Dr Balakrishnan is Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation initiative.
A Member of Parliament since 2001, he has held appointments as Minister for the Environment and Water Resources; Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports; Second Minister for Trade and Industry; Minister responsible for Entrepreneurship; Second Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts; and Minister of State for National Development.
Dr Balakrishnan studied medicine at the National University of Singapore (NUS) after being awarded the President's Scholarship in 1980. Upon graduation, he specialised in Ophthalmology and was appointed Associate Professor of NUS and Deputy Director of Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) in 1997.
In 1999, he became Medical Director of SNEC. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Singapore General Hospital in 2000.