Social scientist Noeleen Heyzer and veteran journalist Patrick Daniel named as IPS S R Nathan Fellows

Dr Noeleen Heyzer and Mr Patrick Daniel will pursue research related to public policy and governance in Singapore. PHOTOS: ST FILE, IPS

SINGAPORE - Former United Nations under-secretary-general Noeleen Heyzer and SPH Media Trust interim chief executive officer Patrick Daniel have been named by the Institute of Policy Studies as its S R Nathan Fellows for the Study of Singapore.

Dr Heyzer, the 10th person appointed to the annual fellowship named after Singapore's sixth president, and Mr Daniel, the 11th, will pursue research related to public policy and governance in Singapore, said IPS in a statement on Wednesday (Oct 6).

The fellowship was set up to recognise Mr Nathan's contributions to public service and the advancement of Singapore.

In lectures to be held in November and December, Dr Heyzer, a social scientist and the first woman to serve as the executive secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (Escap), will will speak on multilateral governance and the future of Singapore.

She said she hoped her lectures will help people see how Singapore is related to the multilateral rule-based system, and how Singapore has contributed to it.

"I will be looking at how we need to build our post-Covid-19 future through the framework of multilateralism, and at the grand challenges facing us in the 21st century like global health security, the climate emergency, the technological revolution, and financing for a sustainable future," she added.

Mr Daniel, a veteran newsman who had also been with the Singapore Government Administrative Service, will focus his research on Singapore's media landscape and its role in the lives of all Singaporeans.

"For someone who's been in the media for many years, it's an honour and a privilege to be made an IPS fellow, and especially at this point in time," said Mr Daniel.

"A new chapter is beginning with the SPH Media Trust and I hope to share my perspective on how we got to this point, what lies ahead and what it will take to succeed."

He will deliver his lectures in February and March next year.

Dr Heyzer, who was UN under-secretary-general from 2007 to 2015, was the highest-ranking Singaporean in the UN system during her term.

When she arrived at the UN, women's equity and sustainable development were seen as niche issues. During her time in office, she brought about significant changes in development practice and reforms.

Among her achievements are establishing legal frameworks for women's domestic work and for safe migration in Asia, and the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women.

SPH Brightcove Video
Dr Noeleen Heyzer overcame a difficult childhood to scale the career ladder at the United Nations. She says she has always felt compelled to speak out for those who can’t.

She also developed Escap as the UN platform to rethink new drivers of inclusive economic growth and sustainable development for the region in response to the 2008 global financial crisis.

In 2005, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts in improving the lives of women and promoting peace and justice.

She is currently a member of the UN Secretary-General's High Level Advisory Board on Mediation, which supports specific mediation efforts around the world.

Mr Daniel retired in 2017 as deputy CEO of Singapore Press Holdings but was asked to return to run the company's media businesses as they are hived off into the new SPH Media Trust as part of a major restructuring effort.

In his 30 years at SPH, he rose through the ranks from a reporter at The Straits Times to deputy chief executive of SPH, with stints as editor of The Business Times, managing editor of English and Malay newspapers, and editor-in-chief of the English/Malay/Tamil Media Group along the way.

Prior to joining the media industry, he was in the Singapore Government Administrative Service. He left as director in the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Both Dr Heyzer and Mr Daniel will deliver their series of IPS-Nathan Lectures, which are free and open to all, at the National University of Singapore.

IPS said details of the lectures will be published on its website in due course.

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