Senior Minister, Singapore; Chairman, Monetary Authority of Singapore
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 has chaired the Group of Thirty since 2017, succeeding Jean-Claude Trichet. Tharman co-chaired the G20 High Level Independent Panel on Global Financing for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, together with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Lawrence Summers, in 2021. He currently co-chairs the Global Commission on the Economics of Water, and is on the United Nations’ High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism.
Tharman also 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 and Minister for Finance for several years, he was Minister for Education for five years.
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 National Jobs Council aimed at rebuilding skills and jobs in the wake of COVID-19.
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.