Born in 1950 in Singapore, Tan Chin Nam is a public figure best known as a government administrator who played prominent roles in the Ministry of Manpower, National Computer Board, Economic Development Board, Singapore Tourism Board, National Library Board, Media Development Board, and the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. An arts policy maker who changed the way arts and culture was seen against the backdrop of national development, Tan championed arts and culture as active economic contributors and cultural capital. He campaigned for the development of Singapore arts and media industries, bringing prominence and recognition to the arts’ role in nation-building.
Born in pre-independence Singapore in 1950, Tan Chin Nam was already a keen amateur pianist as a young man in his early school years. He went on to obtain two engineering and economic degrees from Australia in 1972 and 1973 on Colombo Plan and President’s scholarships that ensured his first career steps in the Ministry of Defence. Through the 1980s, Tan garnered experience in various posts in economic and technology portfolios before a return to tourism and creative industries in the 1990s.