THE 2016 JUDGES
The 2016 Gold Standard Awards will be judged by a panel of senior government affairs practitioners, corporate communications professionals, business leaders and governmental figures led by Visa’s Vice President Penny Burtt
The 2016 Chairman, Penny Burtt
Vice President, Government Affairs, Asia Pacific, Visa
Penny Burtt is Vice-President Government Affairs and Public Policy, Asia Pacific, with global payments company, Visa. She oversees the company’s engagement and partnerships with governments and regulators across the region, leading a group of government relations professionals, and serves on the company’s Asia Pacific executive management team.
Prior to joining Visa, Penny was Director of Public Affairs, External Relations and Head of Client Service Risk, Asia, with global management consultancy, McKinsey & Company. She led McKinsey’s government relations, public affairs, reputation building, communications, and risk efforts across Asia. Penny joined McKinsey from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. In her diplomatic career, Penny represented Australia at a senior level in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and at the United Nations in Geneva and New York. She also served as Assistant Secretary Southeast Asia and as an adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Penny sits on the boards of a number of not-for-profit organizations in Singapore including the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham); National Committee for APEC; the Singapore Institute for International Affairs; BoardAgender (women’s board advocacy); and the Singapore Committee of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is a senior fellow of the Singapore Social Innovation Park (SIP).
Past Chairman (2015)
Min Qin, Vice President, External Affairs and Communications, Fonterra Greater China
Min Qin is Vice President of Fonterra Greater China, leading external relations and communications. Min Qin joined Fonterra in November 2012. Prior to that, she worked with McKinsey & Company as Director of Government Affairs for Greater China for six years. Min Qin was then in charge of McKinsey’s own government relations strategy and also responsible for advising multinational companies on government affairs issues. She successfully helped McKinsey build knowledge-based, long-term strategic partnerships with selected central and local government agencies in China and was a leading contributor to frameworks and processes that institutionalize the working of government relations strategies. Prior to McKinsey’s Min Qin worked in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has a Master of Philosophy in Development Studies from Cambridge University and a BA in English and International Studies from Foreign Affairs College in Beijing. She was nominated a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum in 2006. She is married with a daughter and based in Beijing.
Past Chairman (2013-2014):
Elizabeth Hernandez, Head of Public Policy, South-East, Facebook
Elizabeth Hernandez is Head of Public Policy, South East Asia with Facebook. She joined HP in 2010 and was Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Asia Pacific and Japan. She was responsible for shaping public policy and building public-private partnerships with governments and other stakeholders, as well as managing HP Living Progress around the region. Before joining HP, she was Director, Government and Public Affairs, Asia Pacific at GlaxoSmithKline from 2005 to 2010. Prior to GSK, Hernandez was Regional Director of the US-ASEAN Business Council from 2002 to 2005.
Past Chairman (2011-2012)
Steve R. Okun, Director of Asia Pacific Public Affairs, KKR
Steven R. Okun joined global investment firm KKR in 2011 as its first Director of Asia Pacific Public Affairs. Mr. Okun’s responsibilities encompass government affairs, communications, stakeholder engagement and environmental and social responsibility issues. Elected to three terms each as Chairman of AmCham Singapore and Chairman on the Asia Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce (“APCAC”), Mr. Okun continues to serve on the boards of both. In 2011 he served as the inaugural Chairman of the judging panel of the PublicAffairsAsia Gold Standard Awards, and served again in 2012. Residing in Singapore since 2003, before joining KKR he was Vice President for Public Affairs for UPS Asia Pacific. He served in the Administration of President Bill Clinton as Deputy General Counsel at the US Department of Transportation.
Shih-Huei Ang is responsible for the operations and expansion of Bell Pottinger throughout Asia. Under her leadership, Bell Pottinger won multiple industry awards and is among the fastest growing agencies in the region. The company now operates in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Yangon. Shih-Huei has more than 16 years of communications experience in corporate reputation, crisis management and financial communications.
Shih-Huei holds an International Master of Business Administration (IMBA) from the University of South Carolina. She worked with Syngenta International AG in Switzerland and also studied at the Manchester School of Business. Shih-Huei also holds a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Economics and Sociology, from the National University of Singapore. Shih-Huei also sits on the committee of the Career Women’s Group of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CWG SCCCI) which promotes women leadership.
Tim Bishop has worked on private sector engagement issues for Care International over 12 years, in the UK and more recently across the Asia Pacific region. He promotes the role of business and markets in development for CARE International. With experience of working in each of the three main sectors, since returning from a teaching placement in Uganda in 1996, Tim has been working for CARE for the past 10 years, during which he has been involved in a number of high profile corporate partnerships and private sector programmes around the world.
Jitender Bhargava is a writer on civil aviation issues, management and communication related subjects. He was executive director of communications of Air India for 13 years and prior to that worked with Coal India. He is the author of ‘The Descent of Air India.’
Alan Brindell is the general manager of external and corporate affairs for Sanofi Australia. He is an experienced public affairs professional who specialises in all aspects of corporate and public affairs including internal and external communications; government relations; policy advocacy; public relations; pricing and reimbursement strategy; media relations; crisis and issues management. Alan has almost twenty five years’ experience in communications and public affairs roles for leading multinational health care companies following a decade of working in the government sector.Alan currently has responsibility for all aspects of Sanofi’s external and corporate affairs activities in Australia and New Zealand as well as overseeing the complex process of ensuring access to new medicines for the Australian and South Korean markets.
Alan has served on Sanofi’s Global Communications LeadershipTeam and is currently a member of Sanofi’s Global Market Access Extended Leadership Team and the Australian/New Zealand Leadership Team. In 2015, Alan was named in Salt & Shein’s 2015 Power 50 Report as one of Australia’s 50 most influential Corporate Affairs leaders.
Faith Brewitt is founder and president of the cause marketing firm Have Faith In Your Brand. Over her 20 year career in public relations and marketing, she has worked for some of the largest global companies – mostly spent in Asia. It was while managing global communications for Dell’s SMB division when she realised that there was a huge disconnect when it came to marketing to women business leaders. From this, the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network was born at the World Expo in Shanghai in 2010. In addition, to helping bridge the gap between NGOs and companies, she frequently lectures at conferences on sustainability and women leadership across Asia. Faith was recently quoted in “Worldly Women: The New Leadership Profile” by Sapna Welsh and Caroline Kersten. You can follow her reviews and blog posts about business life in China at www.thenextwomen.
Rachael Bylykbashi joined Roche Diagnostics in 2013 as Head of Communications for Asia Pacific. In this role, she manages the internal and external communication strategy across the region. She relocated from Sydney to Singapore in 2008 to take up the role of Regional Director with Edelman where she ran the Health Practice until her move to Roche. Prior to her relocation, Rachael was the External Communications Manager for Bayer Australia. Previously she worked for a leading Australian public relations firm where she managed clients across the healthcare, telecommunications, television and automotive industries, as well as the arts. Rachael is a founding board member of the Asia Pacific Association of Communication Directors.
Antoine Calendrier is the Market leader and Managing Director with Burson Marsteller. He was was Head of Corporate Communications with Hennessy. Whilst in France, he also lead Euro RSCG’s corporate and crisis communications department which offered government relations, crisis management, media relations, public affairs, and political training. Antoine graduated from the Political Sciences Institute of Toulouse (France) and is fluent in French and English.
Claudia Chan is Head of Government Affairs in Asia Pacific for Seagate Technology. Claudia is responsible for Seagate’s public policy and government affairs initiatives in Asia Pacific. She advises Seagate’s business leaders on public policy issues and she represents the interests of Seagate before government and industry stakeholders. She is also the Vice Chair of the ICT Committee in the US-ASEAN Business Council, helping to lead and shape the Council’s ICT advocacy initiatives in ASEAN. Prior to joining Seagate, Claudia has vast experience in trade and investment public policy work during her time at investment and trade agencies under the governments of Singapore, Japan and New Zealand. She has led teams in trade and investment policy making, and industry development programs to assist large corporates and SMEs in their internationalization and investment plans.
Eddie Chew is Head of Corporate Affairs for Syngenta in ASEAN. Based in Singapore, he is responsible for issues management and stakeholder engagement for the company across six key markets in the territory.
He joined Syngenta in 2013 as the Corporate Affairs Business Partner for the Global Rice Strategic Crop Unit, with additional responsibilities for policy advocacy and partnerships as the Head of Public Policy for the Asia Pacific region. Before joining Syngenta, Eddie was the Group Head of Corporate Social Responsibility for DBS Bank, Singapore’s largest bank, where he championed the development of the social enterprise ecosystem through public private partnerships. Prior to that, he was in charge of Corporate Responsibility for Cargill in Asia, and led the development and implementation of strategies to help address risks and leverage opportunities in the agriculture supply chain.
Eddie started his career in the tobacco industry with British American Tobacco, with various roles in Corporate Affairs, Regulatory Affairs, and Marketing in Asia Pacific. Eddie has an honors degree in Communication Studies from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and an MBA from Manchester Business School.
Anna Choi is the Head of Strategy & Communications for Siemens – the global technology powerhouse focusing on electrification, automation and digitalization. She joined Siemens in 2010 and was appointed as the head in 2013.
Anna defines strategy and facilitates cross-divisions business development and drives communications strategy to enhance brand equity and achieve business objectives. One of her most significant achievements is turning communications from playing a supporting role to a value-adding consultative role that has strong business impacts that last. She launched “Siemens Week “ – an annual flagship event since 2012 to get closer to stakeholders including Government, C-level, academia, industry practitioners, students and employees to induce thought-provoking discussions on city development, innovation and sustainability.
Anna is passionate on city development and is a strong advocate in innovative technology adoption. She has been active in the communities serving in Communications & Membership Committee for ‘Business Environment Council’ and aspires to help making city smart and intelligent with technology.
Chuah Choo Chiang is Director of communications for Asian Tour the region’s official sanctioning body for professional golf. He oversees all media communications and PR strategies for the Tour and works closely with event promoters and other international bodies. Other key responsibilities include crisis management, managing the Tour’s official website, www.asiantour.com and social media platforms as well as the production of the Annual Yearbook publication. Prior to joining the Asian Tour, Chuah enjoyed stints as a sports journalist with two of Malaysia’s leading newspapers, The Star and The Sun, over a span of 10 years, holding the position as deputy sports editor in his last job before moving on to his present role.
Lynne Anne S. Davis is Regional President and Senior Partner of FleishmanHillard, overseeing its Asia Pacific operations, including 19 wholly owned offices and four brands in ten countries. Fifteen of her over 20 years consulting with Fleishman-Hillard have been spent in Asia Pacific, where she has helped build the fastest-growing region in the firm. Public affairs is its fastest growing practice in Asia Pacific. Davis holds a journalism degree, cum laude, from the University of Missouri.
Emma Dale is Co-Founder and Managing Director (Asia) at Prospect. She has specialised in PR and corporate communications recruitment for over 20 years. She worked for leading PR recruitment consultancies in London before setting up Prospect with Colette Brown in 2002. In 2009 Emma relocated to Hong Kong to set up Prospect’s Asia operation in Hong Kong and Singapore. The Prospect team in Asia focus on mid-senior PR and Communications roles across the region with a large focus on Hong Kong and Singapore. Emma is extremely well-known within the PR & Communications industry and has worked with clients and candidates for many years, building long term relationships across the industry. She specialises at a senior level and recruits for global PR consultancies as well as MNC’s within corporate communications, encompassing internal communications, digital communications, external communications, public affairs/government relations, marcoms and media relations covering all industry sectors. Emma is an active member of The Women’s Foundation in Hong Kong and has been a mentor for the last 2 years on their Mentoring Programme. Emma is on the Executive Committee of APSCo, the trade body promoting excellence within the professional recruitment market. Emma is a certified organizational coach with IECL and coaches and mentors people on their professional careers as well as coaches MNC’s on leadership development.
Junie del Mundo is the Chief Executive of EON. Under his leadership, EON has become the pioneering stakeholder relations group in the Philippines, placing trust at the heart of its collaborations with its clients’ various stakeholders. In 2009, Junie was named among the Top Ten Entrepreneurs by Entrepreneur Magazine and was a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in 2010. In 2014, he was recognized by PRWeek, which named him as one of the most influential people in PR in their 2014 Asia Power List. On the same year, Enterprise Asia recognized him as one of the most promising entrepreneurs in the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards. Prior to establishing EON, he was a career diplomat and served at the Philippine Embassies in Paris, France; Dakar, Senegal; and at the Philippine Mission for UNESCO in Paris. He also represented the Philippines in multinational organizations such as UNESCO, ASEAN, APEC, and Asia-Europe Business Forum.
Jonathan Dong has been Head of Corporate Affairs at Nestlé China since June 2009. His responsibilities include public, media and government relations, public affairs, internal communications, as well as creating shared value. He joined Nestlé from Walmart China where he was Head of Corporate Communications for about five years. Prior to this, he also served as Head of Corporate Communications at Airbus, Siemens and Boeing, with intervals at Ketchum and Edelman. From 1986 to 1993, he was a reporter/editor at Beijing Review.
Paul Downie was appointed Chairman, Strategic Communications, South East Asia & Australia at FTI in 2015 after relocating from Sydney to Singapore. Paul played a pivotal role in building FTI Consulting to be one of the leading communications consultancies in Australia and across Asia, consistently leading the M&A and equity capital markets transaction rankings along with managing major issues of national significance.
Paul commenced his consulting career in 1992. After working primarily for corporations requiring corporate and investor relations services, he co-founded an independent consultancy in 2002, which was acquired in 2008 by FTI Consulting.
Jacquelyn Drozdoff is Director of Corporate Communications APAC for Dow Jones, one of the world’s largest and most trusted newsgathering organizations. With responsibility for promoting the company’s consumer and corporate businesses across Asia Pacific, Jacquelyn oversees external strategy and media relations for the full suite of Dow Jones brands including The Wall Street Journal, as well as internal communications.
Her global corporate affairs career spans four continents and five countries, having served in a variety of in-house and consulting roles across Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, the US and UK. Jacquelyn previously held senior communications roles in Asia at CBRE and ESPN STAR Sports (now FOX Sports), and has been a federal government lobbyist and public affairs adviser to multinationals, governments, industry associations and non-profits in Australia.
Jacquelyn currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Society of Publishers of Asia (SOPA) and was previously a Director of the YWCA NSW in Sydney. She holds a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Sydney and dual American and Australian citizenship. A Tucson native and world traveler, Jacquelyn currently resides in Hong Kong with her husband.
Jean-Michel Dumont is the Chairman of Ruder Finn Asia, he is responsible for the growth and development of Ruder Finn Asia, devising Asia-wide strategic direction for Ruder Finn and setting the tone on how the company’s business is managed. Jean Michel Dumont’s expertise has helped Ruder Finn become one of the top 3 international PR agencies in the Mainland China market and a recognized leader in several areas across Asia including luxury, corporate and CSR programs. Since 2010, he has opened three additional Ruder Finn offices in Asia, another five for sister company Thunder Communication and RFI, the digital arm of Ruder Finn and driven the acquisition of award-winning SharpeLankester as well as the China operations of Kyodo.
Deborah Elms is Executive Director of the Asian Trade Centre in Singapore. The Asian Trade Centre works with governments and companies to design better trade policies for the region. She is also a senior fellow in the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry’s Trade Academy. Previously, she was head of the Temasek Foundation Centre for Trade & Negotiations (TFCTN) and senior fellow of international political economy at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Her current research involves the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), and global value chains. She has provided consulting on a range of trade issues to governments including the United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Taiwan, and Singapore. Dr. Elms received a PhD in political science from the University of Washington, a MA in international relations from the University of Southern California, and bachelor’s degrees from Boston University.
Marc-xavier Fancy is Executive Director of the Prudence Foundation. He joined Prudential Corporation Asia’s regional head office in March 2006 as Head of Government Relations for Asia. In his role, Marc manages the government relation activities across Prudential Corporation Asia’s businesses in the region. Prior to joining Prudential, Marc held various positions within the financial sector both in the City of London and across Europe. Marc graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London (SOAS) with a BA in Mandarin, Bahasa Indonesia and South East Asian Studies, and speaks Mandarin, Indonesian, French and English.
Donough Foley is Senior Vice President Government and Public Affairs, Moody’s Asia Pacific Limited. He was previously Head of Government & Regulatory Affairs, Asia Qantas Airways. Prior to this he was Head of Government and Regulatory Affairs, Asia Pacific, at Philips Electronics. Donough has been a resident in Asia for over 20 years and has been vice president of corporate communications & Brand at Lucent Technologies and managing director, corporate practice at Burson-Marsteller. He is a graduate of the National University of Ireland.
Stephen Forshaw joined Singapore-based investment company, Temasek, as Managing Director Corporate Affairs, in April 2011. In February 2013, he was concurrently appointed as Managing Director Australia & New Zealand. In his concurrent appointment, he also supports Temasek’s interests and investments in Australia and New Zealand Prior to joining Temasek, Mr Forshaw was Senior Director, Corporate Communications for Microsoft Corporation in the Asia-Pacific Region, based in Singapore.
Sukanti Ghosh is Managing Director of APCO Worldwide’s India operations, and a member of the firm’s global management committee and global health care leadership team. He brings to APCO more than 20 years of experience leading corporate affairs teams in India and around the world. He has considerable experience in advising companies during periods of significant organisational change, market entry, mergers and acquisitions, and focused organic growth. His areas of specialisation include policy, litigation and crisis communication, board communication, executive positioning, internal communication and corporate responsibility.
Dean Gould is Director of Marketing and Communications for Griffith University. He is a marketing and media professional with more than two decades experience in journalism, communications and marketing. His days as a reporter took him around the world, covering everything from sport at Wembley to the peace process in Ireland to Budgets in Canberra. Since 2011 he has led Griffith University’s communications strategy which has seen its media footprint more than double. He was appointed Director of Marketing and Communications in 2014, overseeing the university’s national advertising, marketing, student recruitment and communications strategies. As a journalist he has been an editor for APN, Fairfax and News Corp in Australia as well as worked on the New York Post and the Irish Examiner. He has won awards with the Society for News Design, International News Marketing Association Pacific Area News Publishers Association and in 2013 was judged Australian Institute of Management’s Manager of the Year (Gold Coast).
Robert T. Grieves is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Hamilton Advisors Limited, a strategic communications firm based in Hong Kong. Following a 12-year career in journalism for The Times (London) and The Economist (both in Beijing), and Time magazine and Forbes (both in New York), he has been a top-tier communications specialist since 1989.
His communications career has included seven years at the global public relations firm of Burson-Marsteller, five years as head of Marketing and Communications, Asia, for Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong, three years as head of Global Communications for The Bank of New York, and four years as head of global media relations and financial communications for the international insurance firm, ACE. Most recently he served as President, Hong Kong for Edelman, a global public relations firm that has won numerous awards in the Asia-Pacific region.
Robert graduated from Hamilton College magna cum laude with a B.A. in English Literature and East Asian History and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received his M.S. in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a concurrent certificate from Columbia’s East Asian Institute.
He is a Governor of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong; Chairman of the Council of Public Relations Firms of Hong Kong (CPRFHK); and a member of the Hike for Hospice Organising Committee of the Society for the Promotion of Hospice Care (SPHC).
Bob Grove oversees Edelman in North Asia, with 10 offices across mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. Previously, Bob led Edelman’s Southeast Asia operations for eight years. Edelman Southeast Asia grew by ten times under his leadership.
During his tenure at Edelman, the firm has consistently been the fastest growing of the large PR agency networks in the region. Campaign Asia-Pacific named Edelman Singapore the “PR Agency of the Year” in 2010 and the Daniel J. Edelman China Group the “Greater China PR Agency of the Year” in 2012.
Prior to joining Edelman, Bob worked for a global business-to-business technology provider as the director of marketing in Asia Pacific, where he was eventually appointed managing director of its North Asia operations. Despite the bursting of the tech-bubble, he grew the North Asia business by 70 percent during that time.
Suu Wei Ho is the Southeast Asia Government Relations Director for PayPal and is responsible for providing strategic Government Relations counsel, program support and implementation for PayPal’s business in Southeast Asia. Based in Singapore, Suu Wei engages with national and local governments, industry associations, academia and merchants to shape the policy environment, protect PayPal’s reputation and help PayPal grow its business in Southeast Asia.
Prior to joining PayPal, Suu Wei was the Chief Regulatory and Compliance Officer at Eurex Clearing Asia and was responsible for all regulatory and compliance matters for the firm. Before that, he was a deputy director and division head at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, focusing on the development of Singapore financial sector. Before this, Suu Wei completed a broad range of roles with Citi in Shanghai and Singapore.
Suu Wei holds a Bachelor degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Tokyo in Japan and an MBA degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in the US with a double major in Finance and Management. Aside from English, he speaks fluent Mandarin, Japanese and Cantonese.
Agnes Hui is Head of Group Corporate Communications at The Wharf (Holdings) Ltd. Ms Hui oversees the corporate communications function of Wharf Group. Ms Hui has over 20 years of experience in corporate communications, public relations, community affairs and B2B market communications. Before joining Wharf in 2009, Agnes held senior communications roles at leading market research firm ACNielsen as Communications Director covering 11 markets. She was regional public affairs manager at financial services company American Express and chief liaison for American Express Philanthropy in Asia Pacific for eight years. She is a board member at the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Hong Kong Chapter since 2008 and serves as Vice President. She is also an executive committee member of the Public Relation Professional Association (PRPA) in Hong Kong since 2008 and serves as the membership chair.
Walter Jennings is Vice President, Corporate Communications at Huawei Technologies LTD based in Shenzhen, China. There he is leading a global transformation project focused on all aspects of corporate communication that influence corporate reputation. He manages agency relationships, and is tasked with messaging and brand positioning. As a corporate communications expert he is an advisor to top management on issues, positioning, messages and brand.
Prior to Huawei, he was Managing Partner for Greater China at Kreab Gavin Anderson, a boutique financial, corporate and public relations consultancy. He led client teams for The Wall Street Journal, the World Health Organization, United Nations Water and more. The focus was on strategic positioning, issues management and communications in Greater China, Asia Pacific and worldwide.
Earlier, Walter led the Australian operations of a global public relations firm. His core expertise is in financial services public relations and corporate communications. For five years he led global communications at Ford Credit, the US$210 billion finance arm of Ford Motor Company. There he managed communications for the complete restructuring of the US business, the largest case of identity theft at that time, credit rating downgrades and the abrupt departure of the CEO.
Walter has in-depth crisis and issues management expertise gained managing high profile national and international issues. In Asia Pacific he advised the Government of Macau in the lead-up of the transition of sovereignty from Portugal to China. This included crisis media relations during widespread Triad warfare on the island enclave. He advised The Coca-Cola Company when dealing with complex regulatory, trade and social issues as they expanded manufacturing across China. For the US State Department he was spokesperson and media advisor to three high-profile clerics as they toured China to prepare a report on religious freedom for the US Congress.
Abhinav Kanchan is currently Senior Vice President & Head, Corporate Communications at Sobha Ltd. which is India’s most admired and trusted brand in realty sector today. He oversees the entire gamut of corporate communications, brand building, reputation management, key engagements with customers and company partnerships. He has more than two decades of rich experience working across diverse sectors like steel; power – thermal, solar, hydro; technology; construction and real estate. Prior to working with Sobha Ltd. Abhinav was leading a group of communication professionals at Moser Baer and ArcelorMittal in India where he established strong, transparent and credible communications framework; engaged with all key stakeholders beneficially thus bringing immense value loads to the respective companies. Before this, he was responsible for shaping internal and marketing communications, reputation management and communications training at the diversified Aditya Birla Group. He has worked for more than a decade at India’s apex Chamber of Commerce – FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry) leading the media centric engagements from the front to a higher orbit cutting across 45 different sectors of the economy pan-India with remarkable results. He is most passionate about communications and is formally trained in media management, journalism, mass communication, content creation, integrated marketing communications, brand building and film making from prestigious institutions. He is currently pursuing PhD in Business Administration with focus on communications.
Karen Khaw has lead corporate communications for Asia Pacific at BNY Mellon since 2011. In this role, she leads the regional external and internal communications program as well as being responsible for all communication strategies. Before joining BNY Mellon, Karen held various integrated communications and marketing roles at global companies including Societe Generale and law firm Baker & McKenzie, and worked within the retail and institutional businesses of Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Banking Corporation.
Matt Kovac is the Executive Director at Food Industry Asia (FIA), the food industry’s first regional industry platform for major food & beverage companies. He reports to a non-profit board of regional CEOs from multinational food and drink companies.
Matt, with a dedicated team of 13 secretariat staff, is responsible for delivering impactful policy outcomes in nutrition, food safety and regional trade across Asia through the establishment of multi-stakeholder platforms and capacity building projects on areas related to health and nutrition, food security, trade liberalisation and regulatory harmonisation. This is done through forging sustainable partnerships with a variety of government agencies, regulators, academia, NGOs and IGOs.
Matt is a seasoned corporate affairs professional with more than 18 years of experience specialising in stakeholder relations, policy analysis, government relations and journalism.
Originally from the UK, Matt has spent 13 years in Asia living in China, Taiwan and Singapore. He holds an MBA at the UK’s Lancaster University Management School.
Scott Kronick is one of the two founding members of Ogilvy PR in China and plays an instrumental role in the leadership and management of the China operation. In addition to consulting many of the world’s most respected brands on their China communications strategy, Scott counsels Chinese companies in their endeavors to develop global brands. He also works with various Chinese officials on their communications skills.
Scott writes frequently on public relations and international business issues for such publications as the South China Morning Post, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Campaign, Ad Age China, China Business Review, PRWeek, PR Magazine, and China Daily. In 2008 Scott was featured in a book about long-term residents of China entitled “My Thirty Years in China.”
David Kiu is Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and North Africa at Mars, Inc. Prior to this he was Vice-President, Global Sustainable Business and Communications at Unilever. In this role, he led corporate communications, internal communications, external affairs and sustainability for Unilever across Asia as well as for global customer development. David is also the global lead for embedding sustainable business in Unilever’s geographic markets. David has also previously been a member of the Unilever Global Markets Executive led by the COO, as well as led Global Communications Capabilities where he was responsible for developing talent, professional skills and leadership in the function globally. David’s career history includes leadership roles in communications and public affairs in FMCG and in political risk advisory and consulting. He has led numerous projects with Fortune 100 companies in energy, telecoms and financial services. He began his career in public service. David read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at St. John’s College, Oxford and has a Masters degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics.
Jonathan Kushner was named Kreab’s Managing Partner Asia in January 2016 following three years heading Kreab’s Tokyo office. He now focuses on leading the firm’s activities across Asia, overseeing the Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing and Hong Kong offices. He specializes in corporate and crisis communications, financial PR, and public affairs.
In addition, Jonathan is vice president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ), where he has served in various leadership positions, and has joined the Asia Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC) on doorknocks and advocacy activities.
He joined Kreab from AIG, where he headed Corporate Communications and Corporate Affairs in Japan and Korea. Prior to AIG, he was with Microsoft in corporate affairs and government-facing roles including responsibility for public private partnerships in Asia with international organizations, and government relations in Japan and Asia.
Earlier in his career, Jonathan worked as a financial advisor to industry and government clients in public-private partnerships for large-scale infrastructure projects across the Asia Pacific and Latin America.
Alvin Lee is the Director of Government and Public Affairs for Lego. He works with the company’s operating businesses to build and deepen relationships with government and non-government organizations, research institutes, universities, trade associations and consumer groups to ensure that the LEGO Group is aligned to any new regulations and standards affecting their processes and products. Previously he was Head of Communications for Microsoft and Nokia and the International Policy Director for Time Warner.
Cyndy Leung is General Manager for Corporate Affairs at the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), responsible for steering the organisation’s global communication strategies and publicity campaigns to reinforce Hong Kong’s profile as a preferred travel destination. She takes charge in enhancing HKTB’s corporate image by driving public affairs initiatives and developing stakeholder’s engagement strategies and plans. Cynthia also oversees the visitor information and services operation, which aims at enhancing the visitors’ experience while they are in Hong Kong. Prior to joining the HKTB in 2002, Cynthia worked at Hong Kong Telecom, PCCW and Lucent Technologies Ltd, where she gained about 20 years’ experience in corporate communications and public relations. Cynthia holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree from the University of Hong Kong and a Master of Arts degree from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Ma Li is currently China Communication Director at Solvay. She has over 15 year of expertise in corporate communications and public relations. Now she is based in Shanghai, but oversees the corporate communications function of the whole China. Prior to joining Solvay in 2008, Ma Li has well-established experience in public relations, communication and marketing working for JCDecaux. From 2011 to 2015, she was elected as the Chairman of Public Relation and Communication at AICM (Association of International Chemical Manufactures). She holds a MBA degree from Shanghai Jiaotong University and Euromed Marseille.
Diana Lin is currently host and senior executive producer of The Pearl Report, Money Magazine and Pearl Finance. A prominent network news journalist in Hong Kong, she is a former presenter of the news at 7.30 on TVB Pearl. Born in Hong Kong, Diana attended Diocesan Girls’ School for her primary and secondary education, before going to university in the USA, majoring in English Literature then Fine Arts. Diana has worked as a journalist in radio, magazines, newspapers and TV for more than 25 years variously based in San Francisco, Tokyo, Beijing and Hong Kong. She is a contributor and editor of the book Third World Women.
Owen Ma is Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Cargill China. Prior to that he was the Government Affairs Director at PepsiCo in China. He is also chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing’s Food Forum. He previously worked with Eastman Kodak Company and started his career All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives. He has a Bachelor in Economics Degree from the Beijing Second Foreign Language Institute.
David McCarthy has 30 years experience in strategic communications in Europe, Asia and Australia, and is a specialist in corporate reputation and stakeholder engagement. He was previously managing director of Edelman’s corporate practice in the Asia Pacific region, where he lead development of IP, products and programs for clients addressing all aspects of corporate reputation and positioning. In recent years, David has worked with many companies including National Australia Bank, GE, Kraft Foods, UniSuper, Agrium, Cargill, Westpac and Standard & Poor’s. Prior to joining Edelman, David was head of corporate communications for Telstra Corporation, Australia’s legacy telco, where he led the Corporate Affairs team responsible for corporate reputation and issues management. During this time, he lead the cross disciplinary team responsible for privatisation communications planning, as the company moved from majority Government control into public ownership.
Robert Magyar is a founding partner of North Head, a strategic communications consultancy located in Beijing, overseeing the Consultancy’s multi-market regional accounts, especially public affairs projects related to the fields of sustainability, healthcare, and education. He has over fifteen years of experience working in government relations and corporate communications in Asia with clients from around the world. Among other projects, Robert works with various government entities in China, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines on issues related to rural development and poverty alleviation and forest certification. Prior to North Head, Robert worked at Weber Shandwick as senior vice president in Tokyo for 6 years and then in the agency’s Beijing office. In Japan, he advised the government on a number of projects, among them, he coordinated global communications as agency lead for the Tokyo 2016 Summer Games Olympic Bid Committee. Robert has a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Law from Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo and a Master of Science in Foreign Service degree from Georgetown University in Washington DC. He is also the author of the China chapter in a recently published overview of global public affairs: International Public Affairs: A Global Perspective.
Robin McClellan is based in Perth, Western Australia, where she runs Leadership WA, a not-for-profit dedicated to enhancing the leadership capability of Australia’s corporate, government, and civil society leaders. Prior to this, she was the Director for Minerals Research Initiatives at Curtin University, a role she took on after having served as the Singapore – based Senior Government Relations Advisor in Asia for ExxonMobil Corporation.
Robin joined ExxonMobil in January 2011, after a 24-year career in the U.S. diplomatic service. She has lived and worked in Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, Austria, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, and India, as well as Singapore and Washington DC. In her Foreign Service career Robin worked extensively with U.S. companies on regulatory, market access, and intellectual property rights issues in Asia.
A Kansas native, Mrs. McClellan attended Cottey College, the University of Kansas, and the University of Costa Rica for undergraduate study. She has graduate degrees from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom and the Duke University Fuqua School of Business. Robin speaks Spanish, German, French, and Indonesian. She has four children.
Dr. Simeon Mellalieu is a communications specialist with 15 years experience in PR consultancy in Europe and Asia. His expertise lies in corporate positioning and reputation management, brand building, issues and crisis management, corporate social responsibility, broadcast media relations and sponsorship and sports marketing.
Simeon is steward of client relationships across all of Ketchum’s offices in the Asia Pacific region, upholding client care, best practices and introducing new services. provides senior counsel for local, regional and global clients and carries with him a wide range of business-to-business, business-to-consumer and crisis communications experience in industry sectors as diverse as aerospace, automotive, finance and investment, gaming, healthcare, payment, petrochemical, retail and technology.
He has consulted for such clients as American Eagle Outfitters, Boeing, Disney Channel, FedEx, Ford, Levi Strauss & Co., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Malaysia Airlines, Motorola, Nissan, Philips Semiconductors, Rolls-Royce, and Visa. His work has won multiple industry awards and in 2007 he received the David Drobis Award, Ketchum’s highest accolade rewarding excellence in client service.
Listed in the PRWeek Global Power Book 2016, Simeon is a Board member of the Council of PR Firms of Hong Kong. He is currently Deputy Chairman and served as Chairman from 2010-2013. He also sits on the Advisory Committee for the School of Communications at Hong Kong Baptist University.
Based in Hong Kong for the past thirteen years he started his PR career in the UK before transferring to Asia. He joined Ketchum in 2004. Simeon is British and was educated at University College London.
Mark Michelson is senior counselor at APCO Worldwide and chairman of IMA Asia’s CEO Forum in Hong Kong. He also is an adjunct associate professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and a member of the Fulbright Advisory Committee. Dr. Michelson has worked on government relations and communication projects involving most governments in the Asia-Pacific region and the United States for over 35 years. From 2004 through 2008, he was Associate Director-General for Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong, the investment promotion department of the Hong Kong Government. Dr. Michelson earned his Bachelor of Arts from Carleton College and his doctorate from the University of Illinois in Japanese studies.
Amanda Mohar advises on solutions for Weber Shandwick’s regional clients, with a focus on integrated digital communications and online crisis preparedness. Based in Hong Kong, she has led multi-market client relationships for global brands in sectors ranging from FMCG and lifestyle to healthcare, nonprofit and financial services. Amanda also serves as regional project lead for firebell, Weber Shandwick’s industry-leading online crisis training module.
Working in both local and international environments in Asia since 2007, Amanda maintains a high level of understanding when it comes to the needs of diverse audiences in today’s global marketplace. She previously served as Marketing Manager for Weber Shandwick’s corporate communications efforts in the region, where she launched an award-winning digital communications strategy and internal initiative which led to doubling the agency’s industry recognition in Asia Pacific.
Paul Mottram leads the development of All Told in the Asia Pacific region and Allison+Partners’ business in Hong Kong, with a mission to help brands tell compelling stories that drive results.
Paul has lived in the region since 1992 and has broad experience in both communications agencies and in-house marketing roles for a range of brands in the technology, consumer, online, automotive and financial services sectors.
Paul previously held regional leadership positions at agencies Text100, Bite, and Upstream Asia. Key clients served include Citi, eBay, FedEx, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Fox International Channels, General Motors, HP, HTC, Microsoft, Siemens and Tencent, among others. Prior to that, he led global marketing and communications for NASDAQ-listed Global Sources. Originally from the United Kingdom, Paul has a BA in Government & Political Theory from the University of Manchester. He is tolerated by his wife and twin daughters.
Alistair J. Nicholas is Executive Vice President – Director, Special Projects at Powell Tate Australia. Alistair’s more than 25 years career covers Australia, the United States and China; and includes senior positions in public affairs agency and in-house roles, in political advice, in government and diplomacy, and in journalism.
Alistair leads Powell Tate Australia’s special projects, which include issues and crisis management, litigation support communications, and government advocacy across Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
Prior to returning to Australia in 2013, Alistair was based in China for 13 years where he worked in public affairs, including leading the Beijing office of Powell Tate. Before that Alistair was based in Washington DC as Australia’s Trade Commissioner to the World Bank and United Nations. Earlier in his career he worked in journalism and as a political advisor to Australia’s Federal Coalition.
Alistair holds an Honours degree in Political Science from the University of New South Wales and a Certificate in Executive Leadership from Cornell University.
Graham Norris is Senior Director of Communications of AmCham China. He joined AmCham China in 2013 and is responsible for all internal and external communications for the chamber, including the website, email newsletters and Business Now magazine. Before joining AmCham China, Graham worked in public relations for both Ogilvy and Ruder Finn in Beijing, serving clients such as Microsoft, Caterpillar and adidas, and providing media and communications training. Graham also has nearly a decade of journalistic experience, having worked as a desk chief for Dow Jones Newswires in Singapore and Tokyo, and as a newspaper editor and freelancer writer in Taiwan. Originally from the U.K., Graham has a B.A. in Economics, Politics and American Studies from Leeds University, and an M.B.A. from Heriot-Watt University. He speaks Mandarin and holds leadership positions in both Toastmasters and the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China.
Lee Nugent is Text 100’s regional managing director for strategy and consulting in APAC. He is responsible for helping to build the agency’s capabilities and profile as a provider of cutting-edge integrated communications consultancy to clients across the region. Prior to joining Text100, Lee was CEO of the integrated comms and PR firm, Nelson Bostock Group in London. In a career spanning almost twenty years, Lee has provided senior consultancy to an enviable list of top-tier clients, including the BBC, Facebook, Canon, Salesforce, Disney, Mercedes Benz, HTC, Ericsson, Amazon, T-Mobile, Orange and EE.
Jeff Paine is Managing Director of PS Engage and is a Singapore-based professional with more than 20 years’ experience at leading multinational corporations including Visa, Microsoft, Reuters and the Royal Bank of Canada. At Visa Jeff was Senior Director and Head of Government Relations for Southeast Asia. In this capacity, he was responsible for managing constructive engagement activities to develop and maintain relationships with public sector officials in Southeast Asia. He was also responsible for the oversight and monitoring various policy and regulatory issues impacting Visa’s business across the region. Prior to working with Visa, Jeff worked at Microsoft as Director of Public Sector Partner Business where he was responsible for driving revenue via the Microsoft partner ecosystem that supported governments across Asia Pacific.
Jeff was Director of Business Development for Central Asia Development Group (CADG), a private development organization involved in the implementation of infrastructure, agriculture and economic development projects in Afghanistan valued at more than US$75 million between 2002 and 2005.
Jeff has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Western Ontario in Canada and an MBA in Finance from Rutgers University in the U.S.A. He also attended the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where he has completed a diploma program on Innovations in Governance.
Anjali Patil is the Head of Brand & Communications at BNP Paribas India. She joined BNP Paribas in 2010 and is responsible for brand initiatives and corporate communications for the bank and its group companies in India. Additionally, as the India CSR Co-ordinator, she has responsibility for the Group’s CSR activities in the country.
Anjali has over 25 years of work experience and specialises in communications for financial services. Prior to joining BNP Paribas, she was Head of Corporate Communications at Fidelity India and has also held a similar position with Morgan Stanley in India and in Singapore. She has also worked at Ogilvy PR, where she was a Senior Partner responsible for the Corporate and Financial Practice. Anjali is a Member and Accredited Practitioner of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in London. She also serves as a member of the Advisory Board of Aseema Charitable Trust and is a member of the CSR Committee of the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Liu Ran is the Vice President, Public Policy for MasterCard Greater China region. In this capacity, he leads the efforts of MasterCard in engaging with the regulators, influential and thought leaders in mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan on regulatory discussions regarding the development of electronic payment services in these markets.
Prior to joining MasterCard in October 2012, Mr. Liu was Vice President, Public Affairs, for United Parcel Service (UPS) in China. In that capacity, he focused on the lobbying activities around trade, aviation and customs issues relating to the operation of express delivery services. Between 2003 and 2005, Mr. Liu was based in Singapore and covered the Public Affairs efforts for UPS in Asia Pacific countries. Mr. Liu received his M.A. in international relations from the Flecher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University in Boston, US, and his B.A. in English from the Foreign Affairs University in Beijing. A native of Beijing, Mr. Liu is married with two sons.
Alan Raybould has worked most of his journalistic life for Reuters and until 2015 oversaw its reporting from Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos as News Editor, Thailand and Indochina. He has worked for Reuters in London, Paris, Tokyo, Singapore and Abidjan in Ivory Coast, when it was the regional office covering West Africa, taking time out at one point to get a Ph.D. from the University of Bath.
Andy Roby is a former UK government official with the Deprtment of International Development. He was CSR adviser to the UK Timber Trade Federation in London. He has an extensive experience in international timber trade issues. He has worked for DFID as the point person of FLEGT-VPA in Indonesia. Currently he manages DFID funded MFPII program in Indonesia which assists the Indonesian government in implementing SVLK system in the small scale forestry sector. He is a graduate of the University of Aberstwyth and Oxford University.
Anthony Rose is founder Chairman and CEO of the House of Rose Professional, a business consultancy committed to providing services in the Public Relations, Publishing and People segments and is based in Singapore. House of Rose Professional is also owner of Asia’s prestigious “Break the ceiling touch the sky 2015” –the success and leadership summit for women to be held on September 29, 2015 in Singapore. Prior to setting up House of Rose Professional in 2014, Anthony was Vice President and head of the Corporate Affairs function for Walmart Asia based in Hong Kong.
Mark Runacres is a Director of SQN Pte Ltd (Singapore). Mark was a British diplomat for 25 years, serving in New Delhi, Paris and in the British Mission to the UN in New York. His roles in London included press spokesman, Deputy for South-East Asian Affairs, and Trade Director for South Asia and Sub-Sharan Africa.
In the decade since leaving diplomacy, Mark has developed a range of business interests across sectors. In the communications/public affairs field, he is on the Advisory Board of Avian Media/Chase India, one of India’s most successful PR/Public Affairs firms, as well as Public Affairs Asia. He is a Director at the Business and Community Foundation, a CSR-focused NGO. Mark is the India Adviser to the Confederation of British Industry, the UK’s leading trade federation. He also chairs the British Business Group in Delhi where he is Co-Founder of the British Education Centre, Director at The Hearth Education Advisors, and Director at Sheffield Haworth (India) in executive search.
Mark sits on the Board of Elara Capital (Singapore) Pte Ltd. He has also sat on the Boards of: Elara Capital (India); Religare Capital Markets; Mindtree; G4S (India); and A4e India.
Damien Ryan is the Managing Director of Ryan Communication, which is an Asia-based strategic communication consultancy with offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore. The company’s clients include some of the world’s leading banks, brokers, funds and financial technology providers. Ryan Communication has received numerous industry awards recognising the company’s growth and success on campaigns around corporate communication, content marketing and media training, together with digital and social media.
Damien is a former business journalist who founded Ryan Communication in response to growing a need among companies for an Asia-focused, strategic communication consultancy. He is actively involved in all aspects of the business, including account management, media training and stakeholder relations.
As a senior journalist in Europe and Asia, Damien interviewed many of the world’s leading CEOs and covered major global business stories for outlets including Bloomberg News. this included WTO, IMF & OPEC meetings. He is originally from Australia and lives in Hong Kong.
Juliana Salleh joined social enterprise, NTUC Foodfare as Head of Marketing & Communications in 2009. Since then, Her love for branding and retail saw her developing and transforming the entire Foodfare’s group marketing, communication, retail design and branding activities of its retail, institutional catering and manufacturing divisions from just 8 to pver 70 retail outlets with many award winning concepts and brand accolades. She also manages the digital and social media assets as part of brand integration and building the communications platform for greater outreach and engagement to customers. “Social in Purpose, Commercial in Approach” is the mantra that serves her well till today as she helps build a consumer brand with a difference. Starting her foundation years in Mattel Southeast Asia in Singapore, Juliana has since amassed over 15 years of marketing and consulting experience and was in various leadership roles spanning lifestyle, health & beauty, and FMCG industries.
Caroline Sapriel is the founder and Managing Partner of CS&A, a specialist risk and crisis and business continuity management consulting firm with offices in Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Belgium, The Netherlands, Singapore, and the United States. With over 25 years’ experience in risk and crisis management, Caroline is recognized as a leader in her profession and acknowledged for her ability to provide customized, results-driven counsel at the highest level. Over the years, Caroline has advised senior corporate executives in high-risk industries internationally. Her multi-disciplinary background and experience has enabled her to provide clients with an in-depth analysis of their crisis management capability as well as help them develop effective risk and crisis response organizations and stakeholder and reputation management strategies. She has been directly involved in helping clients manage crises in the oil and gas, chemical, transport, shipping, aviation, pharmaceutical and consumer product sectors.
Caroline is an accomplished trainer, facilitator and coach in risk, issues and crisis management as well as in communication skills. As such, she has coached many senior executives at leading multinational corporations internationally.
Andrew Seah is Head of Corporate Communications & Environment Affairs for DB Schenker in Asia Pacific, Andrew is responsible for all internal and external communications within the region, spanning 20 countries and 13,000 employees for the Regional Headquarters. Notable experiences and responsibilities include M&A Integration Communications Master-planning, Corporate Marketing Communications for the Olympics Games, as well as spearheading the Crisis Management and Environmental Affairs portfolio (covering the entire suite of Carbon Emissions monitoring, management and sustainability reporting for APAC).
Prior to DB Schenker, as Head of Corporate Communications and a member of the MD’s Office in the YCH Group of companies (which include companies in logistics, properties, Information Technology, Insurance, and others), Andrew developed and managed the entire suite of internal & external strategic communications for the Group. This included all Branding, Marketing Communications, Advertising & Promotions, Public Relations programmes as well as the management and continuous development of strategic communication channels, materials and infrastructure. Serving in the MDO (MD’s Office), he also managed strategic corporate projects, and functioned as strategic counsel in corporate affairs & tactical development of government relations with key statutory boards and public sector agencies, and also includes support in strategic committees and business advisory councils.
Shakilla Shahjihan is the Regional Director for Government Affairs at Abbott Laboratories for the Asia Pacific region, based in Singapore. In this role, she leads external stakeholder engagement to drive key business priorities in the region. Prior to joining Abbott, Shakilla was Monsanto’s Corporate Affairs Lead for Asia Pacific where she led a capable team across the region to gain acceptance for use of technology in Agriculture. Before this, Shakilla was leading Monsanto Thailand’s business as the Country Lead for 2 years, based in Thailand. She joined Monsanto in 2008 as Regional Marketing Manager, based in Singapore.
Shakilla’s experience in the health care industry included her role as Regional Government Affairs Manager for South East Asia in Boston Scientific, Singapore; and positions in sales, marketing and corporate affairs in Merck Sharp & Dohme, Singapore. Shakilla holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the National University of Singapore. Additionally, she completed her APEX (Asia Pacific Executive) MBA at the National University of Singapore in 2011.
Whitney Foard Small has over 25 years of global experience and deep expertise in the Asian markets. A strong brand strategist equally at home in both corporate and marketing communications, she runs campaigns with attention to detail and deep discipline in integration, measurement and execution. Whitney is the Head of Communications for Thai Union Group, based in Bangkok. Earlier in her career, Whitney served as the Asia Pacific head for Walt Disney Theme Parks and Resorts division, where she led marketing, sales and communications for Walt Disney Theme Parks and Resorts, as well as the development of Hong Kong Disneyland. Whitney also lead Communications for Ford Motor Company’s Asia Pacific and Africa business unit, where she helped drive the brand rejuvenation and regional integration. An English and Mandarin speaker, Whitney is now improving her Thai.
Azmar Sukandar is Director of Communications, Asia-Pacific Region for The Nature Conservancy. Based in Hong Kong, Azmar Sukandar oversees TNC’s Asia Pacific regional external and internal communications strategies and activities. Her scope of work includes strategic communications for the region and she works closely with TNC’s regional managing director, senior executives in Asia Pacific as well as global and in-country teams to increase the impact of TNC awareness to target audiences and potential partners, raise the visibility for our Asia Pacific projects and improve the cohesiveness of our messaging across the region.
Prior to joining TNC, Azmar set up the Asia Pacific communications office for the Financial Times and also worked with Time and FORTUNE magazines and Microsoft’s MSN division. She holds a B.A. in International Relations and B.Sc. in Communications from Boston University, and a Master’s degree in media and communications from the London School of Economics. Azmar is a founding board member of the Association of Asia Pacific Communication Directors, a regional peer-to-peer network for senior in-house communications professionals.
Belinda Tan is the Head of Corporate Communications and Responsibility, DHL Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (AP/EEMEA). Based at DHL’s regional headquarters in Singapore, Ms. Tan is responsible for developing and steering the external communications efforts for DHL in Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. In addition to her corporate communications responsibility, she also drives the company’s corporate citizenship initiatives, thereby leading DHL’s corporate social responsibility efforts. Prior to joining DHL, Ms. Tan was with Grayling Public Relations, Singapore, as Director leading local and regional accounts across AP to develop and execute communications and media relations campaigns. In addition to core client servicing work, she played an active role in new business development where the firm grew from six consultants to a thriving 27- person consulting team with multi-million dollar billings. Before Grayling, Ms. Tan joined Hill and Knowlton as a Consultant and played a key role in conceptualizing and executing media relations campaigns for key regional accounts.
Georgette Tan is Group Head, Communications for the Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa region at MasterCard. In this role, she is responsible for external and internal communications and corporate social responsibility throughout this region. Ms. Tan has worked to establish MasterCard as a thought leader by leading the development and promotion of MasterCard’s suite of research properties which serve as a benchmark for a myriad of economic, industry and consumer trends. In 2005, she helped launch an index that specifically measures women’s socio-economic advancement in the region.
Lesley Anne Tan is Director of Communications of Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila, a landmark mixed-use development of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts featuring five key lifestyle components. She joined Shangri-La in July 2006, and has since driven the communications efforts at award-winning luxury properties such as Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, Cebu; Edsa Shangri-La; Makati Shangri-La and Sule Shangri-La, Yangon, which she helped rebrand from a mid-market to luxury hotel, set up its Communications team, and launched the first social media workshop for Myanmar journalists and key opinion leaders. She spearheads development and execution in brand communications, reputation management, media and stakeholder relations, digital marketing and social media; specializing in launching, opening, renovation and rebranding. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Ateneo de Manila University, a post-graduate certificate in International Affairs minor in Asian Studies from New York University, and an online certificate in Management Essentials from Cornell University.
Stephen Thomas is Group Head, Corporate Communications at AIA Group, a position he has held since July 2012. Stephen has responsibility for helping to set AIA Group’s Communications strategy and helps to convey a focused, compelling narrative around AIA’s key reputation drivers, including — performance, strategy, leadership and major growth initiatives. Previously, Stephen was Managing Director and Head of Corporate Affairs for Citigroup in China. Prior to Citigroup, Stephen worked at Burson-Marsteller, in the firm’s Melbourne and Hong Kong offices. Stephen is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Public Relations. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Melbourne, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from Melbourne Business School.
Becky Wang is Sabic’s Director of Government Relationship, North Asia covering Greater China, Japan & Korea. Becky is a veteran in GR sector in China and Asia. She joined SABIC in 2011 and brings over 18 years of experience in positions of growing leadership responsibility includes GR, business development, marketing, Innovation as well as P&L leadership in other MNCs. In SABIC she oversees GR department, proactively defines GR strategies and programs, influence with key advocacies to provide strong supports for the business to successfully execute its growth strategy, builds long-term relationships with key government agencies, industrial/trade associations, SOEs, etc, in China and North Asia. She is Vice Secretary General of CPCIF (China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation), an active member of the Association of International Chemical Manufacturers (AICM), Global Methanol Institute and Global PC/BPA. She holds Civil engineering degree from Tsinghua University and is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt.
Jessica Wang is director of communications with the Rosewod Hotel, Beijing. She is an international, award-winning marketing and PR professional with 13 years’ experience leading corporate marketing and external communications for luxury international hotels. As part of the opening team since 2013 as director of communications, she helped place the hotel on Forbes.com’s “Most Anticipated Hotel in Asia Award” even before it opened. She was previously director of public relations at The Ritz-Carlton Beijing, Financial Street.
In 2008 she was appointed marketing & communications manager opening Hotel G, Beijing – which gained Trip Advisor’s coveted No. 1 status among over one thousand Beijing hotels just six months after opening. While she helmed marketing, Hotel G went on to win six international and domestic awards, including MIPIM Asia Best Design Hotel Award in 2009 and the Conde Nast Traveler Hot List 2009.
From 2010 to 2011 she was director of communications for the opening The Langham Place, Beijing Capital Airport – which also scooped numerous International and domestic awards including SkyTRAX Best Airport Hotel in 2011 and The First Innovation Award by China Tourism Leisure Association in 2010 and 2011.
Joe Welch is 21st Century Fox’s Senior Vice President of Government Relations for the Asia Pacific region. Welch is responsible for supporting the public policy and regulatory advocacy efforts of 21st Century Fox’s business units across the region. Previously, he served as MCI WorldCom’s Asia Director of Government Affairs and earlier was an attorney at the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, D.C. He holds a BA from Amherst College and a JD from Santa Clara University in California.
Julie Garcia Welch serves as Senior Director of Government Affairs, Southeast Asia & Pacific, for Qualcomm Incorporated based in Hong Kong. She is a Vice-Chair of the US-ASEAN Business Council’s ICT Committee and chairs a Task Group of the Spectrum Working Group within the APT Wireless Group. Prior to joining Qualcomm in 2004, she worked at the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in various capacities over a ten year period. In her final role, she served as Director of ITU World Radiocommunication Conferences. She also worked as a consultant based out of Singapore providing government and telecommunications regulatory consultancy
Peter Witton is Director & Co-Founder of Anthem Asia. He has extensive experience in corporate communications, public relations, publishing and journalism, humanitarian and development communications. Before joining Anthem Asia, Mr. Witton led Asia-Pacific communications for Habitat for Humanity International. Previously, he was regional vice president for Ruder Finn Asia and, earlier, owned a communications agency and publishing house in Hong Kong. He holds a master’s degree in mass communications from the University of Leicester and is a graduate of the University of Kent at Canterbury. Mr. Witton chairs the board of Habitat for Humanity China.
Jennifer Wu is a senior consultant with Mars Incorporated and previously led corporate affairs for Wrigley in the Asia Pacific region and the multi-segment corporate affairs for Mars, Incorporated in China. A PR executive with more than two decades of experiences in the corporate communications, public affairs and marketing communications. Ms Wu had a very diverse career. Before Wrigley/Mars, her career ranged from working as a tour guide shortly after graduation in China, then as a translator at the United Nations in New York, and then as a manager in a Chinese government agency in Guangzhou, to being a consultant with investment consulting firms in Hong Kong. She joined Wrigley in 1992 and had worked in Hong Kong, Australia and China in various leadership roles.
Gloria Xu is Government Affairs General Manager, Greater China, at Dow Chemical. Prior to that she was Head of Government and Public Affairs of Standard Chartered China. Prior to joining Standard Chartered in August 2011, Gloria worked for 10 years for DuPont, first as Public Affairs Manager of North China region and then Government Affairs Manager for whole China from 2005 to 2011. She built up the DuPont China government affairs team and led the company’s advocacy initiatives in areas such as market-access, policy development, licensing, standard-setting, IP protection, joint-venture, science and technology exchanges.
Kuek Yu-Chuang is Netflix’s Managing Director for Asia Pacific. Prior to Netflix, Kuek was vice president and managing director for ICANN Asia Pacific. Before joining ICANN, Kuek served as a Senior Director for Yahoo! Inc., where he led the company’s public policy efforts in the Asia Pacific and Latin American regions. Kuek had also held roles as diplomat, trade negotiator and policy-maker for the Singapore government.
A Singapore native, Kuek pursued his undergraduate studies at Peking University. He later obtained post-graduate degrees from Harvard University and INSEAD.
Lionel Zetter is an author on lobbying and public affairs. He is a vice president of PublicAffairsAsia, a director of the Enterprise Forum, and a member of the Executive Board of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. Based in London, he is former president of the CIPR, a former Chairman of the Government Affairs Group, and is currently a consultant and adviser to a wide variety of PA and PR related bodies. He is a graduate of the University of Sussex.