Mr Tharman SHANMUGARATNAM, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies

Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnamhas been Senior Minister since May 2019. He is also Coordinating Minister for Social Policies, and advises the Prime Minister on economic policies. He chairs the National Jobs Council aimed at rebuilding skills and jobs in the wake of COVID-19. He had previously served for eight years as Deputy Prime Minister.

He is concurrently the Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Singapore’s central bank and financial regulator, where he started his career. In addition to his responsibilities in the Government, he is Deputy Chairman of GIC and chairs its Investment Strategies Committee.

Internationally, Tharman co-chairs the recently established G20 High Level Independent Panel on global financing for pandemic preparedness and response. He also chairs the Group of Thirty, a global council of economic and financial leaders from the public and private sectors and academia. 

Tharman also led the G20 Eminent Persons Group on Global Financial Governance, which in Oct 2018 proposed reforms in development finance and the international monetary system to advance a new, cooperative international order. He earlier chaired the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) for four years; he was its first Asian chair. He also co-chaired the Advisory Board for the UN’s Human Development Report in 2019 and 2020.

He currently also co-chairs the Global Education Forum. He is in addition on the External Advisory Group to the IMF Managing Director, and the World Economic Forum’s Board of Trustees.

Tharman has spent his working life in public service, in roles principally related to economic and social policies. Besides serving as Deputy Prime Minister, he was Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies for four years (from 2015). Prior to that, he was Minister for Finance for nine years (from 2007) and Minister for Education for five years (from 2003). He has been Chairman, MAS since 2011.

He led the ‘SkillsFuture’ programme, launched in 2014 with the aim of developing widespread opportunities for life-long learning and job upskilling among Singaporeans. He subsequently chaired the tripartite Council for Skills, Innovation and Productivity (CSIP) which was set up to drive and integrate national efforts to transform industry and skills.

Tharman currently also chairs the Economic Development Board’s International Advisory Council, and the International Academic Advisory Panel that advises the Government on strategies for the university sector.

Among his other roles, he chairs the Board of Trustees of the Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA), which seeks to uplift educational performance and social resilience in the Indian Singaporean community. He also chairs the Ong Teng Cheong Labour Leadership Institute.  

Tharman was first elected Member of Parliament in Nov 2001 in Jurong GRC, and has been re-elected four times since. 

After his schooling in Singapore, he studied at the London School of Economics and University of Cambridge. He later obtained a Master’s in Public Administration at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where he was given a Lucius N Littauer Fellow award for outstanding performance. 

Tharman is married to Jane Yumiko Ittogi, a lawyer by background and now actively engaged in social development initiatives. They have a daughter and three sons.

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