Tharman Shanmugaratnam is Senior Minister in the Singapore Cabinet. He was previously Deputy Prime Minister for eight years from 2011, and Finance Minister for eight years from 2007. He is also currently Coordinating Minister for Social Policies, and advises the Prime Minister of Singapore on economic policies. He is, concurrently, 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 the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) and chairs its Investment Strategies Committee.
Tharman chairs the Group of Thirty, an independent global council of economic and financial leaders. He led the G20 Eminent Persons Group on Global Financial Governance which in Oct 2018 proposed reforms for a more effective system of global finance for development, sustainability and financial stability. He earlier chaired the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the key policy forum of the IMF, from 2011-2014; he was its first Asian chair. He currently also co-chairs the Advisory Board for the UN’s Human Development Report, and the Global Education Forum. 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 education and economic policies. Besides serving as Deputy Prime Minister from 2011 till May 2019, he served as 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 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.
Tharman led the ‘SkillsFuture’ programme, launched in 2014 with the purpose of developing the skills of the future, and opportunities for life-long learning and job upskilling among Singaporeans. He chaired the tripartite Council for Skills, Innovation and Productivity (CSIP) until May 2017.
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, in recognition of outstanding performance and leadership potential.