EDB names Jacqueline Poh as new MD

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) has named Jacqueline Poh (pictured right), currently the deputy secretary, strategy group at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) as managing director of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) with effect from 1 September 2021.

She will succeed Chng Kai Fong (pictured left) when his term ends on 3 October 2021. Poh will also be appointed as a member of the EDB and Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) boards, with effect from 4 October 2021.

Chng was appointed managing director of the EDB on 1 October 2017. Prior to EDB, Chng was the principal private secretary to the Prime Minister. He has also held leadership roles at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Home Affairs and Civil Service College.

As managing director of EDB, Chng played a pivotal role in shaping EDB’s strategies to address external and domestic challenges such as technology disruption, global tax reforms, climate change and COVID-19. Under his leadership, EDB accelerated its effort to promote its key accounts to build digital capabilities, develop new technologies and products, as well as adopt advanced manufacturing. According to a statement on MTI’s website, during Chng’s stint, EDB consistently met or exceeded its Key Performance Indicator (KPI) targets for Fixed Asset Investments (FAI), Total Business Expenditure (TBE) and creation of new jobs.

Chng is also said to be a strong advocate for talent development, and the strengthening of EDB’s organisational culture and values. He also championed EDB’s digitalisation efforts to improve client experience and derive internal efficiencies.

Meanwhile, Poh is credited with playing an instrumental role in developing and implementing the strategic priorities of the government across various areas, including economic, and social strategies, geostrategic policy, infrastructure and urban liveability. Working with agencies across the public sector, Poh led the strategy group to align the government’s policy agenda, resourcing and citizen engagement efforts. She also oversaw the Centre for Strategic Futures and the National Population and Talent Division.

Prior to this appointment, Poh has held various key appointments, including the founding chief executive of the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) and MD of the former Infocomm Development Authority (IDA). She played a central role in kick-starting Singapore’s Smart Nation vision and setting the strategic direction for GovTech.

Gabriel Lim, permanent secretary for MTI, said, “I would like to thank Chng for his invaluable contributions and commitment to EDB, which have helped to strengthen Singapore’s position as a leading global hub for business, innovation and talent. We wish him all the best in his next appointment.”

He also welcomed Ms Poh as the new MD of EDB, saying, “Poh’s familiarity with the tech industry and start-up ecosystem will be an asset for EDB in its effort to pilot and develop new operating models to catalyse the creation and growth of new regional and global businesses from Singapore. This will support Singapore’s broader push to become an innovation-led economy.”

Dr Beh Swan Gin, chairman of EDB, added, “Poh’s experience as GovTech’s founding CE positions her well to continue the good work by Chng in leading EDB’s ongoing organisational transformation to become future-ready.

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