Singapore appoints two new ambassadors to Vietnam and Israel

SINGAPORE – The Government has appointed two new ambassadors – Mr Jaya Ratnam to Vietnam and Mr Lim Chuan Poh to Israel, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) announced on Tuesday (Jan 19).

A career diplomat, Mr Ratnam has been with the foreign service since 1991 and previously served as Singapore’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium from July 2016 to December 2020. Prior to that, he was Singapore’s High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam from June 2012 to March 2016.

A graduate of the National University of Singapore and Johns Hopkins University, Mr Ratnam has received awards for his work in the civil service, including the Public Administration Medal (Silver) in 2012 and Long Service Medal in 2014.

He has served in various capacities both in Singapore and abroad, including roles in the Permanent Mission in Geneva, the Singapore Embassy in Jakarta and Singapore High Commission in Kuala Lumpur.

He is married to Mrs Sujatha Ratnam, and they have three children.


Mr Jaya Ratnam after receiving his new appointment from President Halimah Yacob. PHOTO: MFA

Mr Lim also received his new appointment on Tuesday, taking up the role of non-resident ambassador to Israel, said the MFA media statement.

He is currently the chairman of the Singapore Food Agency, and has served in several high-ranking roles in public office.

He was the executive chairman of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s (A*Star) from 2007 to 2019, and before that, was permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education from 2003 to 2007.


Mr Lim Chuan Poh receiving his new appointment from President Halimah Yacob. PHOTO: MFA

Before joining the civil service, Mr Lim was a career soldier, spending 23 years in the Singapore Armed Forces and rising to become the Chief of Defence Force. He was recognised for his work in the military with Public Administration Medal, Gold (Military) in 1999 and the Meritorious Service Medal (Military) in 2003.

He is also involved in the local universities, and has been a board member of Nanyang Technological University since 2003 and chairman of the governing board of the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, since 2010.

He also held the title of adjunct professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore from 2013 to 2017.

Mr Lim holds degrees from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom and Cornell University in the United States.

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