Mr HENG Swee Keat
Mr Heng Swee Keat is the Minister for Finance and Member of Parliament for Tampines GRC. The Ministry of Finance manages the national budget, oversees corporate governance regulations, and supervises the prudent investment and utilisation of public funds and government reserves. Mr Heng chairs a national committee that is studying strategies for Singapore’s future economy.
Mr Heng joined the Ministry of Finance from the Ministry of Education. During his term as Minister for Education from 2011 to 2015, the Singapore education system moved towards a student-centric, values-driven phase, emphasising the holistic development of students and educational pathways towards multiple definitions of success, regardless of students’ backgrounds. Mr Heng’s priorities included Character and Citizenship Education and the Applied Learning and Lifelong Learning Programmes for school students, increased financial and developmental support for students at all levels, greater integration of learning and working opportunities for tertiary students, increased professional development opportunities for educators, and intensive engagements with parents and the community to support educational goals.
Mr Heng is the Deputy Chairman of the National Research Foundation, which sets the direction for Singapore’s research, innovation and enterprise strategies.
Mr Heng has also been actively engaged in cross-cutting national initiatives that adopt a deep consultative approach and focus on the future.
In 2015, as Chairman of the Singapore 50 (SG50) Steering Committee, Mr Heng helped shaped the Golden Jubilee celebrations to be a mix of nationwide events and ground-up ideas from the people. Besides reflecting on the past 50 years and celebrating today’s shared values, Mr Heng invited Singaporeans’ hopes and commitment to take Singapore towards the future.
In 2012, Mr Heng led Our Singapore Conversation, a national consultation exercise that reached out to close to 50,000 Singaporeans on their aspirations for Singapore’s future. The citizens’ consensus that came out of Our Singapore Conversation went towards substantial policy reviews. Prior to entering politics in May 2011, Mr Heng was the Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). MAS serves as the central bank of Singapore, as well as an integrated supervisor of the financial services industry, covering banking, insurance and capital markets. Mr Heng received the “Central Bank Governor of the Year in Asia-Pacific” Award by the British magazine The Banker.
Mr Heng has also served as the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, overseeing economic policy, trade negotiations, and the regulation and development of industry. Before assuming this appointment, Mr Heng was the Chief Executive Officer of the Trade Development Board.
Between 1997 and 2000, Mr Heng served in the Prime Minister's Office as the Principal Private Secretary to the then-Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew. Mr Heng has also served in various other positions in the Singapore Civil Service, including in the Singapore Police Force. In 2001, Mr Heng was awarded the Gold Medal in Public Administration, and the Meritorious Medal in 2010 for his contribution to the public service in Singapore.
Mr Heng graduated with an MA in Economics from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. He also holds a Master of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.