Prof. Dr. Lily Kong
Professor Lily Kong is SMU’s President and Lee Kong Chian Chair Professor of Social Sciences. Professor Kong is SMU’s fifth President, and the first Singaporean to lead the 19-year old university. She is also the first Singaporean woman to head a university in Singapore. She was previously Provost of SMU, Vice Provost and Vice President at the National University of Singapore (in various portfolios), and Executive Vice President (Academic) of Yale-NUS College. Professor Kong is widely known for her research on religion, cultural policy and creative economy, urban heritage and conservation, and national identity. An award-winning researcher and teacher, Professor Kong has received five international fellowship awards and has also won the Association of American Geographers Robert Stoddard Award for Distinguished Service (Geography of Religion and Belief Systems). Prof Kong was conferred the Public Administration Medal (Silver) in 2006.
A graduate of the National University of Singapore and University College London. Prof Kong is a geographer and has been a faculty member in the NUS Department of Geography since 1991. She was Sub-Dean in NUS’ Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences from 1995 to 1996; Vice-Dean from 1997 to 2000 and Dean from 2000 to 2003. Concurrently, from 2002 to 2003, she was Dean of the University Scholars Programme. From 1998 to 1999, she was also Assistant Director, Office of Research. She was Vice Provost (Education) from 2004 to 2007. She also held concurrent positions as Director of the Asia Research Institute from 2008 to 2010, Acting Executive Vice President (Academic Affairs), Yale-NUS College from 2011- 2012. Prof Kong was Vice-President (University and Global Relations) from 2007 to 2014.
Prof Kong has received five international fellowship awards including the Commonwealth Fellowship Award and the Fulbright Fellowship Award. She was twice a recipient of the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Teaching Excellence Award. She also received the NUS Outstanding University Researcher Award as well as the National Book Development Council of Singapore Book Award. She has an Honorary Doctor of Science from UK’s Loughborough University, and is recipient of the 2006 National Day Award, the Public Administration Medal (Silver) as well as the Association of American Geographers Robert Stoddard Award (Geography of Religion and Belief Systems) in 2009.
Prof Kong is an editor of the international journals Social and Cultural Geography and Dialogues in Human Geography. She is also a series editor of Pacific Rim Geographies: Studies on Contemporary Culture, Environment, Cities and Development (Routledge) and Co-Chief Editor of the ARI-Springer Asia Series. Additionally, she is Book Series Advisor for The Politics of Popular Culture in Asia Pacific (University of Illinois Press and Hong Kong University Press). She is also a member of 15 editorial boards, and international editorial advisory boards of international journals. Prof Kong’s main research foci are religion, cultural policy and creative economy, and national identity. She has also written about globalization and migration, and the social construction of nature and the environment. She has 13 books and monographs to her name, as well as over 100 papers in international refereed journals and chapters in books. Prof Kong is a member of the Public Service Commission. She is also a member of the United Nations University Council as well as External Evaluation Committee of the Waseda University International Programme.