S'pore Environment Council chief quits to join private sector

The chief executive of the Singapore Environment Council (SEC) is stepping down from the helm of the green group to join the private sector.

Mr Jose Raymond, 43, who took over the reins of the council in September 2011, tendered his resignation last Friday, The Straits Times has learnt.

He will be taking on a senior management position next month, although he declined to give more details.

His replacement has not been decided yet and the SEC's board will meet this week to discuss the recruiting of its new chief, the SEC told The Straits Times.

Over the years, Mr Raymond has helped the non-governmental organisation more than double its staff size from 13 to over 30, created new green programmes and clinched sponsorships for them.

He also helped the council expand its presence abroad.

For instance, the SEC will complete its first overseas Eco-Office audit - a programme which helps offices implement environmentally friendly practices - in Indonesia this month.

Mr Raymond, a former journalist and press secretary to Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan, had also helped increase the council's annual income from $1.2 million in 2011 to an estimated $4 million last year.

This year, SEC expects to reach an annual income of more than $6 million, Mr Raymond said.

"The SEC... has grown tremendously and I can now move on to my next challenge, knowing I have done my utmost best to bring it to a new level of organisational readiness," he added.

Professor Leo Tan, a member of the SEC's council, called Mr Raymond an "excellent environmental champion".

He said: "Jose generated a lot of interest in environmental issues among the people through the ENVision public dialogue sessions, instead of a more top-down approach simply telling people to go green."

SEC chairman Isabella Loh said the council thanked Mr Raymond for his leadership for the past 3½ years "in growing the organisation beyond the shores of Singapore".


This article was first published on Jan 5, 2015.
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