SUTD Welcomes President Tharman Shanmugaratnam as Its New Chancellor

01 Jul 2024

SUTD welcomes President Tharman Shanmugaratnam as new ChancellorPresident Tharman Shanmugaratnam is SUTD’s third Chancellor.
(Image credit: Ministry of Communications and Information)

The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) today welcomes President Tharman Shanmugaratnam, as its Chancellor.

The Chancellor plays a key role in a university's structure and his duties include presiding over major official university ceremonies such as SUTD’s commencement/convocation ceremonies.
In welcoming SUTD's new Chancellor, SUTD Chairman Mr Lee Tzu Yang, said: "We are deeply humbled that President Tharman has accepted our invitation to be our new Chancellor. His reputation as a world-class economist and policymaker is matched by his humility and rapport with people. Our university community, in particular our students, will gain much from his wisdom and insights."
President Tharman, who is SUTD’s third Chancellor1, was elected as Singapore's President in September 2023. He served in politics for 22 years before resigning to contest in the Presidential Election. He was Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister for several years, and Education Minister earlier. He last served in government as Senior Minister. 
President Tharman was committed through his years in government to building economic resilience and a more inclusive society. He introduced major educational reforms while serving as Education Minister, to make for a broader and more flexible system of meritocracy. He later led the 'SkillsFuture' programme, aimed at enabling life-long learning for all. He has also promoted initiatives to deepen and advance Singapore's model of multiculturalism.

Internationally, President Tharman has led several high level councils focused on global financial reforms, preparedness for future pandemics, education, and global water sustainability. In 2019, the Institute of International Finance awarded him its inaugural Distinguished Leadership and Service Award.

President Tharman currently chairs the board of the Group of Thirty, an independent global council of economic and financial leaders from the public and private sectors. He also co-chairs the Global Commission on the Economics of Water, as well as the Advisory Board for the UN’s Human Development Report. He is in addition on the World Economic Forum's Board of Trustees, which advises the WEF on its strategic directions. 
Following his schooling in Singapore, President Tharman did a B.Sc. in Economics at the London School of Economics and an M.Phil. in Economics at the University of Cambridge. He later obtained a Master's in Public Administration at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where he was conferred the Lucius N Littauer Fellow award for outstanding performance and leadership potential.

1 The late Mr S R Nathan was SUTD's first Chancellor. He was succeeded by former President, Dr Tony Tan, who was Chancellor from 2012 to 2022.