Executive Education Programs - Executive Education Management |

Senior Management Programme

More so than before, public managers find themselves operating in environments that can variously be described as uncertain, unpredictable and even disruptive. They may also find that the problems they face are often interconnected, or that they interact with, policies or problems which are not within their (or their agencies’) control. Yet another feature of the context that public managers now face is their limited ability to precisely control or engineer specific outcomes. At best, they can try to influence the outcomes by creating the conditions that would allow the environments they operate in to evolve in desirable directions.

In recent years, public management studies and the economics discipline have begun to take seriously the idea that our societies and economies, as well as the organisations and institutions we operate in, are complex adaptive systems. Understanding this complexity helps public managers to make sense of the possibilities and limitations of their policies. It also helps them to see their role as “system stewards”, rather than as social engineers. Finally, this understanding enhances their ability to work in more adaptive and experimental ways.

Now into its 12th year, the LKY School of Public Policy’s Senior Management Programme (SMP) is a three-week intensive and immersive learning experience designed to equip director-levels officials in public institutions with the skills and sensibilities to serve as leaders and change agents in complex environments. SMP 2017 will explore the overarching theme of Leadership, Innovation and Public Policy: Managing in Disruption. The programme is distinguished by its unrivaled access to some of Singapore’s best trainers, academics, and practitioners in their fields. Our participants learn groundbreaking strategies through hands-on classroom activities, real-world case studies, and visits to innovative organisations that put these concepts into practice.


Key Information

Programme date 22 May 2017 - 9 Jun 2017
Venue: Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
National University of Singapore (Bukit Timah Campus)
Programme cost:

SS$23,625 + 7% GST# (Without accommodation)

SS$29,925 Nett (With accommodation)

*Fee is inclusive of lunch, refreshments and learning support materials


Executive Education Department
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
National University of Singapore
469C Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 259772

Tel: (65) 6516 3118 / 6516 5428
Fax: (65) 6872 9291
Email: lkysppep@nus.edu.sg

Application Deadline: 21 Apr 2017

Programme Objectives

The Senior Management Programme (SMP) provides participants with a unique opportunity to step back from their day-to-day responsibilities and embark on a journey of intellectual and personal renewal to improve their performance as leaders.

By attending this programme, SMP participants can expect to:

  • Gain broader perspectives on complex public policy issues
  • Sharpen analytical skills for multi-stakeholder settings
  • Acquire new strategic management approaches and leadership abilities
  • Establish a valuable network of global peers

Target Audiences

The SMP is designed for senior executives and professionals in the government, non-profit and private sectors, who are poised to become the next-generation leaders in their organisations. The ideal SMP candidate should be a senior functional head or director of an organisational unit with at least 8 years of significant managerial experience.

The programme will be conducted in English, thus participants must be proficient in the language. Past SMP participants include senior executives and directors from Australia, Bhutan, Botswana, Brunei, China, Estonia, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.


Donald Low
Associate Dean (Executive Education & Research) & Associate Professor (Practice), Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Donald Low is Associate Dean (Research and Executive Education) at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. Besides leading the School’s executive education efforts, he also heads its Case Study Unit. His research interests at the School include economics in public policy, inequality and social spending, behavioural economics, public finance, organisational change, and governance and politics in Singapore.

Prior to his current appointment, Donald served 15 years in the Singapore government in various senior positions. During that time, he established the Centre for Public Economics at the Civil Service College of Singapore. He was Director of Fiscal Policy at the Ministry of Finance from 2004 to 2005, and Director of Strategic Policy Office in the Public Service Division from 2006 to 2007. Donald holds a double first in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University, and a Masters in International Public Policy from The Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. He is currently Vice President at the Economics Society of Singapore.

Professor Zeger van der Wal
Assistant Dean (Research) & Associate Professor, LKY School

Zeger van der Wal is a seasoned lecturer, researcher, and consultant in the areas of organizational values and culture, integrity management, administrative reform, performance management, and work motivation. Currently, he is a senior Faculty member at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, based at Asia’s no. 1 university NUS. In 2014, he was awarded the prestigious Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) Faculty Research Fellowship as well as the school’s Teaching Excellence Award. In January 2015, he was appointed Assistant Dean of Research and Associate Editor of Public Administration Review. In March 2015, NUS bestowed the Annual Teaching Excellence Award (ATEA) upon him.

In recent years, he has developed an active portfolio of executive education and consulting assignments on integrity management and ethical decision-making, code of conduct design, public service motivation, stakeholder management, and performance management. Clients include: Ministry of Home Affairs, The Netherlands, China-Europe Public Administration Project (GIZ), Sri Lanka Public Service Commission, Malaysia Anti-Corruption Academy, Home Team Academy Singapore, Ministry of Transport Singapore, Monetary Authority Singapore, UNDP, Toyota Asia-Pacific, VISA, and Civil Service College Singapore. Van der Wal has educated and trained over 2000 graduate students and senior officials across the globe..

Dr. Adrian Kuah
Senior Research Fellow & Head (Research Support Unit) Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Dr Adrian Kuah is Senior Research Fellow at the LKY School of Public Policy. His research interests include futures studies, complexity science and political philosophy (focusing on pragmatism). Adrian started his career in the civil service as an economist in the Monetary Authority of Singapore. He then worked in the private sector as a business strategy consultant before embarking on an academic career with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. As Assistant Professor in the Military Studies programme, he taught on the MSc programmes as well as the Goh Keng Swee Command and Staff College’s courses.

He returned to the civil service in 2013 as Lead Strategist in the Centre for Strategic Futures, Strategic Policy Office, Prime Minister’s Office, where he was involved in Whole-of-Government futures research and scenario planning. He led a team of researchers in analysing complex, cross-cutting public policy issues across the social, economic, infrastructure and security domains. He joined the LKY School in July 2015. Adrian obtained his Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Economics and Politics from the University of York, graduating with first class honours, followed by his Master of Arts degree in International Politics from the University of Warwick. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Defence Policy and Economics from Cranfield University, where his doctoral studies were fully funded by RSIS.

Dr. Leong Ching
Deputy Director (IWP) & Assistant Professor, LKY School

Leong Ching obtained her Phd in Public Policy from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. She is the recipient of the Wang Gung Wu Medal and Prize winner 2013, (Best PhD Thesis in Humanities and Social Sciences). She has previously worked as a newspaper and television reporter and has graduate degrees in philosophy, information technology and journalism. Her research interests include water policies, public sector reform, and communication strategies. Her current research project includes examining the impact of communication on the implementation of water policies, narratives and third‐party governance.

Professor Danny Quah
Li Ka Shing Professor of Economics, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Danny is Li Ka Shing Professor of Economics at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. He was previously Professor of Economics and International Development, and Director of the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He obtained his PhD from Harvard University in 1986 and was Assistant Professor at MIT’s Economics Department before leaving for LSE in 1991. He served as LSE’s Head of Department for Economics (2006-2009), and Council Member on Malaysia’s National Economic Advisory Council (2009-2011). His research interests include income inequality, economic growth, and international economic relations. His current long-term research project is on an economic approach to world order, with focus on global power shift and the rise of the east, and models of global power relations. He gave the third LSE-NUS lecture in 2013, TEDx talks in 2014 and 2012, and the Inaugural LSE Big Questions Lecture in 2011. In 2016 he was named one of the top 100 Economics blogs in the world. His research has been supported by the John‑D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the British Academy, the UK’s Economic and Research Council, and the Andrew Mellon Foundation.

Professor Ora-orn Poocharoen
Adjunct Associate Professor, LKY School

Ora received her PhD in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. She has a Master of Law from University of Tokyo in Political Science and a Bachelor of Law from Hitotsubashi University in International Relations, Japan. Her research interests include comparative public management, network management, human resource management, urban governance, and sub-national conflict in Thailand. Her current research projects are on talent management in the public sector, the role and power of city mayors, public participation in budgeting, and public participation in development projects in the Deep South of Thailand. She has advised and researched for various institutes in Thailand, including the National Counter Corruption Commission of Thailand, the Office of the Public Sector Development Commission, the Bureau of Budget, the Public Policy Development Office, Action Aid, and the World Bank in Bangkok, and also for international organisations such as Transparency International and the Asia Foundation. From 2009-2011, she held the position of Assistant Dean (Student Affairs) at the LKY School and committee chair for the Master in Public Administration programme.

Professor Lim Siong Guan
Professor (Practice) Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Siong Guan was appointed Group President of GIC in September 2007. He was Chairman of the Singapore Economic Development Board from October 2006 to June 2009. He has been an Adjunct Professor in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore since 2005, instructing on leadership and change management, as well as a Senior Fellow of the Civil Service College since 2006. Prof. Lim Siong Guan was the Head of the Singapore Civil Service from September 1999 to March 2005. He has chaired the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (2004-2006), the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (2004-2006) and, the Central Provident Fund Board (1986-1994). He has been the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence (1981-1994), the Prime Minister’s Office (1994-1998), the Ministry of Education (1997-1999) and the Ministry of Finance (1999-2006). Prof. Lim Siong Guan is a member of the SwissRe Advisory Panel and of the International Board of the star s Foundation, a Swiss foundation that promotes leadership development for leaders of the next generation. He chairs the Board of Directors of Honour (Singapore), a charity that seeks to promote the culture of honour and honouring in Singapore.

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