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Russell Tham succeeds Chan Yeng Kit as IMDA board chairman

Russell Tham, Head of emerging technologies at Temasek Holdings, takes the helm as IMDA Chairman, succeeding Mr Chan Yeng Kit after his nine-year tenure.



SINGAPORE: On Friday (15 March), Mr Russell Tham (谭明耀) will assume the role of Chairman of the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) Board, succeeding Mr Chan Yeng Kit (陈英杰), who has held the position for nine years.

Currently serving as the Head of emerging technologies at Temasek Holdings, Mr Tham has been a member of the IMDA Board since 1 October 2020 and has chaired IMDA’s technology sub-committee since 1 April 2023.

In a Wednesday press release, the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) highlighted Mr Tham’s extensive experience and expertise, noting his crucial role in advising IMDA on new digital technologies, their application for business adoption, and potential policy implications.

Mr Chan, also the Permanent Secretary for Health, previously served as the CEO of the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) from January 2005 to November 2007.

Following that, he held the position of Permanent Secretary for Information, Communications, and the Arts from January 2008 to November 2012.

In November 2015, Mr Chan assumed the role of Chairman of the IDA board, overseeing its merger with the Media Development Authority to establish IMDA in 2016.

He continued to serve as IMDA Board Chairman after the merger.

During his tenure as CEO and Permanent Secretary, Mr Chan played a pivotal role in developing the Intelligent Nation 2015 Masterplan, which included the implementation of Singapore’s fibre-to-the-home Nationwide Broadband Network (NBN).

The plan laid the foundation for realizing Singapore’s Smart Nation vision.

MCI emphasized Mr Chan’s contributions to building Singapore’s digital future, citing his leadership in launching the Infocomm Media 2025 (ICM 2025) Masterplan in 2015.

Under Mr Chan’s chairmanship, IMDA has been actively implementing initiatives, such as the rollout of 5G standalone wireless networks, upgrading the wired NBN for 10Gbps broadband access, digitalizing enterprises, and fostering a locally competitive digital workforce.

“Mr Chan also led IMDA to punch above its weight on the global stage, in both the tech and media realms,” said MCI.

“Asia Tech x Singapore (ATxSG) has been convening policymakers and thought leaders for frank discussions on the challenges and opportunities of the latest tech trends.”

At the local level, Mr. Chan played a pivotal role in guiding IMDA to “cultivate a safe and inclusive digital society.”

This effort involved a multifaceted approach, ranging from direct engagement with seniors to fostering collaborations with individuals and private sector partners through the Digital for Life national movement, as outlined by the ministry.

Expressing deep appreciation for Mr Chan’s unwavering commitment and leadership over the past two decades, MCI added, “We look forward to Mr Tham’s continued guidance and leadership of IMDA in the coming years.”

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