Our office in Singapore provides a central hub for a growing community of people professionals across Asia. We work with individuals and organisations across the region, using our internationally recognised standards to build the capability of the profession as experts in people at work. Our independent thought leadership provides insight for professionals and raises the voice and status of the profession in the wider world of work in Asia.
The CIPD Asia team is actively supporting the profession by building partnerships with individuals, organisations, and governments to shape the future of the profession and the world of work in Asia.
Introducing the team
Karen Blal, Regional Director - SE Asia
Karen Blal is the Regional Director of CIPD Asia. She leads the Singapore based team and is responsible for growing the CIPD’s presence in Asia through building a strong and effective team and proposition. This requires ensuring that appropriate relationships are developed at the right level with Government, local partners, customers and members. Karen supports the team to deliver solutions to its key stakeholders and oversees the development of HR networks and communities. Another key responsibility is identifying local needs and adapting the CIPD’s services to meet those needs.
Karen has worked in Singapore for over 17 years. Prior to the CIPD, she was the Managing Director of Trompenaars Hampden-Turner, helping organisations and individuals work effectively across cultural boundaries. Her background is in organisational change and learning and development.
Dr Sarah Dunleavy, Research Adviser, APAC
Sarah joined the CIPD in 2015 and is responsible for CIPD research and thought leadership for the Asia region. Her role is a combination of rigorous research and active engagement with professionals and thought leaders to inform projects and provoke discussion and debate in the profession, driving good practice forward. Sarah recently completed work on The Future of Talent in Singapore 2030.
Prior to joining the CIPD, Sarah worked in a contingency planning and strategy capacity for Emirates Airline in Dubai. She has worked in the area of intellectual disability in Ireland for several years. Sarah holds a PhD in Psychology (Queen’s University, Belfast) investigating the influence of emotion on the understanding of risk. She holds a BSc in Psychology and a Graduate Certificate in Clinical Psychology. She is a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society.
Franc Gooding, Brand and Marketing Director
Franc joined the Singapore team in 2015 to spearhead CIPD’s brand expansion across the Asia region and to help nurture the development of communities and member networks. Prior to moving to Asia Franc worked for CIPD in the UK for two years, helping regionalise the volunteer member effort with the formation of CIPD London – a network that represents over 22,000 members.
Over his career Franc has held a variety of events, marketing and advertising roles in both the public and private sectors, and also spent 4 years running his own creative start-up enterprise specialising in large-scale outdoor events. This entrepreneurial spirit mean that he has developed a broad skill set including events, marketing / digital marketing, advertising, PR, copy writing, social media, design and sales.
Emma Jackson, Lead Engagement Consultant, APAC, (Assoc CIPD)
After several years of working between the UK & Asia, Emma moved full time to Asia over 7 years ago and joined CIPD Asia in October 2016.
Her own International HR experience includes working with culturally diverse organisations to maximise performance and productivity by enabling teams to overcome their challenges. She has been responsible for global HR strategy and implementation in private, public and not for profit sectors. Emma is able to use this knowledge to work in partnership with organisations and individuals to help define HR priorities, highlight strengths and produce appropriate capability development programmes.
Emma’s particular interest areas include coaching and mentoring, employee engagement and diversity & inclusion. She is passionate about helping individuals and organisations develop to fulfil their potential and her past work was awarded the UK Department of Trade & Industry Regional finalist in recognition of this.
Emma looks forward to meeting with you to talk about your HR and L&D aspirations.
Alvin de Jesus, Market Development Director-Asia Pacific
Alvin leads the Employer Engagement practice in Asia, the B2B group within the Institute that helps businesses and governments in professionalising HR. Supported by a team of project managers and subject matter experts, Alvin partners with large scale employers to help improve their internal HR and L&D capability and raise the overall HR and L&D skills standards. Some of the key relationships he manages include Shell, Total Oil, Ooredoo, Technip, RBS, Asian Development Bank, AIA, Ministry of Health Holdings Singapore, Audit Board of Indonesia just to name a few.
Prior to the CIPD, Alvin was with AchieveForum helping organisations in the ASEAN region in areas of leadership development, sales effectiveness and improve customer experience. His consulting experience include a tenure with Korn/Ferry Futurestep in charge of Recruitment Process Outsourcing(RPO), and he has spent many years at the world’s largest professional services KPMG and technology advisory giant, Gartner. Apart from HR, his vast industry experiences include IT and Media having worked for blue chip organisations such Kodak and J. Walter Thompson (JWT).
Much of Alvin’s career is spent developing markets in the Southeast Asian region having worked in Singapore and the Philippines.
May Leng Kwok, Regional Head, (Assoc CIPD)
May Leng joined the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in 2006. She has worked in the education sector for over 10 years with an emphasis on professional development and qualifications both within the UK and internationally.
She has responsibility for driving CIPD’s growth agenda in key international markets by building awareness of the CIPD brand, raise HR capability, strengthen HR content and community links, and grow CIPD qualification and short course provision as well as membership across the region.
As part of May Leng’s role, she establishes relationships with key stakeholders and influencers in region across local government, trade unions, employer federations, professional institutes, research bodies and universities, as well as MNC’s and large regional conglomerates to build strategic partnerships for CIPD.
May Leng has lead the institutes Continuing Professional Development Working Party and represented the CIPD at the Professional Associations Research Network. She regularly speaks at CIPD’s conferences and exhibitions and is invited to run seminars and workshops.
Much of May Leng’s earlier career has been spent working with secondary schools internationally on promoting the importance of education and career pathways.
Joreen Liu, Office Manager & Marketing Exec
Joreen Liu is the Office Manager/Marketing Executive for CIPD Asia, the professional body for HR and people development. In this role, she takes charge of daily office operations and marketing activities for CIPD Asia. Before joining CIPD Asia, Joreen worked for a German supply chain software consultancy firm, which gave her the perfect opportunity to expand her horizons and field of knowledge.
Prior to that, Joreen worked in the private education sector as a counsellor and found it a great joy to be working with younger peers, helping them when they had doubts over their life and studies. During this time Joreen achieved a Distinction in Specialist Certificate of Youth Counselling. Above all, Joreen is truly passionate about her work and always eager to connect with people from all walks of life.
Ginger Tan, Project Manager
Ginger first joined CIPD Asia as an Office Manager, when the Singapore Office first opened in 2014, primarily to see to the administrative roles and ensure that the office ran smoothly and efficiently. In 2016, Ginger took on the Project Manager role - focusing on day-to-day management of client projects, overseeing all aspects of delivery from design and development to implementation, managing materials and financials, staffs global faculties and coordinating logistics. Some of her clients are MOH Holdings, Total Oil, Ooredoo, Technip, Shell and NUHS.
Ginger has excellent interpersonal skills that enable her to communicate well with her clients and trainers from different cultural backgrounds. She pays close attention to detail and is well-organised, both virtues that ensure her projects are well executed to meet her clients' objectives. Prior to joining CIPD Asia, Ginger worked as a Project Manager for Forum for over 8 years.