Ms Claire CHIANG

Senior Vice-President
Banyan Tree Holdings

Ms. Claire Chiang, Senior Vice President, Banyan Tree Holdings, is a co-founder of Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts, a leading developer and manager of premium resorts, urban hotels and destination spas around the world. She pioneered the group’s retail business in 1996 and has since overseen the launch of over 80 retail outlets worldwide.

As part of Banyan Tree’s strategic focus on human capital development, Ms. Chiang assumed two new roles in 2010 – chairperson for China Business Development, where she primarily focuses on the acquisition of new management contracts, and chairperson of the Human Capital Development Task Force, where she guides key strategic issues in organisational and human capital capability.

Ms. Chiang is also the chairperson of Banyan Tree Global Foundation which was established in early 2009 by Banyan Tree Holdings. Her role involves directing and guiding the evolving process of the group’s commitment to corporate social responsibility and its mission to “Embrace the Environment, Empower the People”.

Ms. Chiang is married to Mr. Ho Kwon Ping, Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings. She is the mother of three children.

Ms. Chiang was an Arts and Social Sciences graduate (Honours) at the University of Singapore (1971-74), the present day National University of Singapore. During 1978-81, Ms. Chiang worked at the Faculty of Medicine at The University of Hong Kong (presently the Li KaShing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong), while conducting intensive sociological fieldwork on factory workers and industrial relations in Hong Kong and completing her Master of Philosophy (Sociology) degree. From 1982 - 1990, she lectured in the Sociology Department of the National University of Singapore and continued research work in the Centre for Advanced Studies from 1990 to 1994.

She co-authored the book “Stepping Out: The Making of Chinese Entrepreneurs” with Professor Chen Guo Ben which was published in l994 by Simon and Schuster and translated into Chinese and Japanese. The publication garnered a National Council Book Award and spawned a 30-chapter Chinese-language television drama in Singapore that won five broadcast awards.

Ms. Chiang was one of the first two women in 89 years to be elected to the Board of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry and was awarded in 1999 as a “Woman of the Year” for her contribution to the community. She served as a Singapore Nominated Member of Parliament for two terms (l997-2001) where she raised many policy issues related to the social service sector, women, family, education and the disadvantaged. In 2009, she was recognised by The International Alliance for Women “World of Difference 100” Awards for championing village-based entrepreneurship.

Her government portfolio includes co-chairing the ACCORD (Family & Community Council) and being a member in main ACCORD, appointed by Ministry of Defence. Appointments made by the Singapore Ministry of Manpower; member of the Tripartite Committee on Work-Life Strategy. She was the Chairperson of Employer Alliance, Board Member for Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) Co-Chairperson for the Pro-Family Business Council under the charge of the Ministry of Society Development, Youth and Sports (2005 – 2011), the Partner Connection Fund (2006 - 2011), and an Advisor for Romancing Singapore (2003 – 2005) under the charge of the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports.

An interested learner and educator, Ms. Chiang is a member of the Board of Governors of Raffles Girls’ Secondary School. She serves as a volunteer with Help Every Lone Parent (HELP), Rotary Club of Suntec City. She also serves as a mentor for the Young Women’s Leadership Connection mentorship programme which engages young female leaders in mentorship, networking, leadership development, and community engagement.

She was also appointed Director and Non-Executive Chairperson of Wildlife Reserves Singapore from 2008 to 2015, and she is the chairperson of Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund. Wildlife Reserves Singapore under Temasek Holdings is the parent company of Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, Singapore Zoo and the River Safari. She is currently a Director of the Board for Mandai Safari Park Holdings Pte Ltd.

In 2008, Ms. Chiang was awarded a PingatBaktiMasyarakat (Public Service Medal) during Singapore’s National Day Awards and was the inaugural Singapore Innovation Park Fellow Award. In the same year, she was formally appointed as a Justice of the Peace by Singapore President SR Nathan to exercise such powers and to perform such duties as may be conferred on them by any law. This was followed by her appointment to the Board of Visiting Justices in 2010.

In April 2009, Ms. Chiang, together with Mr. Ho Kwon Ping, was a joint recipient of the Hospitality Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual China Hotel Investment Summit. The award was presented to honour outstanding individuals for a lifetime of extraordinary leadership, accomplishments and contributions to the hospitality industry.

In 2011, Ms. Chiang introduced her biography, “My Journey and After,” a 768-page book in Chinese that profiles her journey as a woman from childhood through adulthood, marriage, motherhood, community engagement, politics and business. Written with notable Singaporean journalist Poon Sing Wah, “My Journey” is peppered with black-and-white and colour photography and Chinese calligraphy, and is an engaging, instructive read on Asian values, Singaporean history, and one woman’s passage through various seminal phases of her life. Following an initial print run in late 2011 which promptly sold out, the book was re-printed in early 2012. All proceeds go to the National Book Development Council of Singapore to support the Asian Festival of Children’s Content, which encourages Asian writers and publishing professionals from first-time authors to seasoned professionals.

On 31 July 2014, she was elected as the Chairperson of Executive Committee, National Book Development Council of Singapore. In Aug 2014, she was awarded the Public Service Star BBM for her contribution in implementing work-life integration, as part of Singapore’s commitment to create fair, responsible and progressive work environment. On 27 Aug 2014, Ms. Chiang was elected as a Pioneering Member for the Diversity Action Committee to build up the representation of women directors on boards of companies. She was also appointed as a Jury Panel Member for the NUS Singapore History Prize in November, 2014.

In 2015, Ms Chiang became a board member of the MSPH (Mandai Safari Park Holdings) Board of Directors. She was also elected to join the Board of Directors of the Denmark based ISS A/S.

Most recently, Ms Chiang received The Long Service Award for 5 years of service with the Board of Visiting Justices & Board of Inspection, 12 November 2015.

Ms. Chiang’s other affiliations include:

  • Appointment by the President, S R Nathan
    -   Justice of the Peace
  • Appointment by Ministry of Home Affairs
    -   Board of Visiting Justices and Board of Inspection
  • Appointed Director on the Board of Mandai Safari Park Holdings (MSPH)
  • Appointment by Ministry of Education (MOE)
    -   Member, Board of Governors of Raffles Girls’ Secondary School
  • Appointment by Ministry of Manpower (MOM)
    -   Member, Tripartite Committee on Work-Life Strategy
  • Appointment by Ministry of Defence (MINDEF)
    -   Member in main ACCORD
    -   Co-chairperson of the ACCORD (F&C)
  • Member, Board of Directors of ISS A/S
  • Member of the 12th National Arts Council
  • Chairperson of Executive Committee, National Book Development Council of Singapore
  • Chairman, Board of Advisors, Asian Festival of Children’s Content
  • Honorary Council Member, Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Mentor, Young Women’s Leadership Connection mentorship programme 2010 – 2011, part of the People’s Association network
  • Chairperson, Shirin Fozdar Trust Fund (SFTF), Wee Kim Wee Centre, Singapore Management University (SMU)
  • Patron and Advisor, Help Family Service Centre (HELP)
  • Member, Advisory Council, National Committee for United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), Singapore
  • Community Advisor, Honour Singapore
  • Member of Advisory Board, Crib Pte. Ltd.
  • Member of the Diversity Action Committee

Her awards include:

  1. Louis Féraud Les Honours 1996
    Outstanding Achievements in the Business category
  2. Her World “Woman of the Year” 1999
  3. Rotary Club of Suntec City “Rotarian of the Year” 2000/2001
  4. 2003 PATA Gold Awards
    Gold Award - Heritage (Banyan Tree &Angsana Gallery)
  5. 2004 PATA Gold Awards
    Grand Award – Heritage (Museum Shop by Banyan Tree)
  6. 2006 Friends of MCYS Award
    by the Ministry of Community, Youth and Sports, Singapore
  7. 2006 MCYS Contribution Award
    by the Ministry of Community, Youth and Sports, Singapore
  8. 2008 PingatBaktiMasyarakat (Public Service Medal)
    by the government of Singapore
  9. Global Leadership & Mentoring Congress 2008 “Leader Mentor Award”
  10. Singapore Tatler Leadership Award 2010
    Joint recipient of “Leadership for the Environment” award with Mr Ho Kwon Ping
  11. Outstanding Volunteer Award 2011
    by the Ministry of Community, Youth and Sports, Singapore
  12. SSA Women Award, November 2011
    by the Singapore Soka Association at the Women’s Peace Lecture, Singapore
  13. Public Service Star BBM, August 2014
    by Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore
  14. Outstanding ASEAN Entrepreneur’s Award 2015 (ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Forum)
  15. Community Retailer Award 2015, awarded by Hong Kong Retail Industry Trade
  16. Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2015 at the Asia Corporate Excellence and Sustainability (ACES) Awards 2015
  17. Long Service Award 2015, Board of Visiting Justices & Board of Inspection
  18. Dayawati Modi Stree Shakti Centenary Award 2015, awarded by Stree Shakti – The Parallel Force