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H.E. Kara Owen (British High Commissioner to the Republic of Singapore at British High Commission)

H.E. Kara Owen

British High Commissioner to the Republic of Singapore at British High Commission

Ms Owen comes to Singapore from her most recent appointment as Director for the Americas at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Prior to that, she served four years as Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Paris, during which she was awarded with a CVO (Commander of the Victoria Order) by HM The Queen. Ms Owen has a lifelong interest in the South East Asian region, begun during her teenage years when her parents lived in the Philippines and cemented during her diplomatic postings to Hong Kong and Hanoi.

Ms Owen graduated from the University of Sheffield with a BA in History. She is committed to lifelong learning for herself and her teams. She has a MSc from LSE in Diplomacy and International Strategy and a MSc from Cranfield University in International Human Resource Management. Alongside her diplomatic work, she has focused on diversity issues and organisational development.

The High Commissioner is the UK government’s representative in a Commonwealth nation. They are responsible for the direction and work of the High Commission and its Deputy High Commissions and/or Consulates, including political work, trade and investment, press and cultural relations, and visa and consular services.

Arlene Wherrett (Vice President & Managing Director, Asia of Sage Software Asia)

Arlene Wherrett

Vice President & Managing Director, Asia of Sage Software Asia

Arlene Wherrett is the Vice President & Managing Director for Sage Asia responsible for accelerating the growth of Sage’s business in Asia. Working closely with Sage’s loyal business partners, Arlene will build on the successful business established in the region over the last two decades.

Arlene has over 20 years of experience, managing businesses within the IT and Services industries across Asia Pacific leveraging her strong leadership skills and deep industry expertise. She has in the past, held General Manager positions with multi-national corporations including Mercer, Marsh and SAI Global. Prior to joining
Sage in early 2017, she held the position of Managing Director, Australia with the highly successful Salesforce implementation partner, Bluewolf, an IBM company.

Before undertaking her current role at Sage Asia, she was previously at Sage Australia, where she held the role of Vice President, Services, for Sage Asia Pacific, growing the professional services, customer support and learning services business.

Arlene graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Sociology from Trent University in Canada and has a Masters of Management from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management in Australia. She consistently practices continuous learning in human performance, neuroscience and leadership. Arlene is also a certified Gallup Strengths coach and has led leadership development workshops for numerous organisations across Asia Pacific, in addition to the various business groups at Sage.

Aidan Hoy (Regional Program Manager, Strategic Response at Facebook)

Aidan Hoy

Regional Program Manager, Strategic Response at Facebook

Aidan is Regional Program Manager, Strategic Response in Facebook’s Asia-Pacific HQ in Singapore. He is responsible for coordinating dozens of teams around the globe to mitigate risks at the intersection of technology, conflict and politics in Asia, with a particular focus on elections. Aidan started his career in the Australian defence department, taking a variety of assignments including postings to the Australian embassy in Jakarta and the peacekeeping force in Timor-Leste. Aidan moved to Singapore 5 years ago, initially working in intelligence and anti-financial crime roles in the finance sector before moving to Facebook.

Weilin Lim (Director, Corporate Communications & Press Secretary of Ministry of Trade and Industry)

Weilin Lim

Director, Corporate Communications & Press Secretary of Ministry of Trade and Industry

Weilin is currently the Director of Corporate Communications at the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Press Secretary to the Minister for Trade and Industry. Prior to her time in MTI, she has held positions at various government agencies including the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has experience in a wide range of roles in the areas of public communications and community engagement but is most passionate about stakeholder engagement and building strong networks.

Don Rapley (Managing Director of Transform Your Conversations)

Don Rapley

Managing Director of Transform Your Conversations

Don Rapley is the Managing Director of TYC, which he co-founded in 2016 to help organisations create a conversation culture and transform the way Managers interact with their teams.

Don has a wide ranging experience in leadership, training and coaching roles in multicultural and international environments, having worked extensively across Europe, Asia, USA and the Middle East, facilitating missions in over 30 different countries across a wide range of sectors.

He is actively involved in the British Chamber of Commerce as the co-chair of the Leadership, Talent and Professional Development Committee and is an active member of the Singapore ICF International Coach Federation.

Don comes from an Anglo-Dutch family and after spending his early career in the UK, Belgium and France, he settled in Paris where he lived for most of his career, before starting his leadership training and coaching business in Singapore in 2013.

His previous leadership roles were with Marks & Spencer, where he was involved in growing and adapting the chain of retail stores for the Continental European market as Divisional Commercial Controller and Store Operations Manager for the French, Belgian, Spanish and Irish subsidiaries.