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The AHA Centre welcomed its new Executive Director Mr. Lee Yam Ming on 30 August 2021. A native of Singapore, ED Lee has been in public service for 27 years.

He is an Assistant Commissioner of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and has held several leadership positions in the field of command, operations, training, policy and planning, risk management and governance, and human resources.

ED Lee is no stranger to ASEAN. He has been involved in ASEAN matters since 2004 and has represented the SCDF at various international and regional platforms. This includes the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM), the United Nations International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (UN INSARAG) and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and ASEAN Regional Forum.

Even in conceptualising and establishing the AHA Centre, ED Lee was already very much involved. He was part of the Singapore team that negotiated, drafted and ratified foundational agreements for the ACDM, such as the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) and the ASEAN Agreement on the Establishment of the AHA Centre. He was also involved in the drafting and adoption of the ASEAN Declaration on One ASEAN, One Response and the ASEAN 2025 Vision, and recently the AADMER Work Programme 2021 – 2025.

When asked how the AHA Centre continues to be at the forefront of disaster management and emergency response in the ASEAN region during the pandemic, he emphasised that the AHA Centre must be always ready to respond to any natural disasters in the region, even in a pandemic situation. ASEAN and the AHA Centre have grown and developed their capacities and resources over the years. ASEAN Member States have proved to be resilient and efficient in responding to several major disasters. We will continue to review and adapt our framework and response mechanisms, to ensure that we are able to meet any new challenges and evolving global and regional situations.

As the new ED, Mr. Lee envisions the AHA Centre continuing to play an important role in disaster management in the ASEAN region and beyond.

“ASEAN and the AHA Centre must be proactive and responsive to changing environments and be innovative and transformative in approach. Closer collaboration and integration of various countries, agencies and partners in disaster management and humanitarian assistance are essential and critical in a closely connected and integrated world.”

ED Lee graduated with a good honors degree in History from the National University of Singapore. He is married with one daughter. An active sportsman in his younger days, he plays football, squash and badminton amongst many other sports. ED Lee is a big football fan and supports Liverpool. He enjoys watching movies, doing light exercise in his free time and short holidays and travelling with his family.


Written by : Judith Garcia Meese | Photo Credit: AHA Centre