NUS appoints three new Pro-Chancellors

From left: Mr Banerjee, Mrs Foo and Mr Teo have been appointed as NUS Pro-Chancellors from 1 January

The University has announced the appointment of three new NUS Pro-Chancellors — Mr Gautam Banerjee, Chairman of Blackstone Singapore; Mrs Theresa Foo, Chairman of Singapore Business Federation Foundation; and Mr Teo Siong Seng, Chairman of Singapore Business Federation. The appointment, made by Singapore President and NUS Chancellor Madam Halimah Yacob, took effect from 1 January 2019 for a term of three years.

Pro-Chancellors act on behalf of the Chancellor during the Chancellor's absence from the University, and preside at the annual Commencement ceremonies. Mr Banerjee, Mrs Foo and Mr Teo will join Dr Chan Sek Keong — who was appointed in 2015 — and Mr Po’ad Mattar — who was appointed in 2012 — in the University’s Chancellery.

“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,” said Mdm Halimah.

“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,” added NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye.

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,

A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, England and Wales and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Singapore, Mr Banerjee is currently Chairman of asset management firm Blackstone Singapore. He holds appointments as Chairman of the Singapore Centre of Social Enterprise Ltd, member of the Yale-NUS College Governing Board and Singapore Legal Service Commission, and term trustee of the Singapore Indian Development Association. He also serves on various Boards, including Singapore Airlines Limited and Singapore Telecommunications Limited.

Mr Banerjee spent 30 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Singapore, India and East Asia, holding the position of Executive Chairman for nine years before retiring in 2012. He was also a member of the Corporate Governance Council of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Straits Trading Company Limited, APEC Business Advisory Council and the Companies Act Reform Steering Committee. He was a Nominated Member of Parliament from 2007 to 2009 and was awarded the Public Service Medal in 2014.

Mrs Foo is the first female Pro-Chancellor at NUS. She currently serves as the Chairman of Singapore Business Federation Foundation where 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 uplifting of Singaporeans in need of assistance. An international leader in the world of finance, she made history in 1977 as the first woman in the Bank of America’s local operations to become Vice President, and again in 1994 when she became Standard Chartered Bank’s first Asian female chief executive.

Mrs Foo is the immediate past Chairman of Gardens by the Bay where she served since its inception in 2011 until 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. An ardent supporter of the arts, the immediate past chairman of Esplanade Co Ltd helped with the building and growth of the national arts venue for 17 years. For her dedication to arts and heritage in Singapore, as well as her contributions to the nation, Mrs Foo was named Champion of the Arts in 2001, and received the Public Service Star in 2008, and the Meritorious Service Medal in 2014.

Mr Teo, Executive Chairman/Managing Director of Pacific International Lines (Pte) Ltd (PIL) —  one of the largest ship owners and operators in Southeast Asia — is concurrently Chairman of the Singapore Business Federation, as well as Chairman and CEO of PIL’s listed subsidiary Singamas Container Holdings Ltd, Hongkong. He is also the Honorary President of Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry and a former Nominated Member of Parliament. In 2010, Mr Teo was awarded the Public Service Medal.

The former President of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry from 2009 to 2013, Mr Teo currently also serves as Honorary Consul of The United Republic of Tanzania to Singapore and Joint Chairman of the Africa South East Asia Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The Director of Business China and Enterprise Singapore is a member of the Future Economy Council.

The University also announced that Mr Ngiam Tong Dow and Dr Cheong Siew Keong have stepped down, after serving as Pro-Chancellors since 2000. Mr Stephen Lee Ching Yen had earlier stepped down to assume a new appointment at another local university.

“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,” said Mdm Halimah.

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From left: Mr Ngiam, Dr Cheong and Mr Lee have stepped down from serving as NUS Pro-Chancellors

Mr Ngiam was Chairman of the NUS Centennial Campaign Advisory Board in 2003. His 40-year career in public service included the position of Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, and stints in the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Communications. He was Chairman of the Economic Development Board, Development Bank of Singapore, Central Provident Fund Board and the Housing and Development Board. Mr Ngiam has also served on the Boards of Temasek Holdings, Singapore Airlines, Singapore Press Holdings and United Overseas Bank. He was conferred the Distinguished Service Order in 1999.

Dr Cheong was formerly Chairman of the finance committee of the University of Singapore Council in 1975 before becoming Chairman of the Council in 1992. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers in Singapore and the UK, and was also a member of the Council of Presidential Advisors from 1992 to 2008. Dr Cheong was awarded the Public Service Star in 1980 for his service to the University and conferred an Honorary Doctor of Letters by NUS in 1982.

Mr Lee is Chairman of Shanghai Commercial Bank Ltd (Hong Kong), NTUC Income Insurance Co-operative Ltd and Tripartite Alliance Limited. He is Managing Director of Shanghai Commercial & Savings Bank Co. Ltd, Taipei and GMT Investments Pte Ltd and serves on various boards including Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd, CapitaLand Limited and the Kidney Dialysis Foundation. In 2015, Mr Lee was conferred one of Singapore’s most prestigious awards, Order of Nila Utama (First Class). He was also awarded the Singapore Distinguished Service Order in 2006, the Singapore Public Service Star in 1998 and the Distinguished Comrade of Labour in 2015. Mr Lee was a Nominated Member of Parliament from 1994 to 1997.

“We would like to 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,” said Prof Tan.