Assistant Professor, China Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Xue Gong is Assistant Professor and Deputy Coordinator of MSc IPE Programme at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Her current research interests include International Political Economy, China’s economic diplomacy, Asian regionalism and governance. She has contributed to peer-reviewed journals such as the World Development, International Affairs, the Pacific Review, Contemporary Southeast Asia, Harvard Asia Quarterly, etc. She has two co-edited books on Belt and Road Initiative. She has also contributed to several book chapters on China’s economic statecraft and impacts on regional geoeconomics and politics.

Marcus LAM

Executive Chairman, PwC Singapore; stars Alumnus, Singapore

Grounded by purpose and values, Marcus LAM is a 26-year veteran at PwC Singapore and served as Assurance Leader for the past four years. During his tenure, the firm focused on building trust and transparency in the audit profession through focusing on audit quality and technological enablement. He has also been on PwC Singapore’s leadership team since 2016.

Outside of PwC, Marcus is active in contributing to the development of the accounting profession. He is a council member of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants and is a board member of the Accounting Standard Council Singapore. Passionate about education and giving back to the community, he also serves as the Deputy Chairman of the Singapore Polytechnic Board of Governors, the Chairman of the Edusave Advisory Council under the Ministry of Education, and the Vice President of the Parkinson Society of Singapore.

Marcus holds a Bachelors degree in Accountancy (First Class Honours) from Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst, a practicing member of ISCA and a member of the ASEAN Chartered Professional Accountant (ASEAN CPA).

Howie LAU

Managing Partner, Corporate Development and Partnerships, NCS Group, Singapore

Howie brings with him years of deep experience and thought leadership in the Info-Communications and Technology (ICT) sector. Prior to joining NCS, he was the Assistant Chief Executive, Media & Innovation Group at Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), which has oversight of developing the technology, telecommunications and media business in Singapore as well as technology capability development.

Prior to IMDA, Howie was the Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Consumer Business at StarHub, and Vice President of Corporate Development at Lenovo. He has more than 25 years of experience in corporate development, business leadership and marketing in Lenovo and IBM across Asia Pacific, China, India and Latin America.

Howie serves on several advisory committees and boards, including the Governing Council of the Singapore Institute of Directors and board of Science Centre Singapore. He was recognised as IT Leader of the Year 2020 by Singapore Computer Society and received the Philip Kotler Marketing Excellence award in 2018.

Chwee Foon LIM

Chwee Foon LIM, CEO, Asia Pacific, Ekso Bionics; Global Board Member, Insead; stars Alumna, Singapore

Chwee Foon LIM has more than 20 years of international experience in Healthcare & Life Science sector, having worked and lived across major geographies as Asia, Europe and the Americas. Prior to joining Ekso Bionics, she was Head of Healthcare for The Linde Group, Asia Pacific, where she led the Healthcare business growth for Asia

LIM Siong Guan

Former Group President, GIC; Former Head of Civil Service of Singapore; Member, stars International Board, Singapore

Siong Guan Lim was Group President of GIC from 2007 until the end of 2016, after which he was Advisor to GIC's Group Executive Committee until March 2019. The GIC manages the financial reserves of the Singapore Government. He was Chairman of the Singapore Economic Development Board from October 2006 to June 2009. The Board is the Singapore government’s lead agency for planning and executing strategies to enhance Singapore’s position as a global business centre. Much of its work is attracting international corporations to set up manufacturing and services activities in Singapore as critical links in the global supply chain.

Siong Guan was Professor in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore from 2005–2023, instructing on leadership and change management, as well as a Senior Fellow of the Civil Service College from 2006–2023.

He was the Head of the Singapore Civil Service from September 1999 to March 2005. Siong Guan was the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defense (1981-1994), the Prime Minister’s Office (1994-1998), the Ministry of Education (1997-1999) and the Ministry of Finance (1999-2006). In every appointment he introduced innovative policies and practices which enhanced the drive, capacity, capability and performance of the organization. Siong Guan has chaired the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (2004-2006), the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (2004-2006) and the Central Provident Fund Board (1986-1994), and was a board member of many companies including Temasek, the other sovereign wealth fund manager of Singapore.


Senior Fellow, Asia Society Policy Institute, Asia Society; Visiting Research Professor, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore; Founding Director of Carnegie India, Delhi, India

Raja MOHAN is a senior fellow with the Asia Society Policy Institute in Delhi. He is a visiting professor at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), National University of Singapore and was previously the Director of ISAS. He writes a column on international affairs for the Foreign Policy journal in Washington and the Indian Express in Delhi. He was the founding director of Carnegie India in Delhi, the sixth international center of Carnegie Endowment for Peace. He was associated with several Indian think tanks, including the Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses. He was a Professor of South Asian Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and the Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore. He served on India’s National Security Advisory Board.

ONG Ye Kung

Ong Ye Kung is the Minister for Health. He was elected Member of Parliament for Sembawang Group Representation Constituency (GRC) in September 2015, and was re-elected in July 2020 in Sembawang GRC.

He had held the positions of Minister for Transport, Minister for Education, Second Minister for Defence and board member of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. He is also the Chairman of the Chinese Development Assistance Council.

Prior to joining politics, he held various positions in Government, including Chief Executive Officer of the Singapore Workforce Development Agency, and Deputy Chief Negotiator for the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement. He served several years in the Labour Movement, as the Deputy Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress, and spent some time in the private sector, as the Director of Group Strategy at Keppel Corporation.

Mr Ong graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science (UK) and the Institute of Management Development, Lausanne, Switzerland. He is married with two children.


Group CEO, PSA International; stars Alumnus, Singapore

Kim Pong is the Group Chief Executive Officer of PSA International (P

Supporting PSA’s technology and innovation transformation, Kim Pong serves as the Chairman of CrimsonLogic and sits on the board of PSA’s corporate venture capital arm, PSA unboXed.

Prior to his tenure in SEA, Kim Pong undertook global appointments and assignments in Europe, Northeast Asia and Middle East South Asia. He drove key expansion and consolidation projects and executed strategic management in multiple PSA portfolios including Belgium, Italy, Hong Kong, India and Turkey.

Kim Pong is actively involved in the development of Singapore’s maritime and trade industries. He is the Chairman of the Centre for Maritime Studies Management Board and Co-Chairman of Singapore’s RIE2025 Manufacturing Trade & Connectivity Domain International Advisory Panel. In addition, he is a member in the Next Generation Port 2030 Steering Committee, International Maritime Centre 2030 Advisory Committee, Singapore Maritime Institute International Advisory Panel, Singapore Maritime Foundation Board and Urban Redevelopment Authority Board.

As part of his passion towards education, Kim Pong is also serving as the Chairman of the Howe Yoon Chong-PSA Management Committee, a member of the NUS Business School Management Advisory Board and an adjunct Professor at NUS’ Department of Industrial Systems Engineering and Management.

Kim Pong believes in being agile, tenacious and trusting. With these beliefs, he advocates the concept of stewardship, advancing and making what’s entrusted to him better for the next generation.SA).


Mr Girish Ramachandran is President, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Asia Pacific (APAC). In this role, he is responsible for strategy, growth and business operations in Australia, New Zealand, ASEAN, Greater China and Korea. Under his leadership, TCS APAC has consistently contributed to TCS’s industry-leading growth.

Girish joined TCS in 1994 and in his 24- year career with TCS, has held a wide variety of leadership positions across key parts of TCS’s business. Girish personifies TCS’s commitment to helping its clients “Experience certainty”. As Head of TCS Europe for 9 years, he leveraged on his strength of developing strong client relationships, backed with a disciplined focus on operations and execution to enable TCS Europe achieve record growth in revenues and margins. Subsequent to his stint in Europe, Girish headed TCS’s Middle East, Africa and the Mediterranean region. He later took up the position of Corporate Vice-President in the CEO’s office in Mumbai where he rolled out several global strategic initiatives setting the tone for TCS’s rapid growth.

A proven leader and a strong proponent of Business 4.0 philosophy, Girish’ passion and commitment to innovation and technology extends beyond the world of business. Girish serves on the board of Amsterdam based Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a pioneer in global sustainability reporting. He is a member of CII International Council and also serves on the International Boards of Nyenrode University in Netherlands. He is a recipient of the Frans Banninck Cocq Medal from the Mayor of Amsterdam in recognition of his meritorious service to the city of Amsterdam. In 2017, The Australian Government appointed Girish as the Business Champion for New Colombo Plan. In 2018, Singapore Human Resource Institute (SHRI) recognized Girish with the “Leading CEO” award amongst a list of top CEOs.

Girish holds a Master’s degree in Management from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai and a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Technology from PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore.


Founder, Smiling Gecko, Cambodia

Swiss artist Hannes Schmid is most sought after for his extraordinary photo-essays. Born in 1946 to Swiss parents, he was trained as an electrician, but found his true calling in photography while travelling on a work trip in South Africa. Largely self-taught, yet a consummate master of the medium, his decades-spanning works are sans pareil unconventional and recognized in various genres of photography.

Photography is Hannes’s way of bearing witness to his curious eye and unwavering determination to seek out the truth. Some of his most recognized works include the iconic Marlboro Man, Rockstars, For Gods Only, and Human Currents which have been exhibited at various galleries and museums. In recent years, he has delved into a variety of art forms to create a provocative body of work, which includes transforming his Marlboro Man onto the canvas and a social sculpture, taking place in Cambodia.

Despite having earned various nominations and awards (including an Honorary Doctorate bestowed on Hannes by the University of Zurich), Hannes belongs to a category of artists that goes beyond the confines of traditional photography. The larger part of his archive now sits in his atelier, waiting to be discovered.


Executive Chairman, stars Foundation, Weinfelden, Switzerland

  • 2014 – present: Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of the stars Foundation Board, Weinfelden, Switzerland
  • 2008 – 2014: Chairman and Co-Founder of the stars Foundation Board, Weinfelden, Switzerland
  • 1994 – 2016: Member of the Board of UBS Wolfsberg and Congress Hotel Seepark AG
  • 1994 – 2014: CEO, UBS Wolfsberg. Emphasis on Business Development, i.e. initiating, supervising, and conducting UBS Briefings, UBS Health Forum, UBS Arts Forum, UBS Study Trips, UBS Think Tanks, Wolfsberg Podium (www.wolfsberg.com)
  • 1981 – 1994: Various responsibilities for UBS Management and Executive Development, Member and Chairman of the Board of UBS Art Collection
  • Concurrently: Member of the Board of various companies and foundations in Switzerland


Mr. Surtani leads efforts to deepen cooperation between ADB and the Government of Singapore and the financial sector, as well as explore opportunities for private and public sector projects across the region with a strong focus on climate action.

Prior to this appointment, Mr. Surtani was director of infrastructure finance at ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department covering East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific. His team successfully closed milestone projects including investments in broadband satellites regionwide, renewable power in Indonesia, cross-border renewables in Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Thailand, as well as investments in electric transport and charging infrastructure.

Mr. Surtani has over 30 years of experience in Asian infrastructure lending and advisory. He has strong sector and regional knowledge across the entire energy chain, as well as in infrastructure, and telecommunications. A citizen of the United Kingdom, he obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Finance and Economics from the University of East Anglia in 1988 with a First-Class Honors degree. He obtained his Master of Philosophy Degree in Management Studies from the University of Oxford in 1990.

Yen Yen TAN

Member of Boards of Directors, Barry Callebaut, ams OSRAM, OCBC Bank, Jardine Cycle & Carriage; Member, stars Asia Advisory Panel, Singapore

Yen Yen TAN (1965) joined the Board of Barry Callebaut in 2020.

Her executive career spans more than 30 years of senior level executive positions at multinational technology and telecom companies. Yen Yen's last executive role was President Asia Pacific of Vodafone Group. She was previously Regional Vice President and Managing Director of Asia Pacific (South) for SAS Institute. Prior to joining SAS, Yen Yen was Senior Vice President of Applications for Oracle Asia Pacific and Vice President and Managing Director for Hewlett-Packard Singapore (HP).

Yen Yen has over ten years of independent board experience in several public companies in Singapore and Europe. She is currently a director of Singapore Press Holdings, ams OSRAM AG, OCBC Bank, Jardine Cycle &Carriage Ltd and InCorp Global (non public). Yen Yen also volunteers as a form of giving back to Singapore and currently holds several independent advisory positions where she can contribute to causes close to her heart, for example STEM education, sports excellence, a vibrant startup ecosystem and gender diversity. For her contributions and distinguished services to Singapore, she was appointed Justice of the Peace in 2018 by the President of the Republic of Singapore. Yen Yen helps to promote STEM education as the non-executive Chairman of the Singapore Science Centre and a member of the Board of Advisors of the National University of Singapore's School of Computing. Yen Yen plays an active role in Singapore's infocomm industry. She mentors early stage startups through her startup fund TNF Ventures.

Yen Yen has a degree in Computer Science from the National University of Singapore and an Executive MBA degree from the Helsinki School of Economics.

Yinglan TAN

Founding Managing Partner and CEO, Insignia Ventures Partners; Member, stars International Board, Singapore

Yinglan TAN founded Insignia Ventures Partners in 2017. Insignia Ventures Partners is an early stage technology venture fund focusing on Southeast Asia. It manages more than US$350 million from sovereign wealth funds, foundations, university endowments and renowned family offices. Insignia Ventures Partners is the recipient of two back-to-back “VC Deal of Year” awards for Payfazz (2019) and Carro (2018) from the Singapore Venture Capital and Private Equity Association and its portfolio includes many other technology leaders in Southeast Asia. Yinglan also serves on the Singapore Government’s Pro Enterprise Panel and he is a Member of the Board of Hwa Chong Institution and the stars International Board.


Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Centre on Asia and Globalisation, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Drew Thompson is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.

From 2011 to 2018, he was the Director for China, Taiwan and Mongolia in the Office of the Secretary of Defense where he was responsible for supporting the Secretary and managing military-to-military relations. He was previously the Director of China Studies and Starr Senior Fellow at the Center for the National Interest in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the Center, he was the National Director of the China-MSD HIV/AIDS Partnership in Beijing, a 5 year, $30 million HIV/AIDS program established by Merck & Co. and the Chinese Ministry of Health. Drew served previously as Assistant Director to the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He also was the president of a Washington, D.C. company that manufactured snack food in Qingdao, China. He lived in Shanghai from 1993 to 1998 where he was the General Manager of a U.S. freight forwarding and logistics firm, overseeing offices in Beijing, Shanghai, and Nanjing.

Drew studied Chinese language at Beijing University in 1990, and was a graduate student in 1992 at the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China. He graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Asian Studies from Hobart College in 1992, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. In 2004, he received an M.A. in Government, with a concentration in Homeland Security, from Johns Hopkins University.

Drew has authored monographs and articles on Sino-U.S. relations, international security and public health in Singapore Straits Times,Foreign Policy, The National Interest,China Security, The China Business Review, The International Herald Tribune, The Financial Times, China: An International Journal, and The South China Morning Post. He has conducted live television interviews for CNN, C-SPAN, Fox News, Bloomberg, the BBC, Voice of America and CNBC Asia. In addition, he has conducted interviews on National Public Radio, including appearances on the Diane Rehm show.

Maria Monica WIHARDJA

Research Interest
Digital Technology; Food Security; Sustainability; Poverty and Inequality; Jobs, Regional and Global Architecture; Disinformation and Electoral Propaganda

Monica is a visiting fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute and a former World Bank Economist in the World Bank’s Poverty and Equity Global Practice. She was the recipient of the Nikkei Asia Scholarship 2023. In 2017, she was seconded to the Executive Office of the President of the Republic of Indonesia as a senior advisor to the Deputy Chief Staff in charge of strategic economic issues, where she oversaw the food policy reforms and stunting prevention agenda. She has a PhD in Regional Science from Cornell University, a MPhil in Economics from Cambridge University, and a BA in Applied Mathematics-Economics from Brown University.

Current Research
Indonesia National Panel Survey on Presidential Election 2024


Chairperson, Singapore Institute of Directors; Adjunct Professor, National University of Singapore Business School; Independent Director – CSE Global, First Resources, Kemin Industries, Yoma Strategic Holdings, Singapore

Ms Wong Su-Yen is a Fellow and Chairperson of the Singapore Institute of Directors. She is an experienced independent director who has served on the Boards of several several public, private, and not-for-profit organisations in Australia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Singapore, and the United States.

An accomplished multicultural business leader who has lived and worked globally, her perspectives are shaped by a unique blend of experience at the board and C-level in technology, business, and organisation development.

Ms Wong is a professional speaker who engages audiences globally on leadership and the future of work. She is an Adjunct Professor at the National University of Singapore where she teaches Global Leadership, and member of the Executive Education Faculty at Duke University.

Previously Ms Wong was CEO of the Human Capital Leadership Institute, Chairman for Marsh & McLennan Companies (Singapore), and Senior Partner and Managing Director, Southeast Asia at Mercer. Earlier, she was Asia Managing Partner for the Communications, Information & Entertainment practice at Oliver Wyman. Ms Wong holds a B.A. (summa cum laude) in music and computer science from Linfield
University, and an M.B.A. from the Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina. She is an avid adventure traveller and has ventured to some of the most remote parts of the world, including Antarctica and Timbuktu.

Bryan YEO

Chief Investment Officer, Public Equities, GIC; stars Alumnus, Singapore

Bryan Yeo was appointed Chief Investment Officer for Public Equities in June 2016. He focuses on capital allocation, drives the aggregate equities portfolio construction, and oversees the equities portfolio which invests across global developed markets and emerging markets. He joined the GIC Fixed Income Department as a portfolio manager in 2003 and rose to take on senior roles including Head of Credit Markets, Head of Fixed Income (Americas) based in New York, and Head of Credit Research and Strategy. He was based in GIC’s London Office in the early part of his career.

Mr Yeo holds a Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours) in Engineering from the University of Cambridge and a Master of Science in Financial Mathematics from the University of Chicago. He has completed the Stanford Executive Program from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Rowena YEO

Rowena Yeo is the Chief Technology Officer & VP, Technology Services at Johnson & Johnson. She leads technology strategy, drives innovation, and heads the Technology Services team, supporting company growth and healthcare outcomes.

Rowena is part of the Global Technology Leadership team, bridging business needs with tech solutions. With Johnson & Johnson since 2016, Rowena has played vital roles in Pharmaceuticals Asia Pacific. She's a technology advocate, contributing to leadership teams and advancing digital platforms in Asia Pacific.

Before Johnson & Johnson, Rowena served as Global CIO at Cargill, Inc., with roles in the Agricultural Trading & Processing Enterprise and Asia Pacific Region. She has a strong background in building IT teams and strategies, fostering growth and managing transformations.

A native of Singapore, Rowena holds a Bachelor of Engineering Honors Degree from the National University of Singapore. She's committed to sustainable corporate practices and serves on the NCWIT board.

Wenxian YEO

Yeo Wenxian is the Head of DBS Treasures Singapore, responsible for overseeing both Onshore and Offshore businesses and clients.

Wenxian joined DBS in 2011 and is an experienced banker with expertise in consumer and corporate banking. During her tenure in DBS' Consumer Banking Group, Wenxian has served as the Head of Retail Customer Segment, Head of POSB, and Head of Distribution. In these roles, she prioritised delivering customer-centric solutions and spearheaded the branch transformation strategy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wenxian was also previously the Singapore Chief Operating Officer for DBS and a key member of the Strategic Advisory team within DBS’ Institutional Banking Group.

Wenxian commenced her career in 2000 with JPMorgan's investment banking division in New York, where she advised companies on mergers and acquisitions as well as capital raisings. She graduated from Brown University in the United States, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. Wenxian is married and a mother to three children; she enjoys walking and listening to podcasts.