Chan Heng Chee served as Singapore’s ambassador to the United States from July 1996 to July 2012.
Born circa 1942, Chan Heng Chee earned her B.A. and M.A. in Political Science from the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 1964 and 1966, respectively. She earned a second M.A. at Cornell University in 1967, and her Ph.D. in Political Science at NUS in 1974. Her thesis was “The dynamics of one-party dominance: a study of five Singapore constituencies.” As a professor of Political Science at NUS, she published several articles and books, chaired the Department from 1985 to 1987, and became the founder-director of the Institute of Policy Studies in 1988. Chan received Singapore’s National Book Award in 1978 for The Dynamics of One Party Dominance: The PAP at the Grassroots and again in 1986 for A Sensation of Independence: A Political Biography of David Marshall, Singapore’s first Prime Minister.
Chan left academia in 1989 to serve as Singapore’s representative to the United Nations from 1989 to 1991, when she was also accredited as High Commissioner to Canada and Ambassador to Mexico. Between 1991 and 1996, Chan served as Executive Director of the Singapore International Foundation, which is responsible for the Singaporean version of the US Peace Corps, and Director of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.