Singapore – Dr Lee Kwok Cheong, IT expert, educator and businessman, was presented with an honorary Doctorate of Science Honoris Causa by the University of Londons Chancellor, HRH The Princess Royal, at the Barbican Centre.
Dr Lee received this award in recognition of his remarkable achievements in transforming Singapore into the IT efficient nation it is today.
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Dr Lee is the eldest of six children, and he started helping out in the familyrun provision shop when he was eight years old. He showed considerable academic promise in his early life, and attended primary school two years before other children of his age.
In 1973, he won a place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to pursue a double degree in management and computer science, which he completed successfully by supporting himself through parttime work.
He moved to Singapore with his family to take up a post with the National Computer Board. During his decade there, Dr Lee completely transformed the organization into a regional IT and communications engineering powerhouse. In particular, for six years he worked in the civil service in Singapore, and his leadership and hard work has led to the Civil Service of Singapore to be recognized as among the most IT efficient in the world.
During his tenure there, part of the National Computer Board later became a private company known as the National Computer Systems (NCS). Under Dr Lees leadership, the NCS went on to have subsidiaries in eight countries, with rapid revenue growth from $138 million in 1997 to $668 million in 2005, helping to put Singapore on a map already dominated by global technology giants.