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Duke-NUS inaugural Chairman Tony Chew passes the baton to prominent ex-banker Kai Nargolwala

27 December 2012



Mr Tony Chew (left) will be stepping down as Chairman of Duke-NUS end of the year, with Mr Nargolwala (right) assuming the position from 2013

Influential business leader Mr Tony Chew Leong-Chee is stepping down as Chairman of the Governing Board at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore (Duke-NUS) after seven years of leadership which has brought the School from an exciting idea into an internationally acclaimed centre for medical education and research.

Said NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan: "It has really been a great pleasure and privilege to work closely with Mr Tony Chew. His vision, passion, extraordinary commitment and meticulous attention to details created among the stakeholders, the strong sense of common purpose that has underpinned the remarkable progress that the School has made in a very short time. We are all very proud of the many achievements which Duke-NUS has made in Singapore and internationally."

Said Dr Victor J Dzau, MD, Chancellor for Health Affairs at Duke University, and President and CEO of Duke University Health System: "The success of Duke-NUS has been integral to the success of Duke Medicine's mission of transforming medicine and health to improve peoples' lives around the world through service, research and education. Mr Tony Chew's visionary leadership and remarkable commitment as the inaugural Chairman of Duke-NUS has been absolutely critical and has made an incredible difference to the School."

Professor Ivy Ng, Group Chief Executive Officer of SingHealth, a key Duke-NUS strategic partner, noted that the achievements made by the healthcare group's strategic partnership with Duke-NUS in academic medicine, education and research has been made possible with Mr Chew's strong support through the years.

Established in 2005, Duke-NUS is a landmark collaboration between NUS and Duke University in the US. The School's Governing Board, comprising 16 members, provides strategic direction and oversight on the development and management of the School to advance its objectives in education and research.

Under Mr Chew's Board leadership, Duke-NUS moved smoothly through its successful set-up to carve out a strong international reputation, attracting highly talented students and faculty from Singapore and around the world.

The School's many accomplishments during Mr Chew's tenure as Chairman include the following:
  • Achievement of the School's key performance indicators three years ahead of the targeted seven.
  • The conferment of a joint degree by Duke University and NUS on the inaugural 2011 cohort of Duke-NUS graduates, which was especially noteworthy as it marked the first time the Trustees of Duke University approved the award of the Duke medical course degree outside of the US.
  • Recognition of Duke-NUS' TeamLEAD (Learn, Engage, Apply, Develop) model by US peers in a recent case study by the Association of American Medical Colleges. The unique learning strategy, which combines team-based learning with learning using the latest technology, has led to Duke-NUS students scoring significantly higher in the United States Medical Licensing Examination than the US national average - despite completing just one year of basic science against the two years by their American peers. The approach was applied in two undergraduate medical courses by Duke University and is being implemented across other disciplines.
  • Valuable contribution to Singapore's Biomedical Sciences Initiative through a "bench-to-bedside" research approach. Duke-NUS' five signature research programmes have built up internationally competitive and high-impact research that applies cutting-edge science to important clinical problems in Singapore and Asia.
  • Duke-NUS has done 46 invention disclosures, filed 31 patents, conducted three licensing agreements and published more than 700 publications to date. It has also launched cross-cutting initiatives with SingHealth, such as the Academic Medicine Education Institute and the Academic Medicine Research Institute.

Mr Chew's many contributions to Duke-NUS and Singapore have been widely recognised including through awards such as the Public Service Star in 2008 and the NUS Outstanding Service Award in 2011.

Mr Chew noted that Duke-NUS has been an incredible journey and he felt privileged to work with the outstanding Governing Board and Management Team. He attributed the School's remarkable progress and achievements to the invaluable contributions from the pioneer architects and is grateful for the unstinting support of the various partners involved.

He will step down as the School's inaugural chair on 31 December 2012, but remains on the Duke-NUS Board till the end of February next year.

Prominent ex-banker Mr Kai Nargolwala, who joined the Duke-NUS Board in January this year, will assume the appointment of Chairman from 1 January 2013.

Mr Nargolwala, a Singaporean, has pursued a distinguished career in the financial services industry in the UK, US and Asia. Helming the Asian businesses of the Bank of America, Standard Chartered and Credit Suisse at various points, he also served on the boards of many financial institutions. The Chairman of Clifford Capital currently sits on the Boards of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd, PSA International Pte Ltd, Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore and Prudential plc.

Professor Ranga Krishnan, Dean, Duke-NUS praised Mr Chew as a visionary leader whose acumen has helped set very high but realistic goals for the management team. He and his team look forward to working closely with Mr Nargolwala and the Board to build on the strong foundation already established.


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