AGM and Annual Elections
Harvard University Association of Alumni in Singapore Annual Elections 2018
1. Pursuant to Rules 8.4 and 8.5 of the Constitution, elections in 2018 will be held to fill the following positions on the Committee: Vice-President, Treasurer, Committee Member – 2 positions
2. Voting shall be by electronic means and will take place between 0001 hours on 17 March 2018 and 2359 hours on 23 March 2018
3. Pursuant to Rule 8.9 of the Constitution, the Nominating Committee is pleased to present the candidacy statements for the following candidates, who are up for the following positions:
- For Vice-President: Rebecca Woo (AB ’89)
- For Treasurer: Andrew Nai (GMP ’13)
- Committee Member – 2 positions:
- Gurmukh Singh Chobra (MBA ’17)
- Dipa Swaminathan (LLM ’04)
- Titus Yong (EDM ’03)
- Michael Koh (MDS ’93)
Gurmukh Singh Chhabra (MBA ’17)
Running for: Committee Member
Gurmukh works in FMCG and consulting. He is currently the General Manager for the Mondelez eCommerce business in South East Asia, Middle East Africa and also the CFO for the broader $150MM Asia Middle East Africa business.
Prior to joining Mondelez's Singapore office in 2017, Gurkmukh worked in Strategy & Brand Management at Mondelez in New Jersey, USA. He was Chief of Staff to the Chief Growth Officer of the company, directly working with chief executives to help shape the strategic plans for the company. Prior to that, he was a Business Analyst for McKinsey & Company, based out of Pittsburgh, USA.
In Gurmukh's words, My overall goal is to help solidify the HUAAS foundation, better connect the Singapore-based alumni but also help develop HUAAS into the premier Asian chapter. I have had prior experience working on university leadership committees — I served on the board for the New York Chapter for Carnegie Mellon University from 2013-15, where I was involved in organizing several events (e.g., service days, networking events with other universities, social events such as bowling, professor visits).
As a recent graduate from the HBS MBA program, I want to join the leadership committee to drive increased interest and engagement broadly, but also particularly with recent alumni. A few of my areas of interest include promoting networking within HUAAS members, aiding in welcome/retention of members, driving increased community-impact initiatives with cross-school participation, and leading organization of relevant workshops/lectures/conferences to inspire, educate our membership, the broader Singaporean community. I have always been involved with community-led projects (e.g., the HBS mentorship project I am part of currently), and am excited to also help identify opportunities to give back to the broader community using the relationships/experience within the organization.
I am currently in a regional role professionally and am happy to connect with Harvard alumni/chapters in the region to learn from their successful experiences in engaging alumni/giving back to the community to potentially drive increased partnerships, affiliations, visibility and more importantly impact for HUAAS.
Rebecca Woo (AB ’89)
Running for : Vice-President as Incumbent
Rebecca has been deeply involved with HUAAS since it was established, and was part of the transition committee that saw to its founding.
Rebecca is deeply proud of what the HUAAS has become in its few short years.
In Rebecca’s Words
We have a strong and growing membership base that is becoming increasingly dynamic and involved. Recent events have shown diverse and strong support, especially the Global Networking Nights which have successfully brought together 100+ alumni (each time!) across all ages and faculties.
We have organised events from Professor / faculty discussions to nature walks to art gallery tours, from dim sum lunches to social evenings. We have tried to appeal to the breadth of alumni that we have here, which is certainly vast!
Our keynote event in the last year was the Your Harvard event with President Drew Faust's visit and 400+ strong reception at the Ritz Carlton. That same weekend we also hosted the 2017 HAA Asia-Pacific Regional meeting where officers from different Asian Clubs came together to meet and to brainstorm.
I would love to continue to see the Club grow from not only being a vibrant community for alumni but also become seen as a group in Singapore society where leadership and outreach and involvement are recognised. As such, I am happy to report the other initiative I have spearheaded - which is the HUAAS' involvement in the HBS flagship mentorship program that is MoE sanctioned and we, as a group, mentor students at 6-7 polytechnics and universities in Singapore.
In terms of working with HAA in Cambridge, I have been one of the key liaisons which is important in making sure HUAAS remains aligned with HAA and has their close support.
In addition, I am also on the board of another Harvard SIG - Global WE (Harvard for Global Women's Empowerment); and will be working with them to establish more panel discussions on women's and girls issues and hopefully cross-pollinate ideas with HUAAS.
My family and I have been in Singapore nearly ten years and it is our home.
I hope the above is testament to my commitment to HUAAS and the Harvard alumni in Singapore.
Andrew Nai (GMP ’14)
Running for : Treasurer
Andrew is a Director of a financial services firm and has more than 10 years of general management experience in start-up businesses and private corporations with global operations.
Andrew has spent the past year volunteering as a Committee Member in HUAAS. For the past 2 years, he served as Vice-President of Events (Exec-Ed) in the Harvard Business School Club of Singapore.
Andrew fully appreciates the importance of fostering strong alumni networks and financial prudence in managing the alumni club’s finances.
From Andrew’s enriching and enjoyable educational experience at the General Management Program (GMP14) at Harvard Business School in 2013, he has been inspired to contribute back to the Harvard community in a meaningful way by volunteering some of his time in HUAAS.
In Andrew’s words,
I plan to team-work with the new HUAAS committee in achieving the following:
Foster closer bonds between alumni from all Harvard schools
Develop a fundraising strategy
Continue to safeguard the alumni club’s finances
With your vote, I look forward to serving you and HUAAS in 2018!
Michael Koh MDS (’93)
Running for : Committee Member
Michael is currently a Fellow with the Centre For Liveable Cities, a division of the Ministry of National Development, Singapore. He was previously Head of Projects and Design at SC Global overseeing both overseas and Singapore development projects. Prior to that, he had 25 years of experience in the public service. He served 6.5 years as CEO of the National Heritage Board (NHB) and 3.5 years as concurrent CEO of the National Art Gallery (NAGA).
Michael has held appointments as Director of Urban Planning & Design and Director Physical Planning at the Urban Redevelopment Authority, spearheading the city planning and urban design of Singapore’s Central Area, which includes the new mixed use Downtown at Marina Bay, revitalisation of Orchard Road as a shopping street and creation of an arts and entertainment district at Bras Basah.Bugis. Michael also held appointments at Mapletree Holdings and Singbridge.
Michael serves as a Board member on the National Library Board (NLB) and has previously served as Board member on the National Heritage Board (NHB), the Land Transport Authority (LTA), Singapore Tourist Promotion Board (STB), the Civil Service College and the National Art Gallery.
Michael has also served on Advisory Panels such as the Arts and Cultural Strategic Review Committee, the Conservation Advisory Panel, the Design and Construction committee for the Indian Heritage Centre and was Deputy Chair of the Project Development Committee for NAGA. He was also a member of the Hotel Licensing Board, the Street and Building Naming Committee and an external examiner and Adjunct Professor for the National University of Singapore (School of Design and Environment).
In Michael’s words :
Some of the goals that I propose for consideration at the HUAAS are:
To further build up the Harvard alumni network in Singapore and work towards a unitary alumni association representation in Singapore for Harvard.
To explore linkups with social clubs or organisations with the intent to create a permanent physical venue for HUAAS members and events.
To galvanise HUAAS members to form voluntary panels that can offer professional advisory and voluntary services to organisations in Singapore and the region.
To form voluntary teams amongst HUAAS members to research selected topics for discussion with leaders in the respective fields.
To further a mentorship programme that can partner younger members with senior members of the HUAAS.
To link HUAAS to other like-minded associations and field members to appropriate platforms to build networks e.g. Young Leaders Symposium at the World Cities Summit.
Titus Yong (EDM ’03)
Running for : Committee Member
In Titus’s Words
I have a passion for lifelong learning. In 2002, I made a mid-career switch from corporate roles in consulting and finance to pursue research in creativity development at Harvard and coaching in positive psychology. Thereafter, my eclectic roles coalesce around multi-disciplinary education: trainer for organisational teams, teaching faculty at SMU, investor in education-related companies (failing in some of them!), organizer of creative camps for children, curriculum producer, and mentor to university students and families.
As a father to two children who are now teenagers, I have become a believer in values education. Our family members undertake challenging adventures, organise fund raising activities for charities and create projects that allow us to contribute meaningfully through practising our values.
If I am given the opportunity to serve in HUAAS, I shall seek out avenues for community engagement through learning from Harvard faculty who are visiting or passing through Singapore, webinar, kid-friendly family excursion, as well as opportunities for alumni to contribute to educational causes here as well as the Asian region. We shall also endeavour to engage our members who are frequently out of town or on overseas postings.
Dipa Swaminathan (LLM ’04)
Running for : Committee Member
Dipa has lived in Singapore since 1995. She is Assistant General Counsel at Singtel.
In 2015, Dipa started an initiative called ItsRainingRaincoats to help migrant workers. ItsRainingRaincoats won the Kampong Spirit Award in the 2017 President’s Volunteerism and Philanthropy Award. The Ministry of Manpower said, “What started out as a one-woman operation has become a growing movement of support for foreign workers in Singapore.” Dipa’s story was featured in Grace Fu’s address at the International Women’s Forum in 2017, and Dipa won the 2016 Sony IWA Woman of the Year award. She was featured in Singtel’s 2016 National Day Campaign.
Under ‘ItsRainingRaincoats’, Dipa manages more than 150 volunteer Singaporeans from all walks of life who run various welfare programs for migrant workers. Dipa frequently gives talks and interacts with students from schools and universities including NUS, NUS Yale, Ngee Ann Poly, HCJC and the Raffles Girls School. In collaboration with ItsRainingRaincoats, the entire final year Diploma in Fashion class at the Lasalle College designed raincoats for migrant workers in 2017. They are designing casual clothing for them in 2018. An international school recently hosted a cricket match between their school cricket team and a team of migrant workers. Focus Asia (a team building company) hosted a fun day out for migrant workers last month, organised by ItsRainingRaincoats. Starbucks has partnered with Dipa to donate their unsold food to migrant workers, and a lot of other companies such as TripAdvisor, Johnson & Johnson, Unilever etc. work with ItsRainingRaincoats from time to time
I would be honoured to assume an office-bearing role with HUAAS and bring all my change-making zeal and commitment to bear on it. If given a chance, I can promise not to be idle while in office - I will do the best and most that I can to take the organisation forward progressively, sustainably and impactfully. My focus would be revitalise HUAAS, explore ways in which it can leverage off the powerful Harvard brand to make a meaningful and positive contribution in Singapore and thereby attract more of the alumni community to join or work alongside HUAAS.