Agnes is possibly the first Design Ambassador in the world, since October 2018. Based in Paris, Agnes aims to deepen design relations between Singapore and Europe plus North America. In particular, she helps global audiences discover Singapore’s unique culture and heritage by making Singapore design – for example fashion, furniture, lifestyle and architecture – known and accessible. Prior to this, she headed the DesignSingapore Council as its Executive Director from November 2016 to May 2018.
Agnes has a passion for the intellectual and humanitarian challenges that public service brings. She spent 17 years in the well-respected and rigorous Administrative Service of the government of Singapore. During this time, she gained much policy and service delivery experience, not to mention networks, through 6 extremely varied portfolios: defence diplomacy, labour policy, community organisation and social welfare, public service transformation, and land transport.
Her niche – and passion area – is in transforming organisations through design. Design became the clarion call for Agnes’ career when she witnessed the transformative power of design in creating citizen value and agile organizations, when she was leading the development of innovation approaches for the government.
Agnes graduated with a First Class B.A. in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Oxford, Lincoln College, in 2000. She went on to do a M.A. in International Relations in the University of Chicago in 2001 – all of which has nothing to do with design.