President, Singapore Management University
The first Singaporean academic to helm the Singapore Management University
Social, cultural and urban geographer Lily Kong is highly regarded as a thought leader in the study of urban transformations, and social and cultural change in Asian cities. The current president of Singapore Management University (SMU), she has published numerous works on religion, cultural policy, creative economy, urban heritage and conservation, and national identity. She has written or co-written 10 books, edited or co-edited nine books, published about a hundred refereed journal articles, and contributed over 60 book chapters.
At SMU, Prof Kong established and headed a panel that made recommendations on revisions to the undergraduate curriculum structure. She also advocated new inter-disciplinary majors and tracks, including politics, law and economics; smart-city management and technology; and healthcare economics and management programmes. Her stewardship has also seen the launch of the SMU Academy in 2017, which offers skills-upgrading courses for working adults, backed by over S$20 million in funding from SkillsFuture Singapore.
Prof Kong has received five international fellowship awards including the Commonwealth Fellowship Award and the Fulbright Fellowship Award. She has also won the Robert Stoddard Award from the Association of American Geographers for her contributions to the study of religion. In 2022, Prof Kong entered the Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame, receiving the honour from President Halimah Yacob at the Istana.
Public Service Star
Robert Stoddard Award
Public Administration Medal (Silver)
Did You Know?
Prof Lily Kong made history in 2015 by becoming the first woman provost of a publicly funded university in Singapore.