Seow Poh was the Senior Advisor for the National Environment Agency (NEA) from 2021 to 2023. NEA’s mission is to improve and sustain a clean and green environment in Singapore.
Previously, Seow Poh was the Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO) overseeing Policies, Corporate and Technology matters. As DCEO, Seow Poh’s portfolio covered Joint Operations & Technology, Corporate Services, Planning and Policy, Public Engagement, Hawker Centres, Corporate Communications and the Industry Development.
On the technology front, Seow Poh oversaw NEA’s efforts in promoting R&D and test-bedding of emerging environmental solutions, covering waste-to-energy, mechanical and biological waste treatment, metal recovery, multi-storey waste recycling facility etc. On the industry front, he helped to drive the national effort to improve the productivity, professionalism and wellbeing of the workforce in the waste management, cleaning and pest management sectors. On the infrastructure front, he led a national programme to build 20 new hawker centres to meet public demand for more affordable food.
Seow Poh started his career as a Civil Engineer in the then Ministry of the Environment. In the 1980s, he was involved in the planning, design and construction of sewerage infrastructure for HDB new towns. He was also responsible for the review and expansion of the sewage treatment capacity in the Central Catchment of Singapore.
In the 1990s, Seow Poh led in the Ministry’s International Environment and Policy works, whereby he helped forge Singapore’s regional and global standing on the environment. His roles included supporting Singapore’s contribution to the UN Earth Summit, initiating collaborations with Germany and regional countries to promote technology transfer, making Singapore a regional hub for environmental technology, and putting in place an ASEAN cooperative framework to tackle transboundary haze pollution.
Seow Poh joined the National Environment Agency in 2004 as the Director-General for Public Health. He helped revamp key regulations and policies ranging from dengue control, food, public hygiene, smoking prohibition, anti-littering to rodent control. As the DG, he also oversaw the development of a crematorium/columbarium complex, and the crypt burial system to meet Singapore’s long-term infrastructure need in providing after death services. Seow Poh also worked with the World Health Organisation to push for an Asia-Pacific Plan of Action for Dengue control, which propagated closer cooperation among regional countries. He became the DCEO of NEA in 2012.
Seow Poh was educated in Singapore and the United Kingdom. He has a Bachelor degree in Engineering Science from the Oxford University, and a Master degree in Civil Engineering from the National University of Singapore. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow in the Institution of Engineers Singapore (IES). He was conferred the Public Administration Medal (Silver) in 2002, and Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 2015 for his contributions to the Singapore Public Service.