Defence ministry deputy picked to helm Singapore Tourism Board

Keith Tan will be STB's chief executive with effect from October 28

The role of chief executive at the Singapore Tourism Board, left vacant since Lionel Yeo stepped down in June, will from October 29 be filled by Keith Tan Kean Loong, currently the deputy secretary (policy) of the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF).

After Yeo served up his six-year term as STB chief, Melissa Ow, STB’s deputy CEO, was appointed acting CEO with effect from June 1 until a new chief assumes the post.

Keith Tan will be STB’s chief executive with effect from October 29

As deputy secretary (policy) of MINDEF, Tan is responsible for defence policy, strategic communications, national education and total defence. He played a key role in strengthening Singapore’s defence relations with key international partners, enhancing MINDEF’s strategic communications capabilities and deepening MINDEF’s partnerships with the private and people sectors in support of Total Defence.

He also helped to grow MINDEF’s public and social media engagement efforts as well as oversaw efforts to apply data analytics in public communications and policy making.

Key projects he oversaw included the signing of the Singapore-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, the setting up of So Drama! Entertainment and extending the reach of Total Defence and National Education through innovative means such as gamification.

Prior to MINDEF, Tan held various senior leadership positions including
senior director, PS21 Office at public service division, institute director, Institute of Governance & Policy at Civil Service College; and director, foreign economic policy division at the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Loh Khum Yean, permanent secretary for the Ministry of Trade and Industry, expressed optimism that Tan’s leadership experience “will equip him well to lead STB to achieve its next lap by pursuing quality tourism and driving tourism development”.

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