fbpx
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.

thf-our-team-WCD backup

Dr Wan Chang Da

Chief Executive Officer

thf our-team S Gop_web

Professor S. Gopinathan

Academic Advisor

thf-our-team-CD-Liang

Mr C.D. Liang

Director, Development

thf-our-team-Vignesh-Naidu

Mr Vignesh Naidu

Director, Operations

thf-our-team-Celeste-Se

Ms Celeste Se

Finance & Corporate Services

thf-our-team-Ben-Ning

Mr Ben Ning

Projects

thf-our-team-Melody-Espanol

Ms Melody Español

Communications

Dr Wan Chang Da

Chief Executive Officer

Dr Wan Chang Da is the Chief Executive Officer at The HEAD Foundation. 

Chang Da believes that education and healthcare are key transformation pillars of our society. While healthcare provides the foundation, education nurtures to unleash the real potential of the human person. Only with a healthy body and a learned mind, lives can be transformed in steering our society for a better tomorrow. 

Before joining The HEAD Foundation, Chang Da was the Director at the National Higher Education Research Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia. He also spent a year with Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan. As an academic, he has a strong interest in higher education in Southeast Asia and the Global South. Chang Da has vast experience in undertaking research, consultancy, and capacity building projects for UNESCO, UNICEF, OECD, Commonwealth Tertiary Education Facility, ASEF Education, ASEAN Foundation, Department for International Development (UK), Ministry of Higher Education/Education (Malaysia), and Higher Education Leadership Academy (Malaysia).  

Chang Da read economics at the University of Malaya and the National University of Singapore. He then went to the University of Oxford to read a doctorate in education. Currently, Chang Da is one of the 200 elected Members of the Global Young Academy.

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 80s 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, Arthur Andersen and KPMG Consulting) and a sourcing consultant (as Director of Program Management, APAC for FreeMarkets, Inc. and Ariba, Inc.). He subsequently relocated to Singapore to work for eBay, Inc. as Marketplace Development Director for Southeast Asia. Before 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’s 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.

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).

Ms Michelle Leong

Programmes

Michelle Leong is the Senior Manager, Capacity Building Programmes, at The HEAD Foundation.

Before joining the Foundation, Michelle worked in the public and private sector. She has experience in both pedagogy and andragogy as a former Education Officer and as a Trainer for adult learning. She has also guided clients towards making effective decisions with focused, productive, and engaging discussions as a facilitator / consultant.

Michelle is motivated by developing self-sufficiency in self and others. Through Capacity Building at The HEAD Foundation, she collaborates with Institutional Partners to analyse needs and design, develop and deliver programmes with skills transferable to workplace. By collaborating with subject matter experts and researchers, she facilitates knowledge brokering, through ongoing dialogue and exchange, between knowledge producers and those who use the knowledge.

She obtained her Masters in Public Policy (MPP) from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

Ms Melody Español

Media & Communications

Melody Español is the Communications Manager 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 non-profits. 

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

Ms Soh Xiaoqing

Projects

Xiaoqing is Projects 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 Bachelor of Science in Engineering (Industrial & Operations Engineering) from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor.

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 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 Hillary Loh

Projects

Hillary’s interest in education began as the recipient of a broad-based interdisciplinary curriculum emphasising inquiry and experiential learning, where she gained an embodied appreciation of the power of education to transform lives. She spent a semester in the Indian Himalayas with rural communities, understanding the intersectionality of education disparity with climate, geography, and gender and social politics.

Previously, Hillary has worked in a design agency as a writer and copyeditor, and in a private art gallery as an operations executive. She obtained her BA (Honours) in Arts and Humanities, with a minor in Anthropology, from Yale-NUS College, 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.