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About Us

Who We Are

The Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) is a non-profit and independent think tank dedicated to the research, analysis and discussion of regional and international issues. Founded in 1962, the institute is Singapore’s oldest think tank. Through policy research and dialogue, we aim to bridge the gap between policymakers, private sector decision-makers and experts to shape public influence as well as impact policy and social responses.


The SIIA is a membership-based organisation and our individual members are admitted from among the most prominent figures in our society who have made a positive contribution to their sector and profession. Our corporate members include leading Singaporean and multinational companies with regional businesses. The SIIA is also a founding member of the ASEAN Institutes of Strategic and International Studies (ASEAN-ISIS), a regional alliance of think tanks and plays a key role in Track II diplomacy, supplementing official dialogue between governments.


Since 2012, the SIIA has been consistently ranked as one of the top think tanks in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, in the Global Go-To Think Tank Index done by the University of Pennsylvania. In 2017, the SIIA was ranked the no. 1 independent think tank in Asia and in the top 50 globally (excluding USA).

Our Leadership

Our founders and early Council members include prominent thought-leaders and academics, such as Professor Tommy Koh, Singapore’s Ambassador-at- Large; the late Mr G.G. Thomson of the post-independence Political Studies Centre and Dr. Lau Teik Soon, previously a Member of Parliament, who chaired the institute from the 1980s to the early 1990s.


From 1999, the SIIA has been chaired by Associate Professor Simon SC Tay, a professor of law at the National University of Singapore, who has served as a Nominated Member of Parliament, and Chairman of the government’s National Environment Agency.


Since 2010, Mr Nicholas Fang, a former journalist, who has served as a Nominated Member of Parliament, joined as a Director of Security and Global Affairs. In 2005, the then President of the Republic, S.R.Nathan, graciously accepted the SIIA’s first Honorary Membership, followed by Professor Tommy Koh and Mr. JY Pillay in 2011 and 2014 respectively.

Our Structure

The SIIA has a professional secretariat that is guided by the voluntary efforts of our elected Council and Advisors, who are drawn from business and academic communities. The SIIA is funded by research grants, private donations, corporate sponsorship and membership subscriptions. The SIIA Endowment Fund is an Institution of Public Character (IPC) that qualifies to grant tax exemption for donations. From 2012, the SIIA has been housed in the International Involvement Hub, alongside other Singapore-based not-for- profit organisations that serve the regional and global communities.