About Us
Our Team

Equipped with experience and understanding of Asian societies and processes of development, our team is able to bring people, knowledge and resources together, and make change happen.

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Mr Chng Kai Jin

Chief Executive Officer

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Professor S. Gopinathan

Academic Advisor

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Mr C.D. Liang

Director, Development

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Mr Vignesh Naidu

Director, Operations

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Ms Celeste Se

Finance & Corporate Services

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Ms Thavamalar Balakrishnan

Projects & Publications

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Mr Ben Ning

Projects

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Mr Foo Chen Loong

Media & Communications

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Ms Jasmine Ng

Projects & Communications

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Ms Melody Español

Media & Communications

Mr Chng Kai Jin

Chief Executive Officer

Chng Kai Jin’s nearly four-decade career includes roles that ranged from radio production to management, and eventually leading and working with key arts institutions in Singapore. 

He obtained his Licentiate for Piano Performing of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) while still a student in Victoria School. In 1974, he received a French government scholarship for music studies at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris where he obtained his Licence. He joined Radio Television Singapore as a Radio Producer-Presenter, and planned and launched the Classical music station 92.4 FM. During his time at the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation, he moved from radio production into different management portfolios — managing Classical music on Symphony 924, English pop music stations Class 95 and Perfect 10, ethnic stations Warna, Ria and Oli, and the shortwave Radio Singapore International. As a Vice President in the renamed Mediacorp, he managed Radio’s Marketing and Promotions. Subsequently as a Senior Vice President, he managed Radio’s Corporate Services. 

In 2004, Kai Jin joined the SSCL as its General Manager and was responsible for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO), the Victoria Concert Hall (VCH) and the Singapore office for the music examination body ABRSM. From 2015 to 2019, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Singapore Council for Third Age (C3A), an agency which promotes active ageing in Singapore through public education, outreach and partnerships. 

Prior to his role in The HEAD Foundation, Kai Jin joined the Recording Industry Association of Singapore (RIAS) in 2017 as the Managing Director.

Professor S. Gopinathan

Academic Advisor

Professor S. Gopinathan oversees the Foundation’s research and programme development agenda, its publications programme and the work of its research staff. He also supports the MD in strategic planning, assists in alliances and partnerships and conducts policy advocacy on behalf of the Foundation. 

He is currently Adjunct Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. He obtained his doctorate in comparative higher education and education policy at SUNY, Buffalo, United States. He served as the Dean of the School of Education (Mar 1994 till June 2000), at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University. In 2003, he helped NIE establish a Centre for Research in Pedagogy and Practice (CRPP). He is a founder member of the Educational Research Association of Singapore. 

He is also founding editor of the Singapore Journal of Education, serves on the International Advisory Board of the Asia Pacific Journal of Education, and co-edits the Routledge Critical Studies in Asian Education. He was involved in projects to establish teacher education facilities in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Oman and Indonesia. He has consulted widely with the World Bank, UNESCO, McKinsey, etc. and is acknowledged internationally as an expert on Singapore’s educational development. 

His two recent publications are Education and the Nation State (Routledge) and Globalisation and the Singapore Curriculum (Springer).

Mr C.D. Liang

Director, Development

CD Liang is responsible for the development function at the Foundation. 

CD was trained as an engineer and started his engineering career in the late 80’s in Kuala Lumpur. He subsequently became a software developer who designed and implemented multimedia solutions for leading hotel chains and major banks in Southeast Asia and Greater China. 

After completing his MBA degree in 1998, he worked for seven years in the Greater China region as a management consultant (for Monitor Company, then Arthur Andersen / KPMG Consulting) and a sourcing consultant (for FreeMarkets / Ariba Inc.) He subsequently relocated to Singapore to work for eBay Inc. as Marketplace Development Director for Southeast Asia. 

Prior to joining The HEAD Foundation, CD worked for the non-profit division of the IMC Group to manage social investments in education and media projects. CD had served many family businesses and MNCs throughout his career. Born and grew up in Kuala Lumpur, CD had also worked and lived in Bangkok, Boston and Hong Kong before he settled down in Singapore in 2005. 

CD has a bachelor degree (architecture & engineering) from Princeton University, and an MBA degree from MIT Sloan School of Management.

Mr Vignesh Naidu

Director, Operations

Vignesh Naidu is the Director, Operations at The HEAD Foundation. 

Before joining The HEAD Foundation, Vignesh worked with a large Singaporean conglomerate to strategize and develop a comprehensive learning and development framework. That project sparked his interest in the field of skills and employability; a vexing problem for many economies in the region and beyond. 

Through The HEAD Foundation, Vignesh hopes to contribute to the literature and research in the field of skills and employability. Vignesh has also worked at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy as a case writer, focusing on social policies and behavioural economics. He also obtained his Masters in Public Policy from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

Ms Celeste Se

Finance & Corporate Services

Celeste Se is the Manager of Finance & Corporate Services, responsible for the Human Resources, IT and Administration matters of the Foundation.

Prior to this appointment, Celeste was the Financial Controller-cum-Secretary at Ascent Solar Asia Pte Ltd, a US-based developer and manufacturer of flexible solar panels, where she managed the Finance & Controlling functions for the operations in Asia, including China.

Celeste has amassed a wealth of experience in Financial Management, Planning & Analysis and Project & Manufacturing costing for Fortune 500 MNCs like Sony, Siemens and PepsiCo.

Celeste is a member of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountant (ISCA) & FCCA of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

Ms Caroline Rayney

Events

Caroline Rayney has over 30 years of publishing experience. 23 years of which was with The Economist Newspaper Ltd as one of the pioneers when The Economist started their operations in Singapore in 1984.  She helmed the newspaper’s customer service and fulfilment operations for the Asia Pacific region. 

Caroline’s experience in publishing also encompass the production and distribution as well as event management of niche lifestyle regional publications. Caroline obtained a Diploma in Administrative Management from the U.K.

Ms Thavamalar Balakrishnan

Projects & Publications

Thavamalar Balakrishnan, our Manager of Education Projects and Publications, has a combined experience of over 16 years in the fields of international capacity building, biologics manufacturing and biomedical research. 

In her previous role, she focused on capacity building projects in healthcare and education, particularly, in India and Laos. Over the years, working in labs and in developing countries, she has gained vital experiences in partnership management, project management, and the design and implementation of sustainable and impactful capacity building projects.

Malar has a degree in Psychology with Sociology from the SIM University, a Postgraduate Diploma in Science from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Science from the National University of Singapore.

Mr Ben Ning

Projects

Ben Ning has over 10 years of project management experience. Prior to joining the Foundation, Ben served various roles in project management, business development, and strategic planning in a Singapore-based MNC. He gained strong financial knowledge via his mergers and acquisitions experience in investment banking. 

Ben has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a second major in Economics from Peking University. He obtains a master’s degree in Social Sciences from National University of Singapore. Under a sponsorship, Ben attended an Executive MBA programme conducted jointly by Renmin University, Lancaster University and McGill University. He is also certified in Business Process Management by the Association for Intelligent Information Management (AIIM).

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Mr Foo Chen Loong

Media & Communications

Foo Chen Loong is the Communications Manager at The HEAD Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2020, Chen Loong was Head of the Marketing and Communications department of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra from 2005 to 2016, overseeing day-to-day operations in the areas of publicity, customer relations, ticketing and front-of-house. In the late 1990s he was a producer-presenter and subsequently Music Director of Mediacorp’s classical music radio station, Symphony 92.4FM. In the course of his work over the last 25 years, he has also garnered extensive experience in graphic design, copywriting, media production and public speaking. Chen Loong graduated with an Honours degree in English Literature from the National University of Singapore.

Ms Jasmine Ng

Projects & Communications

Jasmine Ng is the Executive for Projects and Communications at The HEAD Foundation, working on education projects. 

Her interest in education and skills began when she interned at a school for children with autism when she was 18. She also gained experience at a not-for-profit in India that uses technology to deliver education to rural communities. 

Prior to joining the Foundation, Jasmine worked at an international non-profit that focuses on training and mentoring local communities. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Economics at the National University of Singapore.

Ms Tan Theng Theng

Research

Tan Theng Theng is a Research Analyst at The HEAD Foundation.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Theng Theng was a Research Assistant at the Khazanah Research Institute (KRI) in Malaysia, where she conducted research on socio-economic issues concerning Malaysia and recommended solutions for policymakers. Her research interest primarily revolves around topics in development, labour, and household economics, which led her to produce numerous reports, articles and papers during her stint with KRI.

Theng Theng holds a Master of Science in Economic Policy from University College London, and a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics and Finance) from the University of Melbourne.

Ms Soh Xiaoqing

Projects

Xiaoqing is the Project Manager at the HEAD Foundation covering healthcare projects.

Xiaoqing started her career in the Economic Development Board (EDB) and was part of the team responsible for technopreneurship development and info-communications & media industry development in Singapore. She grew an interest in the healthcare sector after working in strategy management at a public healthcare cluster. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was business manager in a local pharmaceutical distribution company covering the day to day operations of the Singapore and Hong Kong market.

Xiaoqing graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Engineering (Industrial & Operations Engineering) from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor.

Ms Melody Español

Media & Communications

Melody Español is Senior Executive, Public Affairs and Communications at The HEAD Foundation. 

She previously worked for a multinational ICT company as part of its corporate communications team. She also gained experience in public relations working in a Singapore-based agency, serving clients in the enterprise and consumer tech space, start-ups and a non-profit. 

Melody obtained her bachelor’s degree with honours at the National University of Singapore.

Mr Ho Swee Huat

Mr Ho Swee Huat is the Founder and Managing Director of Abacus Assets Advisors Pte Ltd. Before starting the company, he had an established career in the banking industry, with 20 years of experience in Singapore, Hong Kong and New York.

He was an Independent Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee of CapitaCommercial Trust Management LTD from 2004 to 2013.

He is the current Chairman of Autism Association (Singapore) which he co-founded with a group of parents in 1992. He is also Vice-Chairman of Eden School, a special school for children with autism.

Mr Ho holds a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Liberal Arts degree in Economics from Hamilton College, USA.

He has been a member of the Board of the Foundation since its incorporation.