Chan Heng Chee took up her appointment as Singapore’s Ambassador to the United States in July 1996. Prior to her appointment, she was the Executive Director of the Singapore International Foundation, a Singaporean version of the U.S. Peace Corps, and also served as Director of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
Ambassador Chan was the founding Director of the Institute of Policy Studies. She served as Singapore’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1989 to 1991 and was concurrently the High Commissioner to Canada and Ambassador to Mexico.
She has received a number of awards, including Honorary Degrees of Doctor of Letters in 1994 from the University of Newcastle, Australia and the University of Buckingham (United Kingdom) in 1998.
In 1998, she also had the distinction of receiving Inaugural International Woman of the Year Award from the Organization of Chinese American Women (OCAW), as well as Singapore’s first "Woman of the Year" award in 1991.
She has served as a member of the International Advisory Board of the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations and on the Council at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London and the International Council of the Asia Society in New York. She was educated at the University of Singapore and Cornell University.