From banking to the arts, the career of Theresa Foo-Yo Mie Yoen has always been of the highest standard and she has been an integral part of Singapore’s rise to become an Asian powerhouse.
Theresa was the first Singaporean woman to study at ANU and one of the University’s first international students who completed her BA in 1966 in Oriental Studies. She left Canberra with a keen interest in pursuing her career goals and has lived by the phrase “education is the source of knowledge and knowledge is power”.
She joined the Bank of America in Singapore and worked her way through the ranks to become the first woman in the bank’s Singapore office to become a vice-president.
Her rise continued and after a stint with the Singapore-based OCBC Bank, Theresa joined Standard Chartered Bank Singapore and became its chief executive for seven years. She was then appointed Chair of BNP Paribas Capital and BNP Paribas Securities. She was nominated as one of the top 50 women in finance by Euromoney in 1997.
Teresa has placed a lot of emphasis on encouraging corporate social responsibility, improving the welfare of under-privileged youth and promoting education and employability. She chairs a number of boards and aims to develop a compassionate and proactive business community. She is currently Chair of the Iconic Gardens by the Bay and the Singapore Business Federation Foundation.
Concurrent to her banking career, Theresa has been heavily involved with the arts in Singapore. She has been on the board of The Esplanade Co Ltd for 17 years and was its immediate past Chair. In this position, she helped with the building and growth of a new national arts venue. Her dedication to promoting the arts in Singapore was recognised when she was named Champion of the Arts in 2001.
Theresa’s other awards include the Public Service Star at the National Day Awards in 2008 and she was honoured with the prestigious Meritorious Service Medal for Excellence in 2014 for her “outstanding contributions to Singapore”.
Among all this, she has not forgotten ANU. She has developed a network between high-level ANU alumni in Singapore and is a member of the ANU Fine Arts Alumni group.