Melissa Kwee to head National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre
The respected social activist and businesswoman joins the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre as its new chief executive
Well-known social activist Melissa Kwee will take on a new role as Chief Executive of the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) on 1 September 2014. Kwee replaces Laurence Lien, who has led NVPC for over five years and will step down on 31 July 2014.
“We are delighted that Melissa will be joining us as Chief Executive of NVPC,” says Mildred Tan, Chair of NVPC’s Board and Managing Director of Ernst & Young Advisory Pte Ltd. “Melissa comes with an ideal background, having been actively involved in the community and devoted a good portion of her life to helping others.”
Kwee’s career began as an idealistic social entrepreneur just out of college and fresh from a fellowship in the Himalayas. Upon returning to Singapore, she started Project Access—a values-based leadership education initiative to inspire young women to be role models and catalysts for positive change.
She has since served as Chairman of Halogen Foundation, a youth leadership organisation and President of UN Women Singapore (formerly UNIFEM Singapore). She was also instrumental in setting up Beautiful People, a programme of Beyond Social Services, which pairs mentors with teenage girls in need of guidance, life-skills, and a friend. She most recently acted as Chairman of the investment firm for Capella Singapore and Vice President, Human Capital at Pontiac Land Group.
"Volunteerism and philanthropy are vital pillars of our nation’s social capital," says Kwee. "Not only does giving and volunteering assist with meeting needs in the community, the act of giving itself is transformational. Through giving, we count and share our blessings. Through service, we learn to love without expectation.
"As our nation evolves, we need to ask what kind of society we want to live in and leave for future generations," she adds. "I can think of no better future reality than that of a nation of givers, of people performing selfless acts for others, who devote part of their time, money, and other resources towards making lives of the people and communities around them better."