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Board of Directors

Professor Chris Rudd OBE
Chairman, James Cook Academy

Chris Rudd

Chris Rudd is the Deputy Vice Chancellor and Head of Campus, Singapore for James Cook University. Chris is responsible to the JCUS board for the strategic leadership of the Singapore campus of James Cook University and is a member of the JCU Executive Board at which he also holds responsibility for the internationalisation of the University.

Prior to joining to James Cook University, Chris was Provost and CEO of University of Nottingham, Ningbo China (2015-19) where he led a campus of 8,000 students and 900 staff, delivering UK degree programmes in China’s first sino-foreign University and building a series of new research institutes in China to connect with local and international industry. His previous UK roles include Pro-Vice-Chancellor for External Engagement (2007-15), leading on business engagement and philanthropic fundraising and Dean of Nottingham’s Engineering Faculty (2003-7). Chris was a board director of the China-Britain Business Council from 2011-17.

In addition to his academic career Chris served as sea-going engineer with P&O Steam Navigation Company (1977-81) and a research engineer at GKN Technology Ltd (1985-86). He has collaborated widely with industry in Europe, USA and Asia and has held guest professorships in Canada, USA and China. He is currently a guest professor at Jilin University and at the National Level International Science and Technology Cooperation base in Advanced Composite Materials hosted by AVIC in Beijing. He received the Ningbo Government’s highest honour for foreigners – the Camellia Award in 2017 and Zhejiang Province West Lake Award in 2018 and a Changbaishan (长白山友谊奖) Scholar in 2013. He was awarded the 48 Group Club Icebreaker Laureate prize for services to Sino-UK relations and led Nottingham Confucius Institute to Model status, awarded by Vice-Premier LIU Yandong in 2015.  He was admitted to the Order of the British Empire in the UK 2018 New Year Honours list for services to Higher Education and UK-China relations.

Chris is a Board Member of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (AustCham) and a member of the Singapore Association for Private Education (SAPE) Management Committee.

Chris is an active researcher and holds grants and contracts with several international organisations for his research in engineering materials and lightweight structures. His team have contributed to the introduction of new materials and processes in the automotive, aerospace and medical devices industries. He has successfully supervised more than 60 PhD projects and has published > 175 journal articles with around 6500 citations and an H index of 43.

Outside his professional activities Chris enjoys outdoor activities, traditional music and dance and continues to study Mandarin at intermediate level.

Mr Andrew Chew
Chief Executive Officer

Andrew Chew

Andrew is Chief Commercial Officer and a member of Executive Management at James Cook University (JCU), Singapore.  Concurrently, he is CEO and director of James Cook Academy and Chairman of the board of directors of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Eagle Infotech. As Chief Commercial Officer of JCU Singapore, he is responsible for commercial strategy, marketing and growth of the organisation. He leads JCU’s entry into Continuing Professional Development (CPD) via the set-up of James Cook Academy and its acquisition of Eagle Infotech. Incorporated in 1988, Eagle Infotech is a Registered Training Provider (RTP) accredited by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG).  Offering a suite of technology and soft skill courses, Eagle Infotech has helped to equip over 170,000 learners from many different industries with the capability to navigate a rapidly-evolving workplace.

Initially Andrew started his career in Melbourne in financial management consulting and auditing with BDO Chartered Accountants and Consultants.  Since then Andrew has worked in a variety of roles in hotel revenue management, property development, and education and training.  He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Monash University and Master of International Tourism and Hospitality Management from James Cook University with Academic Medal.

Andrew serves on the Council of Advisors to Australian Alumni Singapore (AAS) and is Chair of the Marketing Interest Group, Singapore International Chamber of Commerce (SICC).  He is a member of Singapore Institute of Directors (SID) and the Australian Chamber of Commerce, Singapore (AustCham).

Professor Abhishek Singh Bhati

Abhishek Bhati

As Campus Dean JCU Singapore, Abhishek contributes to JCU’s Tropical Asian initiatives. His efforts guide the learning, student experience and teaching and academic governance of programs offered in JCU Singapore. Abhishek Bhati’s research investigates resilience planning in tourism, sustainable development of cities and scholarship of learning and teaching. In particular, he is interested in technology and the role it has as a catalyst for tourism industry changes; “Smart City” as a mechanism for future sustainable development; and the need for tourism to deliver United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Recent projects he has conducted have studied tourist vandalism and effectiveness of stakeholder responses to tourism developments.  Prof Bhati’s other projects include incorporating ‘work integrated learning’ (WIL) based learning strategies in tertiary education.

He has been successful in securing collaborative grant with Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT), Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC), external industry grant and several internal research grants. His current research interest is tourist behaviour management, resilience planning and scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

He holds a Diploma in Adult and Continuing Education (DACE) and has conducted training for enterprises such as Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and WOW Vision. He has experience in developing and certifying training courses for Skills Future Singapore.

Ms Venna Chai

Venna Chai

Ms Venna Chai is the Chief Financial Officer at James Cook University (Singapore) and a member of the Finance and Risk Management Committee.

Venna has over 20 years’ experience in the higher education sector, the majority of which has been operating at senior executive and management levels.

She attained her Master of Professional Accounting in 2005.She is a CPA Australia.

She heads a Department that is responsible for the Financial, Procurement, Strategies planning and Risk Management.