THE 2017 JUDGES
The 2017 Gold Standard Awards are set to be judged by a panel of senior government affairs practitioners, corporate communications professionals, business leaders and governmental figures. The panel is led by Shakilla Shahjihan, Regional Director for Government Affairs Abbott Laboratories Asia Pacific.
Shakilla Shahjihan is the Senior Director for Regional Government Affairs at Abbott Laboratories for the Asia Pacific region, based in Singapore. In this role, she leads a team that partners with Abbott’s business leaders to strategically manage and shape policies across the nutrition, pharmaceuticals, devices and diagnostics businesses. She leads external stakeholder engagement to drive key business priorities.
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; and various positions in sales, marketing and corporate affairs in Merck Sharp & Dohme, Singapore.
Shakilla currently co-chairs the Government Affairs Committee of APACMED (Asia Pacific Medical Technology Association) and is an active member of the Management Committee of APIYCNA (Asia Pacific Infant and Young Children Nutrition Association).
Shakilla holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the National University of Singapore. Additionally, she completed her Executive MBA at the National University of Singapore in 2011.
Shakilla enjoys discovering new places, arts and yoga.
Past Chairman (2016)
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 stakeholder engagement for this world-leading dairy company. Her responsibilities include strategic and operational relations with Chinese central and local governments, regulatory affairs, corporate social responsibilities, and relations with other external stakeholders and/or key opinion leaders. Min has years of experience in building institutional, long-term strategic partnerships with key stakeholders, analysing and influencing policies, managing issues and crises, and developing strong and solid external affairs strategies to support the successful delivery of business growth. Min joined Fonterra in November 2012, and worked with McKinsey & Company prior to that. Min holds 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. Min is married with a daughter and now based in Beijing, China.
Past Chairman (2013-2014):
Elizabeth Hernandez, Executive Director, ShiftRunner
Elizabeth Hernandez is Executive Director at ShiftRunner. Until recently she was 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.
Majdi Al-Ayed ￼is Executive Vice President & UAE Managing Director TRACCS. He is an award winning public relations professional with nearly two decades of experience in the field of communications. He is one of the most prominent Gulf Arab practitioners to have helped build the industry in the region, and continues to contribute to its sustained growth, development and expansion. Majdi began his career in public relations as a trainee at TRACCS. He has since into one of the largest public relations networks in the MENA region His work with TRACCS has garnered several distinctions and numerous highly renowned international awards such as The Stevies, Sabre, PRCA and IPRA’s Golden World Awards. The TRACCS Network currently includes 14 offices across 13 MENA markets.
Peter Allen leads Agoda Outside, the external affairs department of Agoda.com. (Agoda is the Asia-based subsidiary of the Priceline Group, the world’s leader in online travel.) With Agoda Outside, Peter is responsible for engagement with Asian governments, tourism bureaus, universities, and other partners; CSR; and a publications program of newsletters, white papers, business cases, and conferences; he is also an advisor to the WTTC. Previously, Peter led Agoda’s People and Organization Development department. He has worked at Standard Chartered Bank, Google Inc., and McKinsey & Company, and has been a faculty member at Princeton University, Pomona College, and the University of Southern California. He holds an M.B.A. in strategic management and health care management from the Wharton School, an A.M. and Ph.D. in the humanities from the University of Chicago, a D.E.A. from the Université de Poitiers, and a B.A. from Haverford College. Peter has published widely, and has received numerous fellowships and awards, as well as serving as advisor and board member to a variety of academic and non-profit organizations. A native New Yorker, Peter has lived in Southeast Asia since 2010.
Richard Andrew is Managing Director of Landmark Asia. Richard advises clients on establishing and building Public Affairs and Government Relations capabilities, managing specific issues/sectors and is building a niche at the intersection of Public Policy and Sustainability. Richard has worked extensively in senior regional roles across a variety of industries during his 20 years working in Asia. Before joining Landmark Asia, Richard built and led MasterCard Worldwide’s Asia Pacific Public Policy Team. Prior to this, he led Deutsche Post DHL’s policy advocacy agenda in parts of Asia. Richard has also held various advisory and commercial roles including at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) based in Australia, Japan and Singapore. Richard holds a Masters in Climate Change from the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University, where he attained his Bachelors with Honours in Politics and Asian Studies.
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.
Aleksandra Barnes is an Associate Director at salt Singapore, a strategic communications agency with a strong focus on social purpose and sustainability. She is a seasoned corporate affairs professional with 16 years of consulting experience, 8 of which have been spent in Jakarta and Singapore servicing Asia Pacific clients. Prior to joining salt, she worked 5 years as communications and change management consultant for Accenture in European markets and headed Tesco’s Group Corporate responsibility team. She has led numerous projects with Fortune 100 companies in FMCG, oil and gas, agribusiness, healthcare, property, tourism, non-profit and technology. Aleksandra graduated in International Relations from Sciences Po Paris and has a Masters degree from the London School of Economics.
Richard Barton is Managing Partner of Newgate Greater China. Richard has been based in Asia since 2000, advising a broad range of domestic and international organisations from across the industrial spectrum on their communications needs, ranging from market entry and reputation management, to public affairs, crises, litigation support and financial transactions. He has advised on numerous complex financial situations across the region including IPOs, M&A transactions, proxy battles and debt restructurings totalling over US$300 billion. Richard moved to Asia from London having previously spent ten years working in investment banking and corporate and financial communications.
Archie Berens is the Managing Director Bell Pottinger Middle East. Archie has more than 30 years’ experience of working in finance and corporate affairs. He had jobs in stockbroking firms in London, Hong Kong and Melbourne whilst obtaining a degree in Classics at Keble College, Oxford. He then qualified as a solicitor with London law firm Norton Rose in 1993 (including 6 months in the firm’s Hong Kong office) before being seconded to Charterhouse Bank, where he worked for two years.
He has since spent over 20 years in financial and corporate communications, including 12 years with Bell Pottinger.
He moved to Bell Pottinger’s Middle East business at the start of 2013 to head up the Abu Dhabi office and became MD of Bell Pottinger Middle East in April 2014.
Archie has advised corporations and individuals on their corporate communications and reputations, including media training, narrative development and set piece events. Clients have included such companies as Xstrata, Huawei, TalkTalk and Thames Water.
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.
Dan Brindle currently serves as GlaxoSmithKline’s Vice President, Government Affairs Emerging Markets, Asia-Pacific & Japan and is a Member of GlaxoSmithKline’s Global Pharmaceutical Operations Committee.
Since 1999, he has held number of senior leadership roles with Eli Lilly and Company, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline, including General Manager of Hong Kong / Macau and Vice President of Business Development (Asia) for Eli Lilly and Company. The majority of his career has been based in Asia, including assignments in Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore, and he has worked closely with governments across Asia and many parts of the world.
He was involved in the creation of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Life Sciences Initiative, and has continued to stay involved with the APEC process as an industry adviser and participant throughout his career in the pharmaceutical industry. An American attorney licensed before the State Bar of California, Dan previously served as Legislative Counsel and close personal advisor to former United States Senator Frank H. Murkowski (Alaska) from 1996 – 1999, and was involved in a wide range of international foreign policy and energy issues, as well as domestic policies impacting healthcare, finance and Native American issues.
Claudia Chan is the Country Lead for Public Policy and Government Affairs (ASEAN & Vietnam) at Google. Working closely with Google’s Asia Pacific public policy team, she drives advocacy efforts related to ASEAN and Vietnam to shape the future of the Internet and mobile policy in Southeast Asia so that digital economies in the region can thrive.
Before joining Google, Claudia was the Regional Director of Government Affairs for Seagate Technology in Asia Pacific. She led Seagate’s public policy and government affairs programs, and she was also Vice Chair of the ICT Committee in the US-ASEAN Business Council.
Prior to Seagate, Claudia spent a large part of her career at the trade and investment promotion agencies of Singapore, Japan and New Zealand. In between her government roles, Claudia had a business development stint on e-payments in the private sector that developed her interest in fintech.
Claudia serves as a judge for Asia Pacific’s leading awards for communications and public affairs, such as the Gold Standard Awards by Public Affairs Asia and the Asia Pacific Communications Award by Asia Pacific Association of Communication Directors (APACD).
She graduated from the National University of Singapore with a B.A. Honors degree (Upper Second Class) in Japanese Studies, and a B.A. (Merit) in Sociology and Japanese Studies. She speaks English, Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese) and Japanese.
Mei-Ing Cheok is Partnership Development Manager at Save The Children’s Corporate Engagement Centre. She is a sustainability professional with robust experience in corporate social responsibility, sustainability consulting, marketing communications, and business development. She has worked mainly in financial services as well as other sectors, including real estate and publishing. Throughout her career, she has focused on helping companies grow, while making a positive impact on society and the environment. This has been achieved through collaboration and engagement with external and internal stakeholders, utilising multiple communications platforms and developing key partnership networks. Mei-Ing has rich experience in organisational gender balance and diversity, stakeholder engagement as well as research. She co-founded Women Mean Business (WMB), a networking group and resource centre to further women’s personal and career development. Through WMB, she engaged with senior corporate executives, through roundtables and panel discussions, to share best practices in promoting gender balance in organisations.
She has an MSc in Corporate Social Responsibility, University of Nottingham (U.K.) and a BA in Economics and Political Science, National University of Singapore.
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.
Sean Davidson is Head of Marketing and Communications at Tata Consultancy Services Asia Pacific based in Singapore, where he oversees brand, demand, awareness and enablement programs across the region. Sean has over 20 years of corporate, agency and consulting experience with technology leaders in Asia and Silicon Valley, and also volunteers as VP of Marketing & Communications for the Singapore Ice Hockey Association.
Roger Darashah is an international senior communications professional with stints in Europe, India and Brazil. He is currently the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Adfactors PR. Mr Darashah brings over 24 years of international communications experience to Adfactors PR. Prior to joining Adfactors PR, Mr Darashah worked with Edelman as Executive Vice-President – Technology & Global Business Director in Brazil. As COO, Mr Darashah ensures consistent and industry-leading levels of service across all client relationships. He is also responsible for delivery of insight-based campaigns that drive results and support clients’ business objectives. In addition, he also supports Adfactors PR’s globalisation initiatives – scale operations internationally as well as bring an international, best-practice approach to all aspects of client service in India.
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.
Charles Donohoe currently serves as Senior Vice President for Teneo’s Asia practice. Responsibilities include designing and delivering public affairs and government affairs programs for key global clients seeking more effective, satisfying engagement in Asia, most often in Greater China. In addition, he supervises policy monitoring and analysis as required by client priorities in the region, including commerce, trade, economic reform, security and political developments. Prior to joining Teneo, Mr. Donohoe spent five years as Director of Business and Government Relations with AEA Investors, a global middle market private equity firm. Based in Hong Kong, Mr. Donohoe focused on building long-term, strategic partnerships with key stakeholders in the public and private sectors throughout Greater China, Southeast Asia, India, and the United States. In addition to overseeing the firm’s portfolio of strategic relationships, Mr. Donohoe managed investor relations for individual and institutional investors throughout Asia. Previously, Mr. Donohoe was a political risk analyst in the emerging markets group of a business intelligence firm in New York. He also worked at the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. Mr. Donohoe holds a B.A. with honors in East Asian Languages and Cultures from Columbia College in the City of New York. He is a member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and was a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations (2011-2016).
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.
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.
Ryan Gawn is a Co-Founder of Stratagem International, a strategic communications consultancy which works exclusively in emerging and frontier markets. He is also Head of International Communications for ActionAid International, where he provides senior leadership to, and management of, a global team of marketing & communications professionals across 46 markets. Whilst previously based in Pakistan, he ran a multi-channel award-winning £20m campaign for UK’s Department for International Development and also supported the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in political campaigning. He has advised a variety of corporate clients as Director of Penn Schoen Berland, a research based corporate communications agency, and was a finalist for the 2010 Gold Standard in Political Communication for his government relations work with Save the Children. With a background in public affairs consultancy, he also has extensive political experience. In 2005 he advised the United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, and in 2016, he authored a report on digital diplomacy and social media for Secretary-General, António Guterres. He is an Advisory Board Member to Wilton Park, the British Council, and former Council member of Chatham House. He has won numerous awards for international communications work, and has also acted as a judge for various industry awards – most recently, for the Public Affairs Awards and PR Week Awards.
Sukanti Ghosh is Managing Director of APCO Worldwide’s India operations, and is a member of the firm’s global health care leadership team. He is also the Asia lead for the firm’s Responsible Business Committee. Mr. Ghosh brings to APCO more than 23 years of experience in leading multi-cultural and multi- disciplinary corporate affairs teams in India and around the world. He has considerable experience in advising companies during periods of significant organizational change – market entry, mergers and acquisitions, market access, and focused organic growth. His areas of specialization include policy, litigation and crisis communication, government affairs, public advocacy, executive positioning, internal communications and corporate responsibility.
Previously, Mr. Ghosh served as Head of Corporate Affairs at Barclay’s Bank. He has also led the corporate and product communications functions at Bank Muscat SAOG. Till recently, Mr Ghosh sat on the National Executive Board of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in India and was its Western Region Chair for India. He was also a member of CII’s nodal committee for MNCs in India.
Dean Gould is Director Corporate Affairs and Strategy at Gold Coast Tourism Corporation, Australia, where he oversees the corporate positioning of the organisation. He is a marketing and media professional with more than two decades experience across multiple industries including journalism, digital, higher education and tourism. He was previously Director of Marketing and Communications for Griffith University, Australia, where he led a team that delivered a new brand position, record market share growth and a doubling of its media and social media footprint. His days as a journalist had him covering everything from sport at Wembley to the peace process in Ireland to Budgets in Canberra. He joined Griffith in 2011 and by 2014 was overseeing the university’s national advertising, marketing, student recruitment and communications strategies. 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.
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.
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.
Sunil John is the Founder & CEO of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, the region’s leading PR agency – a part of the WPP Group. He also leads Proof ME, a specialist branding and digital marketing firm, and PSB Research ME that offers polling and research-based consultancy for corporate and marketing campaigns in the region. The three entities – ASDA’A BM, Proof and PSB Research – together provide integrated marketing communication services for over 100 retained clients in the Government and private sectors in the Middle East and North Africa region.
At the heart of the public relations business in the Middle East for more than two decades, Sunil has shaped ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller (www.asdaabm.com) to be the benchmark public relations consultancy in the Arab world, advising governments, multinationals and global & local companies. Sunil is the first PR professional in the Middle East to receive the Outstanding Individual Achievement SABRE Award (EMEA) from The Holmes Report, in May 2014. He was also recently honoured with the Chairman’s Award 2016 at the Middle East PR Awards (MEPRA) in November 2016.
Today, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller has more than 160 professionals in 11 wholly-owned offices across the Middle East and North Africa markets. The success of the company has been widely acknowledged; ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller was named ‘Media & Marketing Company of the Year 2016’ at the Arabian Business Achievement Awards; the Middle East Consultancy of the Year 2015 by the SABRE Awards and “PR Agency of the Year in the Middle East and Africa 2016” by the International Business Awards (the ‘Stevie Awards’).
Abhinav Kanchan is Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications & National Marketing at SOBHA Ltd. which is India’s most admired and trusted realty brand for the past several years. He is responsible for corporate communications, brand building, reputation management, important engagement with customers, managing crisis, making key strategies for marketing and sales, future planning and managing company partnerships. He has more than two decades of rich experience working with one of the apex chambers of commerce & industry and in diverse business sectors such as textiles; steel; mining; power; technology; engineering and construction. Besides SOBHA, Abhinav has worked in leadership roles at Moser Baer; ArcelorMittal; Aditya Birla Group and FICCI in India. He has established strong, transparent and credible communications framework and has brought immense value loads to these respective companies. He is formally trained in media and communications (MSc in Media Management, University of Stirling, UK) – journalism, mass communication, content creation, integrated marketing communications, brand building, TQM and film making from prestigious institutions. He is currently doing PhD in Business Administration.
Damian Kelly is the Senior Manager of Public Affairs for the NSW Business Chamber, the largest member based business organisation in Australia. Damian leads the function responsible for Government Relations, Stakeholder Management and Media Engagement. He has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Western Sydney, a Bachelor Degree in Social Sciences from the University of Technology, and is Member and Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. During his career, Damian has also run Government Affairs for major State Owned Corporation, been the Senior Media Adviser for a State Government Minister and been a journalist in Sydney. Damian has worked as part of the Australian Team at the past five Olympic Games, guiding athletes on media management and working with international news agencies.
Karen Khaw has led 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 the President and CEO of Asia Pacific Ogilvy Public Relations. He 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 is Vice President of the communications division of McDonald’s (Japan). Prior to this he was Kreab’s Managing Partner Asia following three years heading Kreab’s Tokyo office. He focused 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.
Maggie Li is a Communications veteran and she has 15+ years experience in the communications industry, including nearly 6 years in the communications agency, Ogilvy Public Relations, as well as experiences in the government, media and in-house role. Maggie Li provided communications consulting to companies like Intel, Microsoft, HP, DuPont and Chile Wine etc… It covered corporate, product, vertical industry and consumer marketing communications. Maggie Li now works in Nike China and is mainly responsible for corporate communications. Before she joined in Nike, she was the PR Director of Corporate Affairs of Nestle China.
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.
Liu Xiaowei is Regional Vice President, Asia Pacific External Relations at Shell. Xiaowei was appointed as Regional Vice President of External Relations (ER) for Shell in Asia with effect of 1 October 2016. Xiaowei is accountable for leading the ER function in 15 countries (circa 100 people) across Asia in support of the license to operate and to grow the Shell business in the region, and build and leverage Shell’s leadership in energy industry to enhance the overall brand and reputation of Shell. Since joining Shell in China in 1995, Xiaowei has led ER functions of various sizes at country, regional and global business level and worked in Shell’s downstream, upstream and corporate functions in China, UK, Netherlands and Singapore. In her 20 plus years in Shell, Xiaowei has been Public Affairs and Brand Manager for Shell China, Group External Relations and Policy Development Advisor, Regional Advisor for Asia Pacific, Governance and Stakeholder Manager for Gas & Power China, and Communications Director for Shell Greater China. Most recently, Xiaowei was Global ER Lead for Integrated Gas & Communications General Manager for Asia Pacific. Prior to joining Shell, Xiaowei worked for the Ministry of Chemical Industry in China as a project co-ordinator for major petrochemical projects in China involving international licensors and engineering companies, including Shell, Dupont, Foster Wheeler, ABB Lumus, etc. Xiaowei is Chinese, obtained her bachelor degree in art and social science from Beijing Foreign Studies University in China and her Master Degree in Political Economy from the London School of Economics and Political Science in UK. Xiaowei is married with a son, she enjoys reading, music, arts, jogging, Yoga, travelling and times with family and friends.
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 is the CEO of Leadership Western Australia, 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 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. She is a non-executive director of the Indonesian firm Star Energy Oil and Gas and a Trustee of the Perth Diocesan Trust. A Kansas native, Mrs. McClellan has graduate degrees from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom and the Duke University Fuqua School of Business.
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 Text100’s Regional Director in APAC, and leads more than 300 consultants across ten wholly-owned offices in the region. 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 APAC. Prior to joining Text100 in 2016, Lee was CEO of integrated comms and PR firm, Nelson Bostock Group in London. In a career spanning more than twenty years, he 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. Lee graduated with a BSc. in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Bath, where he was student President and is married with two year old twin girls. He is a member of the UK’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA).
Mike Orgill is Director of Public Policy APAC at Airbnb where he leads its government and public affairs activities across the Asia Pacific region. In this role Mike partners with governments and and policy makers to develop new policy and regulatory frameworks for home sharing and the sharing economy. Prior to joining Airbnb Mike led Google’s public policy efforts in Asia’s emerging markets on a range of Internet policy issues, including data protection, security, content regulation, freedom of expression and cross-border data flows. Mike began his career in Washington D.C., at the US-ASEAN Business Council where he represented major US investors in Southeast Asia on complex trade and investment issues across a variety of industries. Mike is a graduate of Stanford University.
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.
Joanne Painter is Managing Director of icon.pr. She has more than 20 years’ experience in journalism, PR and digital engagement. Prior to founding icon.pr, Joanne was an award-winning print journalist and media commentator for News Limited and Fairfax. As a pioneer of digital PR in Australia Joanne leads a team of digital and social media experts skilled in designing and executing integrated PR and communication campaigns. Joanne consults on digital communications strategy, social media issues management, brand strategy, and corporate communications. Her clients have included ME Bank, ANZ, Schweppes, NSW Farmers, Advantedge/NAB Group, REIV, FKP/Aveo, Australand, Sustainability Victoria, EPA Victoria and VicRoads. Joanne has a BA (Hons) Degree and a Master of Arts Degree from the University of Melbourne. She sits on the Victorian Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) committee, is chairperson of the PRIA Victoria Registered Consultancies Group, and a member of the Australian Marketing Institute
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.
Andrew Pickup is responsible for managing the image and reputation of Microsoft in Asia, including Japan, India, Greater China and Asia-Pacific, building new communications capabilities and leading a highly-committed team of communications professionals across the region. Prior to his current role, Pickup was Chief Marketing Officer for Microsoft in Asia Pacific, responsible for the revenue, market share and overall performance of all Microsoft products in the region, in addition to business planning, customer satisfaction, marketing communications, PR and analyst relations. Pickup joined Microsoft in 1992 and spent over a decade with Microsoft UK, where he held a number of senior management business and marketing roles. He moved to Asia in February 2003 and was appointed Chief Marketing Officer for the Asia Pacific region in 2007. Before joining Microsoft, Pickup was an account director with advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi in London. Pickup holds a Bachelor of Science (Honors) degree in marketing from Lancaster University in the UK and received post-graduate education from Harvard Business School and Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. Under his leadership, the Microsoft Asia Communications team has been recognized as Best In-House team by PublicAffairsAsia and PR Week Asia. In 2017, Pickup was individually recognized as PR Professional Of The Year, by PR Week Asia.
Jayaram Ramanathan is the Vice President Corporate Communications for Aviva Life Insurance in India. In this role he not only manages the external communications for the company but also heads the employee and stake holder communications. & CSR for the company A consummate communications, professional Jayaram brings to the table his experience of over 18 years gained across multiple verticals both on the client and agency side. Prior to joining Aviva, Jayaram has worked with Fortune 100 companies and transnational conglomerates like Avon Beauty Products & Hinduja Group, where he was responsible for not only maintaining a positive reputation of the company with stakeholders, but also act as spokesperson in times of crisis and mitigating negative news coverage. He has been the company representative for dealings with govt officials, industry bodies and international dignitaries. His experience spans geographies that include India & South Asia, Middle East and parts of Europe. He is a Post graduate in Management from XLRI, Jamshedpur and has advance certifications from Harvard Business School & Columbia Business School in CSR management & Digital marketing. He is widely travelled and follows basketball & table tennis passionately
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.
Andy Roby is a UK government official with the Department of International Trade (DIT) and Department for International Development (DFDI). He was CSR Manager to the UK Timber Trade Federation in London. He has an extensive experience in international development especially forest and timber trade issues. He worked for DFID as the point person of FLEGT-VPA in Indonesia for 9 years culminating in the recent launch of the national timber legality FLEGT licensing scheme with the European Union; the first and biggest in the world. He managed the DFID-funded MFP2 and MFP3 programs in Indonesia which assisted the Indonesian government to set up and implement the SVLK timber licensing system. In 2016 in returned to Whitehall to provide high level advice in the Economics Horizon Unit of the Department for International Trade, working closely with DFID and the FCO. He is a graduate of the Universities of Bangor and Oxford, and has an MBA from Henley Management College/Brunel 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 ” –the success and leadership summit for women (R)” which is now being leveraged by over 170 global organizations.
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, and prior to that served in leadership roles at P&G and GSK across Asia and North America. Anthony is also the best selling author of Daddy’s Logic: live a life of no limits, no excuses, no regrets (2012); Break the ceiling touch the sky: success secrets of the worlds most inspirational women (2014); and How to get, grow and succeed in your DREAM JOB (2017).
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 heads a key role in the Transformation & Development Group, as Strategy & Corporate Development Director, at Singapore’s social enterprise, NTUC Foodfare transforming business models, capturing new businesses, leading innovations, and disruptions to future proof the company. Part of the larger NTUC group of businesses, she served as Director of Marketing & Communications heading the entire Foodfare’s group marketing, communications, retail design experience and branding activities of its retail, institutional catering and manufacturing divisions since 2009. Bringing to market award winning concepts and garnering accolades such as Influential Top Brand Awards & the President’s Challenge Award for the various brands, she also managed 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. She now looks to lending her expertise on leveraging new technology and bringing digital consumer experience and engagement to the forefront of the business to compete effectively and stay relevant in the market today.
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.
Adam Schwarz is Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer at Asia Group Advisors, a strategy and investment advisory firm. With offices in Singapore, Jakarta, Bangkok, Hanoi and presence in Kuala Lumpur and Washington DC, AGA serves global, regional, and national clients on issues related to regulatory and policy affairs, strategic communications, and risk assessments. Prior to AGA, Mr. Schwarz was with McKinsey & Company in Southeast Asia. He advised clients on issues ranging from strategy, corporate transformation, leadership development, board governance, strategic communications, and regional economic integration. He was one of the global leaders of McKinsey’s Sustainability and Resource Productivity practice. Mr. Schwarz was previously a correspondent and bureau chief for the Far Eastern Economic Review in Indonesia, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Vietnam. He writes regularly on Southeast Asian political and economic topics, and authored the highy regarded book ‘A Nation in Waiting’, on Indonesian contemporary history.
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.
Alexander Seccombe is Associate Director, Economics and Regulation at KPMG Services Pte Ltd in Singapore. He supports public and private clients on a range of policy and economic issues to support advocacy to governments, such as trade, taxation, cost-benefit analysis and impact analyses, as well as policy development and government relations. Alexander has worked with clients throughout Southeast Asia, South America and the Middle East.
Prior to joining KPMG, Alexander was an Adviser to two Ministers in the Victorian Government in Australia. He led policy development, stakeholder relations and political strategy across a range of portfolio areas, covering business licensing, consumer protection, alcohol-related harm and product safety. He has also lived and worked in Vietnam, and volunteers with the Consumers Association of Singapore.
Shweta Shukla is Director Sustainable Business, Communications & External Affairs – Unilever SEAA (South East Asia Australasia). Shweta has 17 years of experience in Brand & Corporate Communications, Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability, Government Affairs, Employee Communications, Issues & Crises Management across leading FMCG Companies.
After completing her MBA in Advertising & Communications from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (Mumbai University) in 2000, Shweta began her career in Communications & External Affairs with Procter & Gamble India & Asia, across its portfolio of Health Care; Detergents & Home Care; Beauty & Grooming; Baby & Feminine Care. She joined Kimberly-Clark in 2015 as Director Communications & Government Affairs Asia-Pacific before joining Unilever in 2017.
Shweta is named among PR Week’s global list of Top 500 Communications Heads (2015 and 2016). Shweta is on the Board of the World Toilet Organization, volunteers as a consultant for several not-for- profit organizations and is a guest lecturer at leading universities. Shweta’s interests include art and travel. She is based in Singapore with her husband and two sons.
Kiri Sinclair founded Sinclair Communications in 2009. With offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai, the fully integrated agency is known for driving powerful communications strategy for corporate, consumer and lifestyle brands in the region. Most recently, Sinclair Communications received the 2016 Gold Standard Award for Consultancy of the Year (in country) from PublicAffairs Asia. A Hong Konger by birth, Kiri is dedicated to the advancement of PR in Asia. Her 15-year public relations career has seen her lead region-wide PR strategy for leading consumer and corporate brands, from retail, travel and art to tech and professional services. Her strong sense of community sees her actively advocating for a great number of local charities and NGOs. A champion of the PR profession in Hong Kong, she is Chairperson of the Council of Public Relations Firms of Hong Kong and on the Steering Committee of the Marketing Society Asia.
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, where she led marketing, sales and communications, as well as worked on the development of Hong Kong Disneyland. Whitney also led 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.
Emma Smith is Chief Executive, Asia Pacific at MHP Communications. Emma has spent over 20 years helping organisations build respected brands across Asia Pacific. Emma led Weber Shandwick Worldwide in Asia before founding PR firm The Consultancy in 2003, which was acquired by MHP Communications in 2013. Emma specialises in positioning and counselling financial and professional services firms, having worked with companies such as Prudential, Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs, MasterCard, British Telecom, Fidelity and Mercer, to name just a few. She is a former board member of the HK Council of PR Firms and of the International Association of Business Communicators HK and has sat on IABC’s International Advisory Committee.
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 its Asia Pacific projects and improve the cohesiveness of its 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.
Iain Twine is Vice Chairman, Reputation, Edelman Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa at Edelman. Iain leads Edelman’s Reputation business across Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, overseeing 700 professionals across the area of reputation, public affairs and issues management. Iain previously oversaw the six Edelman offices and over 400 staff in Southeast Asia and Australasia. Before relocating to his current base of Singapore, Iain was the general manager of Edelman’s operations across the Middle East and Africa until June 2013. He was the first employee of Edelman’s Middle East operations, and grew the business into what the Middle East PR Association and The Holmes Report named Middle East Agency of the Year.
Iain has extensive experience in the field of government relations, reputation management, market entry, media relations, training and policy development. His client work covers sovereign wealth funds, government strategy, MNCs, sport, technology, property and financial services. An Australian raised in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and having lived in 10 countries, Iain brings an international outlook to his work. He joined Edelman in 2006 in our UK operations, his early career was as a taxation and economic development policy specialist, and he was also the Deputy CEO of Tambo Shire Council in Australia.
Iain holds two degrees from the University of Queensland in economics and government. He sits on the Kaplan School of Management Communications Advisory Panel, and The Institute of Advertising Singapore Board.
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.
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 co-founder of Anthem Asia, an independent investment firm focused on Myanmar. Its portfolio includes investments in creative digital agency Revotech; PR firm Zagar Communications; social influencer agency Blink/Piyasawa; and mobile data research firm Xavey. Mr. Witton has extensive experience in corporate communications, public relations, publishing and journalism, humanitarian and development communications. Previously, he led Asia-Pacific communications for Habitat for Humanity International and ran investor relations for an Australian listed telco. Earlier, Mr. Witton was regional vice president for Ruder Finn Asia. He had a15-year career as a journalist in the UK, the Middle East and Asia, and owned a communications agency and publishing house in Hong Kong. Mr. Witton holds a master’s degree in mass communications from the University of Leicester and is a graduate of the University of Kent at Canterbury.
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.
Poh Leng Yu has more than 25 years of public relations experience, of which the last 15 years were spent in three global PR consultancies. Since taking over the helm and positioning the Ruder Finn Singapore office as a Southeast Asia hub in 2011, the agency has achieved unprecedented growth. Under her leadership, the client pool has also grown significantly and the agency has clinched more than 20 prestigious PR Awards in the last three years. Most recently, it has successfully moved from a traditional to an integrated communications consultancy. Poh Leng enjoys client servicing and has a proven track record of working with clients on a regional basis. Key areas of work included strategic PR counsel, crisis communication, media relations, as well as corporate positioning. She has a depth of experience in working with local and global clients to develop and implement successful integrated campaigns.She is the co-founder of Singapore PR Network, which has more than 200 members. Poh Leng holds a bachelor of arts degree in geography and history from the National University of Singapore.
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.
Jane Zhang is the Founder and President of DaoHe Consulting, a leading public affairs, corporate reputation, and issue and crisis management advisory firm based in Beijing. Drawing on her extensive experience in international and public affairs, Jane provides strategic insight and counsel to world-leading multinational corporations on understanding and navigating China’s political system and enhancing and protecting companies’ reputation.
Prior to founding DaoHe Consulting, Jane was Managing Director at APCO Worldwide, heading up the firm’s Beijing operation and providing counsel to major multinational companies in the area of policy and strategic communications. Jane was the leader of Government Affairs and Communications practice at Burson-Marsteller, helping the firm’s global and Chinese clients build government relations and manage issues and crises in China. Earlier in her career, Jane held a leading position at Pfizer China in public affairs and policy, and served with Johnson & Johnson’s government affairs and policy division in the United States.
Before joining the private sector, Jane served as a diplomat in China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, providing international affairs expertise to top Chinese leaders and central government agencies. She held positions at the Foreign Ministry Spokesman’s Office and served as press official in Foreign Ministry Commissioner’s Office in Hong Kong. Jane is a frequent speaker on China’s policy and how multinational companies should align their strategy with the evolving environment and achieve sustainable success in China.
Lionel Zetter is an authority 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.