Ambassador Chan Heng Chee served as Singapore's Ambassador to the United States for 16 years from 1996-2012. At the time, she was the first woman ambassador from an East Asian country to be assigned to the United States.
She was previously Singapore's Permanent Representative to the United Nations 1989-1991, and was concurrently High Commissioner to Canada and Ambassador to Mexico. Ambassador Chan is currently the Co-Chair of the Asia Society. She was a member of the International Advisory Board of the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, a council member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London, and a council member of the International Council of the Asia Society in New York.
When Ambassador Chan left Washington at the end of her appointment as Ambassador to the US, she received the Inaugural Asia Society Outstanding Diplomatic Achievement Award, the Inaugural Foreign Policy Outstanding Diplomatic Achievement Award 2012 and the United States Navy Distinguished Public Service Award.Ambassador Chan is currently Ambassador-at-Large with the Singapore Foreign Ministry and Chairman of the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities, SUTD.
She is Chairman of the National Arts Council and a Member of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights. She is also currently the Chairman of the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities at the Singapore University of Technology and Design.
She has received Honorary Degrees from the University of Warwick, the University of Newcastle (Australia), and the University of Buckingham. She holds a B.Soc.Sc (Hons) First Class from the National University of Singapore, a M.A. from Cornell University and a Ph.D from the University of Singapore.