ching Yen had earlier stepped down to assume a new appointment at another local university.
Mr Banerjee, Mrs Foo and Mr Teo join current NUS Pro-Chancellors Mr Po’ad Mattar and Dr Chan Sek Keong in the University’s Chancellery, which is headed by the NUS Chancellor. University Pro-Chancellors act on behalf of the Chancellor during the Chancellor’s absence from the University, and preside at the annual Commencement ceremonies. Mr Po’ad Mattar was appointed Pro-Chancellor in 2012 and Dr Chan Sek Keong was appointed in 2015.
President Halimah Yacob, NUS Chancellor, said, “We welcome Mr Gautam Banerjee, Mrs Theresa Foo and Mr Teo Siong Seng to NUS as Pro-Chancellors. They are all leaders in their respective fields who have contributed significantly to the Singapore community. I look forward to their support in Chancellery matters, and their participation at NUS events.
“I would like to place on record my deep appreciation for Mr Ngiam Tong Dow, Dr Cheong Siew Keong and Mr Stephen Lee. They have shown unstinting support for NUS events, and selfless commitment to their Chancellery roles at NUS. We thank Mr Ngiam, Dr Cheong and Mr Lee for their many contributions to the University.”
NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye said, “NUS is privileged to have Mr Gautam Banerjee, Mrs Theresa Foo and Mr Teo Siong Seng as our new Pro-Chancellors. As prominent leaders of business and finance, they have a wealth of knowledge and experience that will inspire our community.
We would also like thank Mr Ngiam Tong Dow and Dr Cheong Siew Keong for their dedicated service to NUS as our Pro-Chancellors for close to two decades. Their advice and guidance have been invaluable. We would also like to thank Mr Stephen Lee and wish him all the best in his new appointment.”
Mr Gautam Banerjee
Mr Banerjee is currently Chairman of the asset management firm Blackstone Singapore. He also serves as an independent director on a number of boards including Singapore Airlines Limited and Singapore Telecommunications Limited. His other roles include serving as Chairman of raiSE, Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise, a term trustee of SINDA and a member of the Legal Service Commission.
Mr Banerjee spent 30 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Singapore, India and East Asia. He was admitted as a partner at PwC Singapore in 1989, Executive Chairman in 2004, and he retired in December 2012. He was a Nominated Member of Parliament in Singapore from 2007 to 2009, and received the Public Service Medal in 2014. In the same year, Mr Banerjee was also conferred an Honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Warwick.
Mr Banerjee said, “I am honoured to be appointed as a Pro-Chancellor of NUS, one of the leading universities in Asia and the world. I look forward to supporting NUS Chancellor, Madam Halimah Yacob, President of Singapore, in her Chancellery duties, and to meeting NUS students, faculty, staff and alumni at university events.”
Mrs Theresa Foo
Mrs Theresa Foo currently serves as the Chairman of Singapore Business Federation Foundation. She works closely with the business community to build an inclusive Singapore by encouraging, enabling and enhancing the contributions of businesses to the social, vocational and educational upliftment of Singaporeans in need of assistance.
An international leader in the world of finance, Mrs Foo is the first female Pro-Chancellor of NUS. She was Bank of America’s first female Vice President in Asia and later became the first Asian female Chief Executive appointed by Standard Chartered in 1993.
Mrs Foo is the immediate past Chairman of Gardens by the Bay since its inception in 2011 till 2017. Together with the management, she was instrumental in steering the Gardens’ vision to be a world of gardens for all to own, enjoy and cherish. Mrs Foo was also the immediate past Chairman of Esplanade Co Ltd where she helped with the building and growth of the national arts venue for 17 years.
For her dedication to the arts and heritage in Singapore, Mrs Foo was named Champion of the Arts in 2001 and presented with the Friends of MCCY Award from the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth in 2015. She was also recognised for her contributions to the Singapore community when she received the Public Service Star Medal in 2018 and the Meritorious Service Medal in 2014.
Mrs Foo said, “Higher education has always been close to my heart for the way it shapes the lives of everyone involved, from student and professor to alumni. I am proud to be a Pro-Chancellor of NUS, the University’s first female Pro-Chancellor, and a member of this vibrant and talented community.”
Mr Teo Siong Seng
Mr Teo is the Chairman of the Singapore Business Federation and Executive Chairman/Managing Director of Pacific International Lines (Pte) Ltd (PIL), one of the largest shipowners and containership operators in Southeast Asia. He is also the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PIL’s listed subsidiary, Singamass Container Holdings Ltd, Hongkong.
Prior to his appointment as Chairman of the Singapore Business Federation, Mr Teo was its Vice Chairman from 2010, representing the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry, where he served as President from 2009 to 2013. He was also formerly a Nominated Member of Parliament.
Mr Teo is also the Honorary Consul of The United Republic of Tanzania to Singapore, Director of Business China, Enterprise Singapore and a Member of the Future Economy Council (FEC). He was awarded the Public Service Medal in 2010.
Mr Teo said, “I am humbled to be a Pro-Chancellor of NUS, a leading university with a distinguished Singaporean heritage and a reputation for innovation and enterprise. I look forward to engaging with students, faculty and alumni at the events to come.”
The biographies of Mr Gautam Banerjee, Mrs Theresa Foo and Mr Teo Siong Seng are found in the Annex.