Brendan Dean Zhi Min is an A.B. Candidate for Integrative Biology at Harvard College (Class of 2019). Previously the Co-President of Harvard College’s Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia Association, he is interested in perhaps too many academic fields- biology, chemistry, history and English, but also public policy and the future of both Singapore and the world. A believer in service and living life for the benefit of others, he will be a civil servant in the Singapore Government after graduation. He also has fun, but from this biography, you probably couldn’t tell.
Brendan Chia is a Master in Public Policy ’19 candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Previously, he worked with the World Bank on infrastructure and urban resilience projects in Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia and China. Prior to that, he was based in Yangon, Myanmar with the United Nations Office for Project Services. Brendan is passionate about issues surrounding infrastructure investment and economic development in Southeast Asia. He started his career at the Singapore Economic Development Board, and holds a B.A. (Honors) in Geography from the London School of Economics.
Chen Xin Xin is a Master in Public Policy ’19 candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She graduated with a LL.B. in International Relations from Peking University and B.A. in International Studies from Waseda University. Xin Xin is primarily interested in East Asian affairs and about how interactions and differing perceptions amongst the various actors in the region, US included, affect Singapore’s geopolitical strategies.
Chong Shu Min is a Master of Public Policy’20 candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She graduated from Peking University with a bachelor degree in International Politics. Shu Min is particularly interested in Sino-US relations as well as how science and technology intersects with geopolitics.
Faisal Halabeya is a freshman undergraduate student at Boston University. He lived in Singapore for thirteen years and attended the Singapore American School, where his involvement in public policy and geopolitics grew despite being neither a citizen nor a permanent resident. His academic passions include physics, mathematics, creative writing, and anthropology. He is particularly interested in government-citizen interactions, and the ways in which policy, public opinion, and local/global trends coexist and push against each other.
Izzah Haziqah Binte Harisfadillah is a Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) student who is keen on understanding issues of social, racial and education inequality in Singapore. Passionate about minority empowerment through education and service, she has been working at Mendaki for the past two years, and has created more volunteer opportunities for students to serve the community during her leadership term in the NUS Malay Language Society (PBMUKS). She also previously served in the Yale-NUS Student Government and Yale-NUS Community Impact (ComPact). At present, Izzah is a Visiting Undergraduate Student at Harvard College, and she seeks to explore the potential of policy by pursuing a Master’s in Public Policy.
Katherine Enright is a first-year undergraduate student at Harvard College (Class of 2022), potentially concentrating in East Asian Studies and History of Science. She has lived in Singapore since 2007, and cares deeply about Singaporean politics and public policy. At Harvard, Katherine also plays French Horn with the Bach Society Orchestra and dances Bharatanatyam with Harvard College Deepam.
Kuek Jia Yao is an avid globetrotter who looks forward to serving in the Singapore Armed Forces upon graduation, and loves reading and horse-riding in his spare time. He is an MA student in the Regional Studies-East Asia (RSEA) Program at Harvard University. His research interests focus on Chinese-Indonesian identity, the political economy of Sino-Indonesian ties, and general Southeast Asian economic development.
Lionel Oh is a B.A. candidate for International Relations and Computer Science at Tufts University (A’21). An avid believer in public service with an (unhealthy) obsession for anything related to defense, he serves as a regular in the Republic of Singapore Air Force. At Tufts, he is the Co-President of the Singapore Students Association, and is actively involved in civil-military affairs and security simulations. He also conducts research on cyber deterrence with the Tufts’ Institute for Global Leadership, and takes a strong interest in furthering his understanding in that field. In his free time, he looks for good food haunts and tries his best to ignore his friends when they tease him about ORD-ing at age 50.
Mok Xiao You is a M.A. candidate in Regional Studies – East Asia at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She is also a Harvard-Yenching Fellow and co-chairperson of the Harvard East Asia Society. Her research lies in the fields of modern socio-cultural history and organizational sociology with a focus on East Asia. She is particularly interested in bringing interdisciplinary perspectives from the humanities to applied, “real world” problems. She holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies from the University of Tokyo, where she was awardee for best thesis.
Natalie Nah is a Master in Public Policy ’20 candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She graduated with a BSFS from Georgetown University before moving to Boston to work as a consultant. Natalie is particularly interested in issues related to inequality and social welfare, especially for women and children. Despite having lived in the US for the past eight years, she still does very Singaporean things such as trying to find the best places for food, arguing with friends about the best places for food, and finding ways to escape from the cold when winter is coming.
Niu Yihao is a M.A. candidate in Regional Studies – East Asia at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She graduated with a B.A. in Liberal Studies, with a concentration in International Relations from Waseda University. Yihao is primarily interested in Japanese electoral politics and identity politics.
Poh Yong Han is a junior at Harvard University concentrating in Social Anthropology and East Asian Studies. She formerly served as the Communications Director for this publication and is excited to return as an editor. She is passionate about migration, citizenship and identity, and currently volunteers as an ESL tutor for Chinese migrants in Greater Boston. She is also a student board member of the Harvard Art Museums and (like many current and former SPJ members) was formerly Co-President of the Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia Association
Tan Kuan Hian is an A. M. in Regional Studies – East Asia ’19 candidate at Harvard University. All other academic and professional information can be found on his LinkedIn profile, because why have LinkedIn otherwise? Kuan occasionally enjoys debating, sometimes enjoys watching Arsenal Football Club (when they win), and always enjoys watching anime (unless it’s Boruto, which he gave up on). Please reach out if you have an idea for a snarky Facebook post or can help him get a new profile picture.
Wong Shi Le is an undergraduate at Harvard College (Class of 2022). She did a gap year before coming to college, during which she worked at the National Parks Board (NParks). It was through her work that she began to take a deeper interest in public policy, government operations and how these may synergize with public, ground-up efforts. She hopes to continue learning and engaging with Singapore issues and opinions from the ground so that she may be better informed and one day, return to Singapore to serve.
PREVIOUS TEAM MEMBERS
Jia Wen Hoe is a Master in Public Policy ’18 candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She graduated with a bachelor degree in History and International Relations from Tufts University. After graduating from Tufts, she spent some time at a social entrepreneurship in Singapore, and worked as a research officer for a water, sanitation, and hygiene focused international NGO, WaterAid, in London and Dakar.
Ang Wee Keong is a mid-career Master in Public Administration (Class of 2018) candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School, an Edward S. Mason Fellow, and a Fulbright Fellow. Prior to HKS, he was the Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister-Counsellor at the Singapore Embassy in Beijing, where he honed his Mandarin-speaking skills. He has also served in the Singapore Embassy in Jakarta, several stints in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs HQ, and in the Public Service Division (PMO). He graduated from the University of Chicago with an A.B. in Economics and A.M. in International Relations.
Kahyin Cheong is a Master in Education ’18 candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She graduated with a Masters of Studies (Distinction) and Bachelors of Arts (Honors) in History from the University of Oxford. After graduation, she had worked as a curriculum planner in the Ministry of Education, and a strategic planner in the Ministry of Home Affairs. She is interested in issues about equity, education, socio-cultural history, organizational change, and leadership.
Azfer A. Khan is an LL.M. Candidate at Harvard Law School (Class of 2018). He graduated in June 2017 with the Slaughter and May Prize in law from the University of Cambridge. Previously President of the Magdalene College Law Society and an avid mooter, he now serves on the editorial board for the Harvard Business Law Review, Harvard National Security Journal and Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. He writes avidly, with two works forthcoming and two more in progress.
Taro Tan is a Master in Law Candidate at Harvard Law School (Class of 2018). Previously the President of the Cambridge University Law and Business Association and Sir David Williams Law Society, he is interested in the intersection of law, business and government, as well as public policy and social entrepreneurship. He will be working in either New York or London upon graduation, and seeks to be an ambassador for Singapore on the global stage.
Benjamin Goh (Harvard Kennedy School MPP’17) is interested in issues surrounding government and cyberspace, especially how the Internet shapes public opinion and the implications of an international cyber regime. Benjamin graduated summa cum laude from New York University with double honors in Economics and International Relations. Passionate about research, he was named the Ellie and David Werber Research Scholar in Social Sciences at NYU, and received the Fiona McGillivray Prize for his senior thesis on the political economy of Internet surveillance. He is the author of Succeed at School (Active Learning, 2011) and regularly contributes articles on current affairs in Singapore.
Shao Wei Chew Chia (Harvard College A.B.’17) served as Co-President of the Singaporean, Indonesian and Malaysian Association. Pursuing interests in international relations, public policy, and social justice, she is a Director of the Harvard College Conflict Resolution Association, works with Harvard Effective Altruism and the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter, and volunteers her time with Health Leads, connecting patients to basic resources to improve health outcomes. Shao Wei is interested in the stories we tell ourselves – whatever forms they may take – and their impact on our lives. She is the author of The Rock and the Bird (Epigram Books, 2013).
Darrell Lian (Harvard Kennedy School MPP’17) is interested in general critical approaches towards Singapore policymaking, and historicizing current policy debates in the social, education, and economic spheres. He received a B. A. (Hons) in History from the National University of Singapore and was also a graduate of the interdisciplinary University Scholars Program. Darrell previously served as the co-founder of the thINK writing mentorship program, based in New Town Secondary School, that is now in its third year of operation. He served as the co-chair of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Southeast Asia Society.
Sujith Kumar is an Assistant Manager at the Lien Centre for Social Innovation at Singapore Management University. Prior to joining SMU, Sujith was a research and events associate with the United Nations Development Programme and spent a year as the Graduate Coordinator for Campus Education at the Harvard College Office of BGLTQ Student Life. He studied communications, human rights, gender and religion at the University of South Australia, Columbia University, and Harvard University, learnt Chinese at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was was a Kathryn Davis Fellow for Peace at Middlebury College. He actively volunteers in access to health initiatives, and is committed to exploring identity, life narratives, health, emotion and suffering through qualitative approaches.
Akshar Saxena is a doctoral student in global health economics at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. He is interested in economics of aging, non-communicable diseases and primary care provision in Africa, Asia and the USA. He is currently working on macroeconomics of aging, analyzing the dynamics between health, retirement, pensions and insurance. He has previously worked for Ministry of Health in Singapore. He holds a B.A. in Economics from the National University of Singapore and a Master in Public Policy from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.
Deepak Warrier is an undergraduate at New York University, where he studies economics and is part of the multidisciplinary Global Liberal Studies program. A volunteer for five years at the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS), his current interests lie at the intersection of education and equity. He is also passionate about Singaporean history, literature, and art, having volunteered with TEDxSingapore, the National Heritage Board, and UNESCO. He sees public policy offering compelling solutions to pressing problems around the world, and is excited about the future of policy and public discourse in Singapore.
Michael Thng (Harvard Kennedy School MPP’16)
The question that keeps Michael up at night is how government can be better designed to propel more innovative, effective and inclusive policymaking. He is currently working on an initiative that seeks to examine that precise question through an interactive case challenge. Michael previously spent time at the Clinton Global Initiative working on issues surrounding education and workforce development. He graduated summa cum laude from the NYU Stern School of Business with a double-major in Economics and International Business, and a minor in Producing from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
Kevin Tan (Harvard Kennedy School MPP’15)
After spending some time in finance, Kevin’s interest in using private sector tools to solve social issues led him to work for the British House of Commons, the US Congress, and on Social Impact Bonds in Israel. He is also passionate about giving back to the Asian community and is currently organizing a Harvard-wide symposium to help students tackle racial preconceptions in the US workplace. He graduated from the University of Oxford with First Class Honors in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
Jeremy Auw (Harvard Kennedy School MPP’15)
A scientist by training, Jeremy has performed cancer research at the University of Cambridge and published in high impact scientific journals. His interest in public issues has led him to work on health policy and scenario planning in the Singapore government and to develop programs for a homeless shelter in Shanghai. He graduated with First Class Honors in Life Sciences from the National University of Singapore and was awarded the Biochemistry Honors Book Prize for the best departmental thesis.
Mark D. Heller (Harvard Graduate School of Design MUP’15)
Mark is passionate about cities, and seeks to investigate how sound infrastructure policy can engender beautiful and accessible urban design. Towards this end, he has extensive experience using geospatial data and cartography to inform municipal policy decisions. Mark formerly lived in Singapore while working as a lecturer at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, and hopes to return to the region upon graduating. He presently works for the Real Estate Academic Initiative at Harvard, where he researches the impact of children’s housing on their long-term economic outcomes. He received an A.B. in Government and Asian & Middle Eastern Studies from Dartmouth College.
Rachel Loh (Harvard Kennedy School MPP’15)
Rachel has a keen interest in public policy issues at the intersection of government, business and civil society. She believes that the changing distribution of global economic power provides many opportunities for each sector to create and capture value through collaboration. Her convictions stem from having worked in Singapore in the public sector for the past 7 years–at the Singapore Tourism Board, and the Singapore Economic Development Board. Most recently, she published a chapter on Singapore’s transition after 50 years of development in the Center for Asia Leadership Initiatives’ Experiencing Asia: Essays from the Asia Leadership Trek.
Jeevaraj Suppiah (Harvard Kennedy School MPP’15)
Jeevaraj worked as a Service Request Manager in British Telecommunications for a year, where he managed a large client contract and focused on expanding the client’s business across South East Asia. He believes that Singapore’s future lies in the effective transition from economic to social policy. As part of Sinda’s STEP initiative, he has also mentored numerous youth through dedicated coaching and guidance. He graduated with a double degree from the National University of Singapore receiving two First Class Honors in Business Administration and Social Sciences.