Donald Low is Director of HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies, Senior Lecturer and Professor of Practice at the HKUST Institute for Public Policy, as well as Director of Leadership and Public Policy Executive Education (LAPP) at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He is an accomplished consultant and lecturer in economics and behavioural economics, decision-making and risk analysis, inequality and social policy, complexity in public policy, and the politics and governance of Singapore.
Donald has served in or consulted with public, private, higher education and non-profit organisations. Prior to his current appointment, Donald was the Associate Dean for Executive Education and Research at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. Besides leading the School’s executive education department, he also headed its case study unit. Donald also served nearly 15 years in the Singapore government as a member of the Administrative Service. During that time, he established the Centre for Public Economics at the Civil Service College to advance economics literacy in Singapore public service. He also held senior positions at the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service Division.
Donald is the editor of Behavioural Economics and Policy Design: Examples from Singapore (2011), a pioneering book which details how the Singapore government has applied ideas from behavioural economics in many policy domains. His best-selling 2014 book, Hard Choices: Challenging the Singapore Consensus, raises searching questions about the long-term viability of many aspects of governance in Singapore. He argues that a far-reaching rethinking of the country’s policies and institutions is needed in light of new socioeconomic, demographic and political realities. Such rethinking is necessary even if weakens the very consensus that enabled Singapore to succeed in its first 50 years. In 2020, he co-authored PAP v PAP: The party’s struggle to adapt to a changing Singapore with Cherian George.
Donald holds a double first in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University and a Master's in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.