Dr Cheong is the Chief Executive Officer of the Housing and Development Board (HDB), overseeing the development and management of one million public housing flats in 26 towns/estates in Singapore. She formulates policies and implements national programmes to ensure affordable and quality homes for more than 80 percent of the Singapore’s resident population, and to bring about a stable and sustainable public housing market. Since joining the HDB in 2010, she has introduced a new generation of public housing and large scale sustainability initiatives for the development of HDB towns as well as initiated a Smart HDB Town framework.
Dr Cheong was formerly the Chief Executive Officer of the Urban Redevelopment Authority from 2004 to 2010, in charge of strategic land use planning, conservation of built heritage, promotion of design excellence and the real estate market. She was a key driver of many new growth areas in Singapore, including Marina Bay.
Dr Cheong is currently on the Boards of the HDB, the National University of Singapore, the Civil Service College, as well as the International Federation for Housing and Planning. She is on the World Economic Forum’s Real Estate and Urbanisation Global Agenda Council, is a fellow of the Singapore Institute of Architects and serves on the nominating committee of the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize.
A Colombo Plan Scholar, Dr Cheong graduated with first class honours and University Gold Medal in Architecture (Newcastle), a Masters in Development Planning (University College London), and completed the Advanced Management Programme (Harvard). Amongst others, she was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for outstanding public service; an honorary doctorate in Architecture, the Convocation Medal for Professional Excellence and the International Women Forum’s 2011 ‘Woman Who Make A Difference’ Award (Washington DC). She was appointed the Tan Swan Beng Endowed Professor by Nanyang Technological University in 2014. In 2016, she was conferred the Urban Land Institute’s J.C. Nichols Prize for Urban Visionaries as well as the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s Lyn S Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award.