JCA 2019 Keynote Speaker
Chief Executive Officer, National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre
Melissa Kwee is the third Chief Executive Officer of the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC). As the spokesperson for a wide range of causes, she has been involved in mobilising resources and people to aid in community development. She has assumed roles as the Chairman of Halogen Foundation, a youth leadership organisation and President of UN Women Singapore (formerly known as Unifem Singapore), where she tackled trafficking issues and initiated various community campaigns to engage and empower youth as advocates.
She received the Singapore Youth Award in 2007 and Asean Youth Award 2008 for her leadership and service. To help teenage girls on probation reintegrate into society, she founded Beautiful People, a programme of Beyond Social Services, which pairs mentors with teenage girls to offer guidance, life skills, and friendship.
Upon returning to Singapore, she started Project Access — a values-based leadership education initiative to inspire and equip girls and young women to be role models for positive change.
Her career has spanned the public, private and community sectors as anthropologist, researcher, educational programme designer, social innovator and as a catalyst in the private sector. She has served on many public service and community boards to advance the mission of causes she believes in including the National Arts Council, the Singapore Repertory Theatre, the ITE Board of Governors and Prison Fellowship International. She is currently on the boards of Crest Secondary, a specialised school for technical education in Singapore; 70x7, an initiative by the Prison Fellowship Singapore, Pontiac Land Group and Honestbee.
She holds a degree in anthropology from Harvard College and received a Fulbright Scholarship to study ethnic-based community leadership in Nepal.