Board of Trustees

Governed by a distinguished Board of Trustees, the Foundation aims to safeguard these institutions for the purpose of providing and sustaining quality education and research for present and future generations of students.

Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Sir Dr. Jeffrey Cheah KBE AO – Founder and Trustee


Tan Sri Sir Dr. Jeffrey Cheah KBE AO is the founder and trustee of the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation (JCF).


He is also the founder and chairman of Sunway Group, one of Southeast Asia’s leading conglomerates with core interests in property, construction, hospitality, retail, education, leisure and healthcare.


As a champion and advocate of quality education and world-class research as well as sustainable development, Tan Sri Sir continues to fulfil his personal life philosophy of “aspiring to inspire before I expire”.


In 2007, Tan Sri Sir established the JCF. And in 2010, he had transferred, in perpetuity, the equity and rights of Sunway Education Group’s (SEG) educational institutions, worth several billion Ringgit, into the JCF.


Adopting a social enterprise model, JCF is the largest of its kind in advancing education in Malaysia. JCF has disbursed RM670 million in scholarships and grants as of 2022. It is Tan Sri Sir’s goal to give out several billion Ringgit in scholarships in his lifetime.


JCF also established active partnerships with top-tier universities such as University of Cambridge, University of Oxford and Lancaster University in the United Kingdom, and Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Boston and University of California, Berkeley, in the United States. Such collaborations facilitate knowledge transfer and make world-class expertise accessible to Malaysians.


JCF also endowed USD20 million to the United Nations to set up the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development at Sunway University to advance the sustainability agenda in this region, and the Asia headquarters of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN-SDSN) at Sunway University, making it one of only three such global centres leading continent-wide sustainability initiatives.


This ranks Sunway City Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia alongside Paris, overseeing Europe and Africa, and New York City, overseeing The Americas.


Tan Sri Sir is also the co-chair of global initiative Mission 4.7, which was launched by Pope Francis alongside UN-SDSN President Professor Jeffrey Sachs, UNESCO assistant director-general for education Ms. Stefania Giannini and Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences at the Vatican in 2020. Mission 4.7 aims to accelerate the implementation of SDG Target which calls upon governments to ensure that learners acquire the knowledge, skills, values and attributes needed to achieve the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.


Tan Sri Sir is also the mastermind behind the Jeffrey Cheah Institute on Southeast Asia (JCI), the first public-policy think tank based in a private university in Malaysia, to conduct and promote joint research and teaching on economies, societies, politics, and cultures in Southeast Asia.

A summary of Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Sir Dr. Jeffrey Cheah KBE AO notable achievements and appointments includes:


  • Conferred the Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE), by His Majesty Kind Charles III
  • Awarded Putra Personality of the Year Award
  • Appointed as Fellow of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM), under the discipline of Science & Technology Development Industry
  • Received ASEAN Entrepreneurial Excellence Award by EY



  • Appointed as the Co-Chair of the Malaysian AIDS Foundation Sustainability Advisory Committee.



  • Received award for the social impact of Sunway’s corporate social responsibility efforts from Prime Minister of Malaysia
  • Named Forbes Asia’s Heroes of Philanthropy for the fourth time, having previously being listed in 2019, 2015 and 2009.
  • Conferred the Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy for Leadership in Health Education and Sustainability Networks by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.



  • Conferred Honorary Doctorate of Social Enterprise by University of Cambodia
  • Received Hunayn Ibn Ishaq Unity Award at Islamic Excellence Awards 1441H/2020AD
  • Appointed Member of the Economic Action Council (EAC) by the Prime Minister of Malaysia
  • Appointed Member of the National Agricultural Advisory Council (MPPN) by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry.
  • Co-chair of Mission 4.7, a global initiative to highlight the critical importance of education in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).



  • Appointed Chairman of SDSN Malaysia chapter.
  • Awarded Lifetime Achievement Award by Sin Chew Education Awards
  • Awarded the Asian Leadership Award by Asian Association of Management Organisations (AAMO)
  • Awarded Malaysia Exemplary Leader of Sustainable Development 2019 by EdgeProp
  • Awarded UK-Malaysia Personality Award by British Malaysia Chamber of Commerce (BMCC)
  • Awarded Asia’s Lifetime Achievement Award 2019 by Fortune Times, Singapore
  • Named Forbes Asia Heroes of Philanthropy for the third time (2009, 2015 and 2019).
  • Named Malaysia’s Exemplary Leader of Sustainable Development 2019 at EdgeProp Malaysia’s Best Managed Property Awards



  • Conferred Malaysian Institute of Management’s (MIM) Court of Emeritus Fellow



  • Awarded the inaugural Sustainability Icon Award by RAM
  • Awarded the ASEAN@50 Lifetime Achievement Award by ASEAN Business Advisory Council Malaysia
  • Member of the Malaysian Institute of Management (MIM) Court of Emeritus Fellow
  • Appointed a member of the National Productivity Council of Malaysia



  • Recipient of the Victoria University Distinguished Alumni Award
  • Conferred Honorary Doctorate of Education by Universiti Malaya
  • Member of the Chancellor’s Court of Benefactors, University of Oxford
  • Companion of the Cambridge University Guild of Benefactors
  • Conferred Malaysian Institute of Management’s (MIM) Malaysian Leadership Excellence Award.
  • Honorary Fellow of Brasenose College, University of Oxford
  • First Malaysian recipient of the Dayawati Modi Award for Art, Culture and Education. Other recipients include Dalai Lama and Mother Theresa.
  • Awarded with the Channel NewsAsia Lifetime Achievement Luminary Award 2016



  • Member of Harvard’s COUR- the Committee on University Resources.
  • Honoured with the Lifetime Excellence Achievement Award under the Sin Chew. Business Excellence Awards 2015.
  • Listed as one of Malaysia’s “Heroes of Philanthropy” by Forbes Asia. (First listed in 2009)
  • Best Chief Executive Officer for IR (Mid Cap) by the Malaysian Investor Relations Association.
  • Senior Honorary Life Advisor Award by the Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong).
  • Founding Chair for the Malaysian 30% Club.
  • Conferred Honorary Fellow by the Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (IEM).



  • President’s Award by Malaysia Institute of Planners (MIP).
  • Prominent Player Award by Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) Malaysia.
  • Value Creator: Malaysia’s Outstanding CEO by The Edge Billion Ringgit Club.
  • Matriculated as a member of Caius, and admitted as a Gonville Fellow Benefactor of Gonville & Caius College, University of Cambridge.
  • Appointed as Member of Global Advisory Council, Harvard University.



  • Malaysia Outstanding Property Personality Award by The Edge Malaysia.
  • Appointed as Advisor to Institut Darul Ridzuan (IDR) in the State of Perak, Malaysia.
  • Appointed as Council Member of United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UNSDSN).



  • Appointed as Permanent Honorary President to the Federation of Hakka Associations Malaysia, in appreciation of his invaluable contributions to the Associations.
  • Awarded Honorary Gold Award from the Royal Rotary Club of Kuala Lumpur, in recognition of his leadership and development of education and research in Malaysia.
  • Conferred the Honorary Fellowship by the Malaysian Scientific Association (MSA) for his exemplary and overall contribution to the development of science education as well as the advancement of science and technology in Malaysia.



  • Listed as one of Malaysia’s “Heroes of Philanthropy” by Forbes Asia.



  • Appointed as Chairman of Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) Selangor Chapter, by the Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of MCPF Malaysia.



  • Monash University School of Medicine and Health Sciences was named after Tan Sri Cheah (Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences) in appreciation of his contribution to Monash University Malaysia and Malaysia-Australia bilateral ties.
  • Technology Excellence Asean Awards 2007 – Lifetime Excellence in Property Development, Construction, Education & Humanitarianism (presented by Business Review).



  • Installed as Chancellor of Sunway University Malaysia by His Royal Highness Sultan of Selangor.



  • Asia’s Most Innovative Chinese Entrepreneur Award.



  • Outstanding EXCO member contributor by FCLP.



  • Deputy President and Trustee of National Kidney Foundation of Malaysia.
  • First non-Malay Honorary Member of Kuala Lumpur Malay Chamber of Commerce.
  • Paul Harris Fellow Award by Rotary Club Malaysia.



  • Founding Trustee of Malaysian Liver Foundation.



  • President of Malaysian Hakka Association (until 2004).
  • Council Member of the Financial Reporting Foundation, Malaysia.



  • Appointed by the Minister of Education to the Higher Education Council of Malaysia.
  • Chairman of Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology for Construction and Housing.
  • EXCO member of the Malaysian Tourism Action Council.
  • CEO of the Year (Malaysia) by Business Times – American Express.
  • Presented the Extraordinary People Award by the National Kidney Foundation.



  • Property Man of the Year (Malaysia) by FIABCI, Malaysia Chapter.



  • Director of National Productivity Centre, Malaysia.



Royal Conferment:


  • Conferred the Panglima Setia Mahkota (PSM, carrying the title “Tan Sri”) by DYMM Seri Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agung ke-Sepuluh, Tuanku Ja’afar Ibni Al-Marhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman.
  • Conferred the Dato Seri Paduka Mahkota Perak (SPMP, carrying the title “Dato Seri”) by Sultan of Perak DYMM Sultan Azlan Shah Muhibbuddin Shah Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Yussuf Izzuddin Shah Ghafarullahu-Lah Shah.



  • Conferred the Darjah Kebesaran Dato’ Paduka Mahkota Selangor (DPMS carrying the title “Dato”) by the Sultan of Selangor DYMM Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah AlHaj Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah AlHaj.