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.

Dato’ Sri Idris Jala


Dato’ Sri Idris Jala was appointed to the Board of Trustees of Jeffrey Cheah Foundation on 5 Nov 2015.


He is the President and Chairman of PEMANDU Associates. A renowned transformation guru with a proven track record in both business and socioeconomic transformation, he advocates and rigorously practices the firm’s proprietary Big Fast Results (BFR) – 8 Steps of Transformation© methodology and transformational leadership approach to implement winning strategies for businesses and governments globally. Together with PEMANDU Associates, Dato’ Sri Idris has helped many Governments across the world to implement economic and social transformation e.g. Tanzania, Oman, Ethiopia, Russia, Rwanda, Nigeria, Djibouti, Lesotho, St. Lucia, Saudi Arabia, etc.


Much of his socioeconomic transformation expertise stems from his previous role as Minister in charge of performance and delivery for the Government of Malaysia, where he served for 6 years. In his role as a Minister, Dato’ Sri Idris Jala led the implementation of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and Government Transformation Programme (GTP). Under the ETP, Malaysia saw the highest growth in private sector investments catalyzed by the Entry Point Projects (EPPs), projects that generate the highest investment and jobs to the nation. It was this achievement that Bloomberg decided to recognize him as the Top 10 Most Influential Policy Makers in the World in 2014. He was also appointed on the Advisory Panel for the World Economic Forum (WEF) on the New Economic Growth and on the Advisory Panel of World Bank.


His results-driven approach towards socioeconomic transformation has also placed him as an Expert Resource Speaker at the Harvard Ministerial Leadership Forum and a Visiting Fellow of Practice at Oxford Blavatnik School of Government. For the last 7 years, he has provided lectures at Harvard to Ministers of Finance, Economic Planning, Health and Education from all around the world on practical steps and methodologies to achieve big fast results. Additionally, he also serves on the advisory panel for the United Nations Education Commission chaired by Gordon Brown.


Prior to his Government stint, Idris Jala was Managing Director/CEO at Malaysia Airlines (MAS) for three years. He was brought on board to turn around the airline which was in crisis brought about by a prolonged bout of losses from operational inefficiencies.


Before MAS, he spent 23 years at Shell, rising up the ranks to hold senior positions including Vice President, Shell Retail International and Vice President Business Development Consultancy, based in UK. This included successful business turnarounds in Malaysia and Sri Lanka.


In view of his contribution to society, Idris Jala has received honorific titles from the King of Malaysia and various State Governments of Malaysia. He was conferred the “First Order” medal by the Italian Government. Idris Jala holds a Bachelor degree in Development Studies and Management from University Sains Malaysia and a Master’s Degree in Industrial Relations from Warwick University.


Additionally, Dato’ Sri Idris serves as Chairman of Heineken Malaysia Berhad and Co-Chairman of Sunway Berhad and the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation.