Who's who: Keynote speaker, other panellists and moderator

The Straits Times Education Forum on the future of work, universities and the economy, presented by the Singapore Management University, examines what this changing world of work will mean for us.

Keynote speaker

Ho Kwon Ping
Executive Chairman, Banyan Tree Holdings
Board of Trustees Chairman, Singapore Management University

Ho Kwon Ping is Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings. He is also Executive Chairman of Thai Wah Public Company, the founding and current Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Singapore Management University and a Governor of London Business School. He is also a Board Director of Diageo, the UK-listed spirits company.

Educated in Tunghai University, Taiwan; Stanford University, California, and the University of Singapore, he worked as a broadcast and financial journalist and was the Economics Editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review in Hong Kong before joining the Thai Wah family business in 1981. Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts was launched in 1994.

In 2015, his book, The Ocean In A Drop: Singapore In The Next Fifty Years, was published as a compilation of public lectures he gave as the Inaugural Fellow of the SR Nathan Lecture Series, named after the sixth President of Singapore.

Other panellists

Arnoud De Meyer
President, Singapore Management University

Professor De Meyer is President of Singapore Management University. Prior to his appointment at SMU in September 2010, he was Director of Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge. He was associated for 23 years with INSEAD where he held various senior Academic/administrative positions, including Founding Dean of INSEAD’s Asia Campus in Singapore.

Professor De Meyer has an MSc in Electrical Engineering, an MSc in Business Administration and a PhD in Management, all from the State University of Ghent in Belgium.

He is an external director of Dassault Systèmes SA (France), as well as a board member of the National Research Foundation, Singapore International Chamber of Commerce and Temasek Management Services.

Nandini Jayaram 
HR Lead, South East Asia  
Google Asia Pacific Pvt. Ltd. 

Nandini Jayaram is the South East Asia (SEA) HR leader for Global Business, managing the HRBP team covering Sales, Marketing and Partnerships for SEA. She is based out of Singapore and has been with Google since Oct 2013.

Prior to this role, Nandini has held multiple roles in People Operations at Google, leading Google People Services (GPS) Operations, and also Google’s Contingent Workforce programme for APAC. She is also an active internal coach.

Nandini comes from a general management background, including business analytics, business intelligence and sales and marketing in companies such as Unilever, Hewlett Packard and Citibank prior to joining Google. She has a degree in Electronics & Communication Engineering and a Masters in Industrial Management.

Sandra Davie
Senior Education Correspondent, The Straits Times

Sandra Davie is the Senior Education Correspondent of The Straits Times. She joined the newspaper after teaching English Literature and General Paper at a junior college for a few years. 

As a reporter, she covered a range of topics from health to religious cults to education. She honed her investigative journalism skills further at The Philadelphia Inquirer on a Knight Ridder fellowship. She became an education correspondent in 1998 and has since written extensively on education issues from pre-school to higher education. She has won several in-house awards, including Feature of the Year and Story of the Year. She has a BA from the National University of Singapore and an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science.


Fiona Chan
Managing Editor, The Straits Times

Fiona Chan is Managing Editor of The Straits Times, responsible for newsroom operations, talent management and business development. Her previous roles at the newspaper included deputy political editor and assistant business editor, where she helped to oversee political and business coverage.

In her decade at The Straits Times, she has also co-authored, as well as contributed to, books about Singapore’s economic policy, future development, national identity and cafe lifestyle. 

A graduate from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University, she was formerly an investment banker at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.