The President of the Republic of Singapore is the Chancellor of the University. The Chancellor holds the authority to confer degrees and presides at Commencement when present. The Chancellor may appoint such persons to be Pro-Chancellors as s/he may consider proper. If for any reason the Chancellor is unable to exercise any of his functions, s/he may authorise any of the Pro-Chancellors to exercise those functions on his behalf. There are currently six Pro-Chancellors appointed by the Chancellor.
President Halimah Yacob
Mdm Halimah Yacob started her career with the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) in 1978. Throughout her 33 years of service, she served in various posts, including as NTUC Deputy Secretary General, Director of the Legal Services Dept, Director of the Women’s Development Secretariat, Director of the Singapore Institute of Labour Studies (now renamed as the Ong Teng Cheong Institute of Labour Studies) and Executive Secretary of the United Workers of Electrical and Electronic Industries.
Mdm Halimah also represented Singapore on the Governing Body of the Geneva-based International Labour Organisation for 12 years and was the first Singaporean to do so. She contributed in various capacities to formulate labour standards and strengthen their enforcement for workers worldwide. She also participated in various national level committees to review Singapore’s economy and job creation.
Mdm Halimah entered politics in 2001 upon her election as a Member of Parliament (MP) of the Jurong Group Representation Constituency (GRC). Her last and fourth term as an MP before she became President of Singapore was in the newly formed Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC. During her career as an MP, she was appointed Minister of State for the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports and was later appointed as the ninth Speaker of Parliament, the first woman to hold that office.
Apart from her official appointments, Mdm Halimah also served as patrons to a number of charitable and welfare organisations representing people with disabilities, disadvantaged families, women, and those with mental health issues.
For her passion in championing women’s causes, Mdm Halimah was awarded the Woman of the Year by Her World Magazine in 2003 and the Aware Heroine Award in 2011. She was also cited on the Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame in 2014. Berita Harian, a Malay language newspaper, awarded her the Achiever of the Year in 2001.
Mdm Halimah stepped down as Speaker of the Singapore Parliament in August 2017 to contest in the Presidential Election and was sworn in as the 8th President of the Republic of Singapore on 14 September 2017, the first female President in Singapore’s history.
Mdm Halimah holds a Master of Laws degree from the National University of Singapore. In 2016, the university conferred on her an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree.