Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam has been Senior Minister since May 2019. He is also Coordinating Minister for Social Policies. In addition, he chairs the National Jobs Council aimed at rebuilding skills and jobs in the wake of COVID-19, and advises the Prime Minister on economic policies. 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. In addition to his responsibilities in the Government, he is Deputy Chairman of GIC and chairs its Investment Strategies Committee.
Internationally, Tharman chairs the Group of Thirty, a global council of economic and financial leaders from the public and private sectors and academia. He 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 currently also co-chairs the Global Education Forum, and the Advisory Board for the UN’s Human Development Report. 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 the skills of the future, and opportunities for life-long learning and job upskilling among Singaporeans. He su bsequently 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 seek s 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 named a Lucius N Littauer Fellow 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.