Early Life and Education
Tharman Shanmugaratnam, a prominent figure in Singapore, was welcomed into the world on February 25, 1957. His roots can be traced back to Tamil Nadu, India, reflecting his Tamil ancestry. His foundational education was shaped at the Anglo-Chinese School in Singapore.
Tharman sought to further his knowledge at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where he successfully obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. His thirst for learning didn’t stop there; he continued his academic journey at the University of Cambridge, securing a Master’s degree in Economics. Tharman is one among three offspring of Emeritus Professor K. Shanmugaratnam, a renowned medical scientist often referred to as the “father of pathology in Singapore”.
Tharman Shanmugaratnam initiated his career in the field of economics. His professional life has been largely devoted to serving Singapore, with a primary focus on economic and social policy roles. From 2011 to 2023, he held the position of head of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, where he was entrusted with the task of managing the nation’s monetary system. In addition to his domestic roles, Tharman has also occupied various important roles in international organizations.
Tharman Shanmugaratnam has had a distinguished political career in Singapore and has held significant international appointments. Here are some key highlights:
- From 2019 to 2023, he held the position of Senior Minister of Singapore.
- He was the Coordinating Minister for Social Policies from 2015 until 2023.
- His tenure as the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore spanned from May 2011 to May 2019.
- He was in charge of the Finance Ministry from December 2007 to September 2015.
- He oversaw the Ministry of Manpower from May 2011 to July 2012.
- He led the Education Ministry from August 2003 to March 2008.
- He represented Jurong GRC (Taman Jurong) as a Member of Parliament from November 2001 to July 2023.
- He presides over the Board of Trustees of the Group of Thirty, an international council comprising economic and financial leaders from public and private sectors, as well as academia.
- He is a co-chair of the Global Commission on the Economics of Water.
- Since 2021, he has co-chaired the G20 High Level Independent Panel on Global Financing for Pandemic Preparedness and Response.
- In 2017, he was chosen to lead the G20 Eminent Persons Group on Global Financial Governance.
- He is also part of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism.
A Journey from Senior Minister to President
Tharman Shanmugaratnam, the former senior minister of Singapore, has won the 2023 Singapore Presidential Election. His presidential campaign was officially initiated on July 26, 2023, with a commitment to transform the nation’s ethos and maintain its global prominence. Before his election as president, Tharman held several key positions including senior minister from 2019 to 2023; coordinating minister for social policies from 2015 to 2023; and Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore from 2011 to 2023. He also served as the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore from May 2011 to May 2019. As of September 14, 2023, Tharman Shanmugaratnam is poised to take over as the President of Singapore, succeeding Halimah Yacob. His political journey spans more than two decades and is marked by significant contributions to both domestic and global policies.