Executive Director’s April-May Top 10 List

Since my last month’s message on 21 March, we’ve had a number of “firsts” at AmCham. I’ve highlighted these “firsts” in my Top 10 List below. While we welcomed many new initiatives and new members the past month, it was bittersweet as we wished farewell to our Head of Government & Public Affairs, Dustin Watson and to the outgoing AmCham Governors Killick Datta, Bob Harayda, Jeff Hardee, and Elizabeth Hernandez.


On the trade front, President Trump indicated the US would reconsider its position on TPP but the situation remains precarious on whether the US would rejoin. In Singapore, we’ve had a cabinet reshuffle including Mr. Chan Chun Sing as Minister of Trade and Industry, and Mrs. Josephine Teo taking on Ministry of Manpower. They replace Mr. Lim Hng Kiang and Mr. Lim Swee Say — both Ministers who spoke at AmCham events last year at our ASEAN Business Outlook Survey launch and annual Human Capital Conference.


Now for the Top 10 List for April and what to look out for in May:


  1. AmCham Women Launch: building on the incredible momentum coming out of the amazing International Women’s Day (IWD) luncheon (our biggest attendance to date), on 12 April we officially launched AmCham Women – AmCham’s primary platform aimed at accelerating diversity & inclusion in the workplace. Thank you Workday for sponsoring this launch dinner and to Stephanie Syptak-Ramnath, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., at the US Embassy who shared her personal leadership journey during the intimate fireside chat. Like the IWD lunch event, the AmCham Women launch dinner was over capacity. Thank you everyone for your ongoing support and engagement!
  2. Exclusive C-Suite Fireside Chat Series Launch: in April, we launched an exclusive invite-only event customized for AmCham’s senior business leaders with a fireside chat with Mastercard CFO Martina Hund-Mejean. The event was capped at 30 business leaders who had an opportunity to network and reflect on their leadership experience as Martina candidly shared her insights on market trends as well as on diversity & inclusion. I’ve written an article on Linkedin on the key takeaways from Martina, so please feel free to view and comment. We’re already planning our next two C-Suite Fireside Chats, so if you’re a senior business leader within the AmCham community, please stay tuned!
  3. Upcoming Balestier Events in May: we have two Balestier speakers in May including from Ministry of Health, Prof Tan Chor Chuan, Chief Scientist & Executive Director Office for Healthcare Transformation on 16 May, and Monetary Authority of Singapore, Ravi Menon, Managing Director on 30 May. If you have not yet registered to attend these events, please do so as the seats are limited. A big thank you to our sponsors Johnson & Johnson for supporting both events, and to Citi and Stamford American International School for supporting the Ravi Menon Balestier lunch. If you’d like to purchase a corporate table for these events, please contact Aisyah at ajaafar@amcham.org.sg.
  4. Quarterly Dialogue Session with Ministry of Manpower: after receiving feedback from many of you on the importance of an ongoing dialogue with MoM at a smaller scale, we launched our dialogue series with MoM on 20 April. Directors from MoM’s Foreign Workforce Policy, Manpower Planning and Policy Division and the Strategy Department with the Work Pass Division provided a briefing on the Ministry’s foreign workforce policy, followed by an extended Q&A session. The event went so well that we are looking to conduct these sessions more frequently. A big thank you to all those that attended this meaningful session, and to the Human Capital Committee co-chairs Paul Wilt (Yale-NUS) and Tom Kraabel (Lebaark Consulting) for driving the session.
  5. Young Professionals Forum: on the same evening as the AmCham Women launch, the Young Professionals also held their own event (which I am very sad to have missed!) at Marina Bay Sands – a behind the scenes and underground tour followed by drinks & hors d’oeuvres at The Bird. This was an event we had planned for many months with our outgoing Governor, Bob Harayda (SVP at MBS) through his generous support and time and with Adam Click (Google). The YPF is aimed at the 40 and under rising star young professionals, and led by a core group of AmCham YPFs. I understand the next event will be wine tasting with a master sommelier. We’ll keep you YPFs updated on this and I look forward to seeing this group continue to expand!
  6. 45th Annual General Meeting: on 19 April, we held our 45th annual general meeting with nearly 350 attendees (our biggest turnout in recent history). AmCham Chairman Dwight Hutchins gave the State of AmCham remarks; new board members were announced, and we recognized 52 member companies with AmCham Cares awards for their innovative social impact programs. A big congratulations to the 52 companies that received the award! If you would like a copy of the 2018 AmCham Cares Commemorative Booklet, please email Hazlyn at haidzil@amcham.org.sg or simply grab a copy at our office.
  7. AmCham Cares Special Recognition: this year, for the first time, we awarded the top three companies Gold, Silver and Bronze in both the Enterprise and Entrepreneur categories for their outstanding social impact programs. Congratulations to Edwards Lifesciences and Survival Chic (Bronze); Procter & Gamble and Emergenetics Asia Pacific – Emergenetics International Showcase Page (Silver); Moody’s Investors Service Singapore and Xylem Water Solutions Singapore Pte Ltd (Gold) for being at the forefront of strong commitments in corporate social responsibility.
  8. Newly elected AmCham Board of Governors: we are thrilled to welcome our newly elected Board of Governors Daphne Au (AIG), Simon Kahn (Google), Shakilla Shahjihan (Abbott Laboratories), and Lisa Williamson (Marina Bay Sands), and re-elected Governors David Katz (KKR) and Steve Okun (APAC Advisors). I’d like to express our sincere thanks to the outgoing Governors (Killlick Datta, Bob Harayda, Jeff Hardee, and Elizabeth Hernandez) for their tremendous support to the Chamber as well as to me personally as I joined AmCham last year and look forward to their continued active engagement and leadership!
  9. Asia Pacific Council of American Chambers (APCAC): AmCham Singapore had a strong showing at this year’s APCAC annual conference held in KL in early April. We remain fully engaged in the 29-AmCham strong Council to ensure that US businesses operating in Asia continue to have a powerful collective voice at the global stage. I am also pleased to share that as a representative of AmCham Singapore, I’ve been appointed as the Vice Chair of APCAC. The annual Washington Doorknock (our advocacy mission) will be on on 15-18 July, so please mark your calendars to join us for this important visit to DC.
  10. ASEAN Business Outlook Survey (ABOS): every year, AmCham releases its flagship business insights publication ABOS in partnership with the US Chamber of Commerce in DC. If you are senior business executive working in an American company, you should have received a unique link to fill out this survey by Kadence International. Please take 15 minutes to complete this important survey which serves as a barometer on the state of business and investments in Southeast Asia. The survey goes out to senior US business executives across all ASEAN countries. Last year, the launch of the ABOS publication was marked by Minister Lim, and gained over half a million dollars in earned media. It was also referenced by the Prime Minister of Vietnam at the APEC Forum as well as by policymakers in Southeast Asia. If you have not received the link to the survey or would like more information, please contact Morgan at mhughes@amcham.org.sg.


If you have any questions regarding the above items, or any other AmCham related matters, simply reply to this email and let me know. I’d love to hear from you!


All the best,




This blog features event recaps, updates on the latest happenings at AmCham, and commentaries from the AmCham staff