The American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (AmCham) has its first chief executive, Dr Lei Hsien-Hsien, who took on her new role on Jan 2.
Dr Lei, who was AmCham's interim executive director, was appointed after an extensive international search, AmCham noted.
She most recently served as vice-president for medical and scientific affairs at Medtronic Asia Pacific.
She also has extensive experience in corporate communications, advertising and promotion, and government affairs, said AmCham yesterday.
AmCham had previously been led by an executive director. It was established in 1973 and has over 5,200 members representing more than 600 companies.
Dr Lei told ST that the Chamber's operations, headcount and revenue have grown in the last few years and the board felt it was time to appoint a CEO to continue to expand the Chamber.
"This is in line with non-profit best practices, which recommend that once an organisation reaches a certain scale in terms of number of employees and budget, they should upgrade the executive director position to a CEO who has higher-level responsibilities to the board," she said.
Dr Lei, who has been an AmCham member for more than a decade, served as co-chair of the chamber's healthcare committee and was elected to the board of governors in 2017.
"With her strategic and commercial capabilities, she will ensure that AmCham maintains its instrumental role in representing US business and promoting our members' continued commitment to Singapore and the region," said AmCham chairman Dwight Hutchins.
"The new year will be no less exciting than previous years, especially as we look forward to hosting the AmChams of Asia-Pacific Business Summit in March."
Dr Lei added: "It is an honour to lead AmCham as its first CEO. Our members are looking to AmCham to provide value in the areas of advocacy, insights and connections particularly as we enter into the third decade of the 21st century. It is imperative that we strengthen the AmCham community so that we not only support one another's business success, but also make a greater positive impact in Singapore."
AmCham will continue organising events along themes such as advocacy and helping member firms understand regional developments and facilitating connections for businesses, she added.
Dr Lei, a United States citizen and Singapore permanent resident, has also lived and worked in the US, Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam and Britain. She holds a PhD in epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.