Elaine Khoo (Operations Manager)
Elaine is Operations Manager at the Asia Philanthropy Circle. She has extensive experience in human resource, office management and quality management system in various sectors to include education, manufacturing, consulting and IT.
Before moving to Singapore, she headed the HR, Administration and Quality departments of a local systems integration company in Malaysia. She also led the company into achieving its ISO 9001 Accredited Certification and maintaining it thereafter. Prior to joining APC, she worked for the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network’s Chairman for three years before joining their Singapore office as Office Manager.
In her free time, she goes to the gym, enjoys music and movies.
Laurence Lien (CEO)
Laurence Lien is Co-Founder and CEO of the Asia Philanthropy Circle.
Laurence is also the Chairman of Lien Foundation, a family foundation established in 1980. Under his leadership, Lien Foundation has become well-regarded for its forward-thinking and radical approach in the fields of education, eldercare and the environment.
Laurence was the CEO of the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre in Singapore from 2008-2014. In 2008, he founded the Community Foundation of Singapore and is currently its Chairman. He is also Board Member of the Lien Centre for Social Innovation at the Singapore Management University.
Prior to his work in the non-profit sector, Laurence served in the Singapore Administrative Service, which forms the top echelon of public service leaders in Singapore. Laurence holds degrees from Oxford University, the National University of Singapore, and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. In 2010, Laurence was awarded the Eisenhower Fellowship. He was also a Nominated Member of Parliament in Singapore from 2012-2014.
Natalie Kennedy (Deputy Director)
Natalie is Deputy Director at APC and focuses on our membership, supporting collaboration between leading Asian philanthropists. Prior to joining APC, Natalie led the Corporates & Institutions practice for Conjunct Consulting, a nonprofit organisation bridging private sector talent to capacity-building projects for social impact organisations. In this role, she led cross-sector collaborations between multiple stakeholders including corporate foundations and social responsibility teams, grantmaking institutions, government statutory boards, nonprofit organisations, and social enterprises.
She has co-directed the PACE Schools programme for the past five years, investing in education and library initiatives in rural areas of Myanmar and Cambodia. In the private sector, Natalie has worked in investment banking at Deutsche Bank, equity research at Morgan Stanley, and private equity consulting at Kurt Salmon Associates.
She has a degree in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University.
Stacey Choe (Director)
Stacey is Director at the Asia Philanthropy Circle since August 2016, working with leading Asian philanthropists on furthering their strategic philanthropy in the region. She served as the Membership Services Director at the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network for 4 years before her last role as Director of Policy Engagement. She spent three years in China as the marketing director of a boutique Italian consulting company, specialising in communications, events management, market research and strategy. In Singapore, she was responsible for regional incentive and rewards programmes at Intel Corporation, and prior to that, Stacey worked in the government sector on nationwide campaigns relating to social cohesion and national identity.
Stacey holds an MA in Social Anthropology of Development from SOAS, University of London, and a BA in Political Science and English Literature from the National University of Singapore. She is a 2019 Asia Foundation Development Fellow, and has also co-founded a Lean In chapter for professional women interested in social issues in Singapore.
Taila Mueller (Deputy Director)
Taila Mueller joins APC to focus on designing and implementing the ASEAN Community Impact Fund. She brings a unique and diverse perspective on philanthropy having worked with or collaborated with multiple stakeholders in the space, including philanthropic intermediaries, wealth management institutions, multilateral donor agencies, foundations, and impact enterprises in Asia and the United States.
Prior to joining APC, Taila worked for Philadelphia based Geneva Global, a philanthropic consulting firm, in various capacities including Business Development Manager, Programme Director for South Asia and as a consultant for the company’s consulting division. Recently, Taila ran a technical assistance programme for Impact Investment Exchange Asia, which provided critical business development services to impact enterprises across Asia. She has also worked for the Singapore Business Times, reporting on banking and philanthropy in Southeast Asia, and the Citigroup Private Bank.
Taila started her career as a corporate finance analyst for the UBS Investment Bank’s Oil and Gas group. She has a Masters of Arts in Economics and International Development from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies(SAIS) and a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Cornell University.
Valentina Ko (Research and Communications Manager)
Valentina Ko joins APC as the Research and Communications Manager in July 2019. Prior to that, she had previously worked in the area of education intervention services for three years in California, USA. She served as a Coordinator at various national and local nonprofits that have a focus on reducing the juvenile delinquency rate through education attainment and also held the position of Programme Director with Stanford University’s East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring, a foundation project by Stanford to ensure equitable education access to the low-income community around them.
More recently, Valentina graduated with a Masters in Social Work (M.S.W) at Columbia University in the City of New York. During her time there, she worked in the field of criminal justice reform at the Office of Appellate Defenders where her field of practice is restorative justice with a focus on mass incarceration in the USA. Her work includes helping with appeal cases, working with the Parole Preparation Project for upcoming hearings, investigative work for the Innocence Project and addressing issues during conviction to ensure fair treatment of incarcerated persons.