Board of Directors

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Executive Committee

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BLAIR HALL

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President

Blair Hall has been AAS President since April 2020. He has been an AAS member since 2013 and joined its Executive Committee in 2017.

 

Blair first came to Singapore as Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy. In the course of a diplomatic career that spanned nearly four decades, he also served as a US Foreign Service Officer in Tokyo (three times), Okinawa, London, New Delhi, Copenhagen and in Washington, DC on a variety of political, economic and national security assignments. After retiring from public service in 2016, Blair returned to Singapore as a strategic advisor to several private equity funds and investment banks. He currently is an external consultant to Tesla Inc. Blair received MA (International Relations) and JD (Law) degrees from the George Washington University. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar. 

 

He and his wife, Valerie Brandt, who also is an enthusiastic AAS member, enjoy the rich and diverse experiences offered by life in Singapore and cherish the friendships made here. Blair enjoys tennis, biking, reading and political discourse, and both love adventure travel. 

 

Blair and Valerie happily reside in Singapore, but call Idaho home. Their two daughters, one a Singapore American School graduate, are now young professionals living in the United States.  

MICHAEL JOHNSEN

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Vice President

Michael has been based in amazing Singapore for just over three years with his wife Catherine and twin six-year olds.  Adrianna and Nathaniel are encouraging their dad to get going with the AAS  4th of July event because it is the “best day ever!”  No pressure!

Michael’s day-job is as Regional VP of APAC/ANZ for Arpin International, a US-HQ household goods (HHG) moving & storage company with offices and operations throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.  He has over a two decades of developing businesses in Asia, most recently growing Arpin’s presence in Mainland China and throughout Asia-Pac. With over 17 years on the ground in China previously, Michael was also a co-founder and vice-president at Dash Brands, which is the master franchisee for Domino’s Pizza in China. A former US Marine veteran of the Persian Gulf War, Michael is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and holds an MBA from ESCP Europe in Paris.

ASHOK LALWANI

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Treasurer

Ashok is a Principal with Baker McKenzie, an international law firm, and is Head of the International Capital Markets Practice in Asia Pacific and the Global India Practice for the Firm.  

Ashok and his wife, Garima, have been based in Singapore for almost 20 years. Ashok grew up in East Lansing, Michigan where he attended Michigan State University for his BA and MBA. He briefly worked as a tax consultant with Arthur Andersen and obtained a CPA before joining University of Notre Dame for law school. He has two kids, both of whom attended Singapore American School (one from K-12) and are now working in Chicago. He is active in the community and has served on the Board of the Singapore American School and the General Committee of the American Club. 

MKULIMA "M"BRITT

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Director-at-Large

Two ‘Covid short’ years ago, M and his family moved to Singapore and are thrilled to live in South Asia. A self-diagnosed foodie and home chef, M also enjoys ‘hobby’ winemaking with his friends. M is passionate about sharing his knowledge of entrepreneurship, CPG manufacturing, and sustainability.Soon after moving to Singapore, M joined TurtleTree Labs, Inc. as a Financial Advisor. TurtleTree Labs is a big-vision, food technology venture boldly addressing a multi-billion dollar global dairy market and infant nutrition industry. M also participates in the burgeoning Singapore startup ecosystem with Big Idea Ventures, a hybrid venture fund that invests in alternative protein companies, and Entrepreneurs First, an international incubator that enables the world’s most ambitious people to build the most important companies.

Prior to Singapore, Mkulima was an executive in the US dairy industry for more than 20 years at Clover Sonoma, Inc. M remains a third generation owner of Clover and during his tenure, led the company in various roles including CFO, and VP of Operations. M is a member of the Singapore Institute of Directors. He is thrilled to become a member of the American Association of Singapore's Executive Committee

DANA HVIDE

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Director-at-Large

Bio Coming

AARON KIM

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Director-at-Large

Aaron Kim is co-founder and Managing Partner of Valparaiso Capital Partners, an Asia-focused private equity firm regionally based in Singapore.

Prior to Valparaiso, he was Executive Director and head of operations at AXA Japan when it acquired Nippon Group Life in 2000 for $2 billion, where he was responsible for IT and operations, as well as business restructuring activities. In 1997-1999, he advised the Brunei Investment & Commercial Bank, which is wholly-owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, the nation’s sovereign wealth fund. From 1990 -1997, he was Vice President at Citibank in New York, Hong Kong and Singapore in corporate finance, advisory and strategic planning roles.

Mr. Kim has a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration and Master’s in Economics from Boston University. He has working fluency in Japanese and Korean, and he is an American national, originally from Menlo Park, California.

 

DANIEL MOSS

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Director-at-Large

Daniel Moss is columnist for Bloomberg Opinion. Now based in Singapore, Moss returned to Asia in 2019 after almost two decades in London, Washington and New York. Prior to joining the commentary team, he held a number of leadership roles at Bloomberg spanning economics, politics and markets. He ran economics news during the global financial crisis, has testified to Congress and is a contributor to Bloomberg Television. Dan’s first foray into Asia was as bureau chief in Kuala Lumpur from 1996 to 1998, spanning the last year of the boom and the first year of the crisis that followed. He is a graduate of the Australian National University. 

NAUREEN RASUL

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Director-at-Large

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Naureen moved to New York at the age of 16.  She relocated to Singapore with her husband and two dogs in March 2020 to oversee Marsh’s Asia Commercial Segment.  In her role, she encourages her small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) clients to rethink their insurance priorities, motivates her internal and external partners to explore “outside the box” ways of insuring and distributing product solutions, and creates customized digital end-to-end user experiences.  Naureen has more than 18 years of insurance industry experience across New York, San Francisco, and Hong Kong, and is currently a member of Marsh Asia’s Executive Council. She is passionate about her two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, American football, kickboxing, lounging in the sun with a great non-fiction book and a glass of wine, as well as exploring different cultures and cuisines.

JENNIFER YARBROUGH

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Director-at-Large

Jennifer is an American who has been living in Singapore since 2011.  She is the owner of White Glove Pte. Ltd., an employment agency in Singapore. She formerly served as the Chair for USAGSO Singapore (Girl Scouts) for three years. Jennifer is an attorney and member of the California Bar Association. Prior to becoming an attorney and living overseas, she worked as a course developer and instructor for financial services and software companies in New York City and Silicon Valley. Jennifer is passionate about helping girls and women become strong and independent. Her top priority is raising two independent daughters to follow their dreams and passions.

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Board Members

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Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei, AmCham CEO

Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Singapore — the largest and the most active international business association in Singapore and Southeast Asia, with over 6,000 members representing over 550 companies. Hsien is also Adjunct Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, member of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Advisory Board, member of the Singapore Institute of Directors MNC Committee, co-lead of the WorkWell Leaders SME Action Sub-Group, and on the organizing committee of the Precision Public Health Asia Conference.

Prior to AmCham, Hsien was Vice President, Medical and Scientific Affairs, Medtronic Asia Pacific, where she was responsible for the Medtronic Innovation Centers in Japan and Korea, training and education, and the company’s health systems transformation strategy in the region. Hsien has extensive experience in scientific affairs, corporate and healthcare communications, advertising, public relations and government affairs. Hsien has lived and worked in the US, Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam, UK, and is now based in Singapore. She holds a BA (with honors) in Human Biology from Stanford University and a PhD in Epidemiology from The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health where she was the recipient of a US National Institutes of Health Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology Training Grant. Her doctoral thesis explored the genetic epidemiology of end-stage renal disease and type 2 diabetes. She completed her post-doctoral fellowship at National Taiwan University Hospital in the Department of Internal Medicine. 

Linda Schindler, AWA President 
 
Jeff Majestic, SACAC Chairman 
 
Kyle Aldous, Singapore American School
Neetu Mirchandani, The American Club 
 
Melinda Murphy, American Association of Singapore (non-voting)


 
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Non-Voting Board Members

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Brian Himmelsteib, US Embassy

Brian Himmelsteib currently serves as Counselor for Management Affairs (Chief Administrative Officer) for the US Embassy in Singapore since August 2020.  A career member of the Foreign Service, in his seventeen year career he’s also served in Indonesia, Japan, Laos, as well as in Washington.  His Washington DC tours include two stints in the Operations Center, the Department’s 24/7 crisis response and communications office, as well as the Office of Korean Affairs.  A graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Brian is joined in Singapore by his wife and two children, both of whom attend Singapore American School

Rear Admiral Mark Melson, US Navy COMLOG WESTPAC