The Leading Infocomm and
Digital Media Professional Society in Singapore

Mr Peter Ho

Hall Of Fame, 2010

Peter Ho holds concurrent portfolios as the Permanent Secretary (Foreign Affairs) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Head Civil Service, Permanent Secretary (National Security and Intelligence Coordination), and Permanent Secretary (Special Duties) in the Prime Minister's Office, while he was also a former Permanent Secretary for Defence. No matter which appointment he assumed, Peter transformed the public sector with many bold IT initiatives, a testimony to his firm conviction in the transforming power of IT.

As PS Defence, in 2000, Peter championed a "dot-com" mindset to replace the traditional "dot-gov" approach. The initiative saw a public-private partnership that allied the domain expertise of the public sector with the flexibility and speed of the private sector. Not only did it lead to greater convenience and more customer-centric service in MINDEF transactions, it promoted a mindset shift in the public sector towards becoming more customer-oriented. He encouraged an enterprise-centric governance model in MINDEF, implementing many large-scale projects in MINDEF with a focus on the strategic use of IT.

Peter was also instrumental in the initial conceptualization and establishment of the Risk Assessment and Horizon Scanning (RAHS) Programme, which promotes a holistic government approach towards strategic anticipation to better prepare agencies for future national security threats. Under his leadership, he fostered a climate of continuous experimentation and encouraged the use of new sense-making methods and technologies to help agencies deal with the complexity and anticipation of emerging strategic issues. In doing so, Peter has built up a capacity for non-linear thinking amongst government policy-makers, planners, and decision-makers in an increasingly complex and uncertain world.

In August 2002, Mr. Philip Yeo (then Chairman, A*STAR) asked Peter to spearhead Singapore's National Grid Computing initiative. The mission was to facilitate the seamless use of an integrated cyber infrastructure in a secure, effective, and efficient manner to advance scientific, engineering and biomedical R&D, with the longer-term goal of transforming the Singapore economy. Peter led a group of top civil servants to drive the direction for this national effort, and subsequently became chairman of the National Grid Steering Committee when it was formalized.

Under Peter's chairmanship, initial funding for the National Grid Phase 1 was secured and a thriving community of technical working groups, virtual grid communities, and special interest groups in grid related topics was set up. Peter helmed the establishment of the National Grid Pilot Platform, a virtualisation of compute/storage resources belonging to research institutes and universities for sharing, aggregation and collaboration. At its peak, the platform had about 1,000 compute cores. Responsible for the smooth implementation of Phase 1, Peter quickly provided impetus for progressing to Phase 2 by initiating the change from resource ownership to resource sharing.

In the last 13 years, Peter established Singapore's cyber-security framework through his steady stewardship of the multi-agency National Infocomm Security Committee, formulating infocomm security policies and setting strategic directions for cyber security at the national and governmental level. Peter oversaw the launch of two Infocomm Security Masterplans that aimed to build up a secure and trusted infocomm environment for the government, businesses, and individuals in Singapore. As part of these masterplans, concerted efforts were made to develop key cyber-security capabilities and close partnerships between the public, private and people sectors. Thanks to Peter's efforts in this area, Singapore was among the first nations in Asia to setup a 24-by-7 monitoring centre for real-time cyber threat detection and response. Through Peter's leadership in the NISC, infocomm security has become a strategic enabler for infocomm in economic development and national security and has contributed to enhancing Singapore's position as a secure and trusted global hub.

Peter's passion for IT, public sector integration and agency co-ordination comes as no surprise, considering his wealth of experience leading and serving in numerous statutory boards and institutions. He is currently the Chairman of the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise, and is a member of the boards of the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, the Institute of Policy Studies, the Centre for International Law and Singbridge International Singapore Pte Ltd. Peter has also held previous appointments as Chairman of the Board of DSO National Laboratories, Chairman of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, and Chairman of the Board of the Defence Science and Technology Agency. He was also Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore.

Peter Ho holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in the Engineering Tripos and a Master of Arts from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

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