Chia Mia Chiang to step down as Nafa president; ex-St Nicholas Girls' principal to take over

Mr Chia Mia Chiang (left) is stepping down and Mrs Tan-Soh Wai Lan is taking over as president-designate.
Mr Chia Mia Chiang (left) is stepping down and Mrs Tan-Soh Wai Lan is taking over as president-designate.PHOTOS: NANYANG ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS

SINGAPORE - Mr Chia Mia Chiang is stepping down as president of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Nafa) on Dec 31.

Taking over as president-designate on Dec 21 is Mrs Tan-Soh Wai Lan, 53, who is moving from her appointment as coordinating divisional director in the Communications and Engagement Group at Ministry of Education.

She was principal of CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School from 2012 to 2016, where she coordinated and implemented its joint integrated programme with Catholic High School and Singapore Chinese Girls' School.

Mr Chia, 68, is credited with leading Nafa's strategic review when he came on board in 2014 after more than a decade as the principal of Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

As a result, the 82-year-old academy strengthened its programme with an industry-based learning curriculum with a mandatory semester-long internship, introduced an Overseas Immersion Programme and encouraged interdisciplinary projects across the academy.

He said in a statement on Friday (Oct 16): "It has been an immense privilege to be involved in Nafa's growth and transformation. I am appreciative of the support which the academy has given me, and I am proud of the results that we have achieved in unity.

"I am glad to be passing the baton to Wai Lan, whose dynamism will serve Nafa well in its next phase of growth."

Among Mr Chia's achievements is securing $10 million from the Ngee Ann Kongsi in 2015 for Nafa's new campus building, the largest donation since Nafa's founding. The Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple also donated $5 million to the building in 2016.

Nafa board chairman Low Sin Leng said: "The academy is deeply grateful to Mia Chiang for his vision and wisdom. Notably, he has been a pillar of strength as he steered the academy smoothly in this challenging year."