President of Singapore
Since he took office as Singapore's seventh president in 2011, Tony Tan has consistently pushed for a more active civil society. In November, he urged Singaporeans to be involved in building the country's social reserves, or “the intangible ties that bind us to one another and make a nation greater than the sum of individual citizens”. This builds on the expansion of the President's Challenge charity event beyond fundraising to promote volunteerism and social entrepreneurship the year before. Last year, Tan become Patron of SportCares, the philanthropic arm of the Singapore Sports Council (SSC). The SportCares Foundation runs sports programmes that provide skill-based learning, character development, educational support and life skills. Beyond Singapore's shores, the president helped strengthen bilateral ties, making several state visits, including his first official visit to Malaysia and Europe, specifically Slovakia and Hungary. Prior to running for Singapore's elected presidency, he was executive director and deputy chairman of GIC, and chairman of Singapore Press Holdings. He was a member of the Singapore Parliament from 1979 to 2006, holding several ministerial portfolios including defence, finance, education, and trade and industry. Tan, who is married, has three sons and a daughter.