Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies
Republic of Singapore
Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam was appointed Senior Minister on 1 May 2019. He is also Coordinating Minister for Social Policies, and advises the Prime Minister on economic policies. He had previously served, from 2011, as Deputy Prime Minister.
He is concurrently the Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Singapore’s central bank and financial regulator. In addition to his responsibilities in the Government, he is Deputy Chairman of GIC and chairs its Investment Strategies Committee.
Mr Shanmugaratnam chairs the Group of Thirty, an independent global council of economic and financial leaders. He also chaired the G20 Eminent Persons Group on Global Financial Governance which in Oct 2018 proposed reforms for a more effective system of global development finance and for financial stability. He earlier led the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the key policy forum of the IMF, for four years from 2011; he was its first Asian chair. He currently also co-chairs the Advisory Board for the UN’s 2019 Human Development Report, and serves on the World Economic Forum’s Board of Trustees.
Mr Shanmugaratnam 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 eight 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 the skills of the future, and opportunities for life-long learning and job upskilling among Singaporeans. He subsequently chaired the tripartite Council for Skills, Innovation and Productivity (CSIP) until May 2017.
Mr Shanmugaratnam 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 aspirations in the Indian Singaporean community. He also chairs the Ong Teng Cheong Labour Leadership Institute.
Mr Shanmugaratnam was first elected Member of Parliament in Nov 2001 in Jurong GRC, and has been re-elected three times since.
After his schooling in Singapore, he studied at the London School of Economics and Cambridge University. He later obtained a Master’s in Public Administration at Harvard University, where he was named a Lucius N Littauer Fellow.
Mr Shanmugaratnam is married to Jane Yumiko Ittogi, a lawyer by background and now actively engaged in social development initiatives and the non-profit arts sector. They have a daughter and three sons.