Mindef deputy secretary Keith Tan Kean Loong to helm Singapore Tourism Board from Oct 29

Mr Keith Tan, 44, will take on the role of chief executive at the Singapore Tourism Board from Oct 29. He is currently deputy secretary of policy at the Ministry of Defence.
Mr Keith Tan, 44, will take on the role of chief executive at the Singapore Tourism Board from Oct 29. He is currently deputy secretary of policy at the Ministry of Defence. PHOTO: SINGAPORE TOURISM BOARD
Mr Lionel Yeo, 45, stepped down as chief executive of the Singapore Tourism Board in May, after a six-year tenure. He had told The Straits Times then that he will join the private sector.
Mr Lionel Yeo, 45, stepped down as chief executive of the Singapore Tourism Board in May, after a six-year tenure. He had told The Straits Times then that he will join the private sector.PHOTO: SINGAPORE TOURISM BOARD

SINGAPORE - A new chief executive will take the reins at the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) from Oct 29.

Mr Keith Tan Kean Loong, 44, deputy secretary of policy at the Ministry of Defence (Mindef), will step into the role, said the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) in a statement on Wednesday (Sept 5).

The role has been vacant since the previous chief executive Lionel Yeo, 45, stepped down in May.

Mr Loh Khum Yean, Permanent Secretary for Trade and Industry, said: "I am confident that Keith's experience in various leadership roles over the course of his career will equip him well to lead STB to achieve its next lap by pursuing quality tourism and driving tourism development."

Mr Tan told The Straits Times that he hopes “to build on STB’s good work over the years, to continue developing Singapore as a vibrant and exciting country that Singaporeans are proud of, and that attracts people from around the world”.

In his current role at Mindef, Mr Tan is responsible for defence policy, strategic communications, national education and Total Defence.

He is credited with playing a key role in strengthening Singapore's defence relations with key international partners and enhancing Mindef's strategic communication capabilities, among other achievements.

Key projects he oversaw included the signing of the Singapore-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, the setting up of So Drama! Entertainment and extending the reach of Total Defence and National Education through innovative means such as using game-playing elements to educate students.

Mr Tan had also previously held senior leadership positions in offices within the Public Service Division, Civil Service College and MTI.

He will be replaced by Mr Teo Eng Dih, special assistant to deputy prime minister Teo Chee Hean and concurrent senior director of climate change at the Prime Minister’s Office.

STB's previous chief executive, Mr Yeo, stepped down on May 31. He had told The Straits Times in an interview that he intended to join the private sector.

During his six-year tenure, Singapore secured several high-profile sporting events such as the BNP Paribas Women's Tennis Association Finals, the Singapore Rugby Sevens and football's International Champions Cup.

The tourism sector also attained record highs in tourist arrivals and spending in 2017 under his watch.