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Singapore Polytechnic Appoints New Principal And Chief Executive Officer

Published on 05 October 2012



Singapore, 5 October 2012 – Singapore Polytechnic (SP) will be appointing Mr Tan Choon Shian, currently Deputy Managing Director of the Economic Development Board (EDB), as its new Principal and Chief Executive Officer on 1 January 2013.

He will succeed Mr Tan Hang Cheong who will be retiring after 22 years of fruitful service in the education sector.  Mr Tan Hang Cheong will relinquish his post on 31 December 2012.

Mr Tan Choon Shian

Mr Tan has a career spanning nearly 20 years with EDB.  After joining EDB’s electronics cluster in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science (Information Service) at the University of Tokyo, he was posted in 1995 to EDB’s Tokyo centre as Centre Director, and subsequently became Regional Director in Japan. He was actively involved in attracting Japanese investments to Singapore’s electronics and chemical industry clusters.

Recognising his strong leadership potential, EDB awarded him a Masters scholarship in 1999 as a Sloan Fellow at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. Upon his return, he led the Electronics and Precision Engineering Cluster with the concurrent appointment as Director, Japan Operations.

Between 2004 and 2006, Mr Tan was appointed Director, Planning and Policy and Director, Marketing Communications.  To broaden his exposure, he then spent a year in the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) as Director, Corporate Development.

Mr Tan returned to EDB in 2007 as the Assistant Managing Director. He strengthened EDB’s operations in the Asia-Pacific, particularly in China, India and South East Asia, and the Middle East. He also supervised the development of major industry clusters. He was appointed Deputy Managing Director in 2009.

Mr Tan Hang Cheong’s Contributions

As the Principal of SP, Mr Tan has made significant contributions in reshaping and rejuvenating Singapore’s first polytechnic. Over the last five years, he has been guided by a simple idea – “Students, Our Focus" – and was instrumental in developing the SP@60 blueprint and transforming SP into a more student-centric and vibrant polytechnic.

He guided the faculty and staff to share his vision of developing "T-shaped" graduates who are life-ready, work-ready, and world-ready. Working in close partnership with his colleagues, he led a collective effort to redefine and enrich the SP learning experience through a holistic, authentic and industry-relevant curriculum, innovative and vibrant learning spaces, enriching overseas programmes for every student, and developing staff capabilities.

Mr Tan also made significant inroads to strengthen the connection with SP’s 165,000-strong alumni network. Through his able leadership and purpose-driven approach, he has built a strong management team and a special connection with students. He has imbued in staff a stronger commitment to excellence, making a difference for SP’s students and ensuring they are future-ready.

Mr Bill Chang, Chairman of SP’s Board of Governors, said, “We deeply appreciate Hang Cheong’s valued contributions to SP. He has navigated change well, and galvanised SP’s growth over the past five years, making it a stronger education institution with a passion for advancing teaching and learning capabilities. It is evident that he has made a difference to SP in every aspect – from the students, staff, curriculum and our operations to enhancing the campus landscape. We will miss him.  At the same time, we extend a warm welcome to Choon Shian as the next leader of SP.  I am confident that his diverse experiences, solid industry connections and strong leadership acumen will put him in good stead to guide SP in its next phase of growth.”



photo Current Principal
Mr Tan Hang Cheong


photoNew Principal & CEO
Mr Tan Choon Shian



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For more information, please contact:

Ms Yvonne Chan
Dept of Corporate Communications
Singapore Polytechnic
Tel: 6772 1006


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