Ho Ching

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Ho Ching
Ho Ching.jpg
Portrait of Spouse of the Prime Minister of Singapore
Spouse of the Prime Minister of Singapore
Assumed office
12 August 2004
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Preceded by Tan Choo Leng
Chief Executive Officer of Temasek Holdings
Assumed office
1 August 2004
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Executive Director of Temasek Holdings
Assumed office
May 2002
Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong (1990 - 2004)
Lee Hsien Loong (since 2004)
Preceded by S. Dhanabalan
Personal details
Born (1953-03-27) March 27, 1953 (age 65)
Spouse(s) Lee Hsien Loong (m. 1985)
  • Li Hongyi (son)
  • Li Haoyi (son)
Mother Chan Chiew Ping
Father Ho Eng Hong
Relatives Ho Peng (sister)
Residence Singapore
Alma mater National University of Singapore
Stanford University

Ho Ching (Chinese: ; pinyin: Hé Jīng; Wade–Giles: Ho2 Ching1; Cantonese Yale: Hòh Jīng) (born March 27, 1953) is the Chief Executive Officer of Temasek Holdings (since 2002).[1] She is married to the current Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong. Ho first joined Temasek Holdings as a Director in January 2002 then became its Executive Director in May 2002 and was appointed Chief Executive Officer on 1 January 2004.[2] As of 2016, she is listed as the 30th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.[3]

Early life[edit]

She was born March 27, 1953 in Singapore, Ho completed her secondary education at Crescent Girls' School, Ho proceeded to become one of the top students for the ‘A’ level examinations in her cohort at National Junior College, where she was named Student of the Year.[4] She then went to the then-Singapore University (now the National University of Singapore) and graduated in 1976 with a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical, First Class Honours).[4] In 1982, Ho graduated with a Master of Science (Electrical Engineering) degree from Stanford University.[4]


Ho started her career as an engineer with the Ministry of Defence of Singapore in 1976.[5] In 1983, she became the Director of Defence Material Organisation, the defence procurement agency of the Ministry, and concurrently held the position of Deputy Director of Defence Science Organisation. She joined Singapore Technologies in 1987 as Deputy Director of Engineering, and took on various senior responsibilities before becoming its President and Chief Executive Officer in 1997.[4] She is credited with repositioning and growing the group in the five years that she led it. For instance, she was the architect for the formation and listing of Singapore Technologies Engineering as the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia in 1997, and served as its first Chairman.[4]

Ho joined Temasek Holdings as a Director in January 2002 and became its Executive Director in May 2002.[6] The then-chairman of Temasek Holdings, former Cabinet minister S. Dhanabalan, said Ho was the best person for the job because of "a willingness on her part to take calculated risks[7]". She assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer of Temasek on 1 January 2004. She is widely credited with transforming Temasek, an investment company owned by the Government of Singapore, from a Singapore-focused firm into an active investor in Asia and the world.[8] Today, Temasek owns and manages a net portfolio of S$215 billion (US$173 billion) as at 31 March 2013.[9] Ho has a strong track record in public service, notably for having served as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research, and as deputy chairman of the Productivity and Standards Board, and the Economic Development Board.[10]


In 1995, Ho was conferred the National University of Singapore’s Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award. She is also an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, Singapore.[4]

For her public service, she was conferred the Singapore Public Administration medal (silver, 1985) and the Public Service Star (1996) award by the Singapore Government.[4]

Ho has appeared in many rankings of the most powerful and influential people in the world. In 2007, Ho was picked as one of the "100 most influential men and women" who shaped the world by TIME Magazine.[11] Also in 2007, Forbes magazine ranked her third in its annual list of the world's most powerful women, behind German Chancellor Angela Merkel and China's Vice-Premier Wu Yi. Ho had climbed 33 spots from 36th place in the previous year’s list.[12]

In 2011, Ho was included in the ‘50 Most Influential’ ranking by Bloomberg Markets magazine.[13][13]

In 2013, Ho was ranked ninth on the Public Investor 100 ranking compiled by the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.[14]

As of 2014, she is listed as the 59th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.[15] In June, Ho was also awarded the 2014 Asian Business Leaders Award. The annual Asia House award recognises individuals who embody the 'Servant Leader' - economic success and professional excellence accompanied by moral leadership and service to society. Asia House is a centre of expertise on Asia and the leading pan-Asian organisation in the UK.[16] She became the 30th most powerful woman in 2016.[3]


In her personal capacity, Ho Ching supports various community service and charitable organisations. She has particular interest in special needs education, healthcare and the welfare and development of children. She is the Patron of Assisi Hospice, and the founding Chairman of Trailblazer Foundation Ltd, an IPC charity which provides funding for education, health, sports and community welfare. In March 2014, Ho was inducted into the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations' Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame, which honours outstanding women of Singapore in all fields of endeavour.[4]

In August 2016, Ho received positive reviews[17] when, on a state visit to the White House to mark 50 years of bilateral relations between the US and Singapore,[18] she carried a pouch designed by an autistic student from Pathlight School (under its Artist Development Program).[19] Ho is an advisor to the Autism Resource Centre (ARC), a non-profit charity in charge of Pathlight School, and had acquired the pouch at a ARC fundraising event.[20] Ho is also a patron of the Autism Association of Singapore.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Ho is the eldest of four children of retired businessman Ho Eng Hong and Chan Chiew Ping.[22][23] She has two brothers and a sister.[24] Her sister Ho Peng is the chairperson of the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board while younger brother Ho Sing is executive director of Starhill Global REIT.[25] She met her husband, Lee Hsien Loong, the current Prime Minister of Singapore and eldest son of former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, while starting out in her career at the Ministry of Defence.[26] They married on 17 December 1985 and have two sons, Hongyi and Haoyi. Xiuqi and Yipeng are her stepchildren from Lee's first marriage with Dr Wong Ming Yang.[27]


  1. ^ Jim Rogers (2007-05-03). "Ho Ching - The TIME 100". Time. 
  2. ^ "http://www.temasek.com.sg/Documents/userfiles/files/Biography.pdf" (PDF).  External link in |title= (help)
  3. ^ a b "World's Most Powerful Women". Forbes. Retrieved 17 November 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Singapore Women's Hall of Fame: Ho Ching". 
  5. ^ "Temasek: Ho Ching Biography" (PDF). 
  6. ^ "Temasek: Ho Ching's Biography" (PDF). 
  7. ^ Webb, Sara (27 July 2007). "Temasek's chief, Ho Ching, likes to take risks". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ "Ho Ching takes Temasek to new heights". 
  9. ^ "Temasek Investor Factsheet". 
  10. ^ "Book SG: Portrait of Madam Ho Ching, circa 1994". Archived from the original on 23 March 2014. 
  11. ^ "Ho Ching - The 2007 TIME 100 - TIME". TIME. 3 May 2007.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  12. ^ "Ho Ching, world's 3rd most powerful woman". TODAY. 1 September 2007. Archived from the original on 18 October 2007.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  13. ^ a b "Bloomberg Markets Most Influential 50". Bloomberg. 8 September 2011. 
  14. ^ "SWF Institute: Ho Ching". 
  15. ^ "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women". Forbes. Forbes. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  16. ^ "The Temasek story: Growing with Singapore". Retrieved 2015-04-08. 
  17. ^ "$11 pouch steals limelight at White House". BBC News. 2016-08-04. Retrieved 2018-02-28. 
  18. ^ "State dinner celebrates 50 years of US-Singapore relations". Mail Online. Retrieved 2018-02-28. 
  19. ^ "Ho Ching's White House purse designed by autistic youth". The New Paper. 2016-08-04. Retrieved 2018-02-28. 
  20. ^ "'Overwhelming' demand for Pathlight pouch after Ho Ching carries it to White House". TODAYonline. Retrieved 2018-02-28. 
  21. ^ "Management - Autism Association (Singapore)". Retrieved 2018-02-28. 
  22. ^ Southeast Asian Personalities of Chinese Descent: A Biographical Dictionary, Volume I & II. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. 2012. p. 334. 
  23. ^ "Katagogi.com | Family Roots and Heritage". 
  24. ^ Rahim, Farah Abdul (24 May 2005). "Many turn up to pay last respects to the late mother-in-law of PM Lee". Channel NewsAsia. Archived from the original on 27 May 2005. Retrieved 30 July 2017. 
  25. ^ "YTL Pacific Star hires Ho Ching's brother". The Edge Financial Daily. Retrieved 30 July 2017. 
  26. ^ Webb, Sara (27 July 2007). "Temasek's chief, Ho Ching, likes to take risks". The New York Times. 
  27. ^ Hoe, Irene (18 December 1985). "When Xiu Qi almost stole the show". The Straits Times. 
  28. ^ a b c d http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/printheritage/image.aspx?id=387e8bd2-5972-47e6-80bc-63ecd4120f74

External links[edit]