KOH Buck Song Speaker Profile

Koh Buck Song (family name: Koh) is a Singaporean country brand advisor who has advised the Singapore government on many aspects of economic and social development, as well as helped other nations to build their brands. His book Brand Singapore – first published 2011, now in its third edition (Marshall Cavendish, 2021), and with a Chinese translation published in China – is one of his almost 40 books as author and editor. His book Around The World In 68 Days (Penguin Random House, 2021) analyses the country brands of 13 countries visited.

He was a member of the Marketing Advisory Panel for Singapore’s current country brand, “Passion Made Possible”. Previously, he was a regular columnist, literary editor, and political and arts journalist and editor with The Straits Times (Singapore’s main English daily); head of global media relations and strategic planning at the Singapore Economic Development Board (where he led a team to devise Singapore’s brand as a “global entrepolis”); and head of public affairs (Southeast Asia) at communications consultancy Hill & Knowlton (where he led the international media launches of Gardens by the Bay, National Gallery Singapore, Fusionopolis and Singapore Garden Festival).

He has spoken on nation branding and brand Singapore extensively overseas, including as keynote speaker at the City Nation Place global forum in London; Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government; Bhutan’s Royal Institute for Governance and Strategic Studies; a Japan Foundation symposium in Tokyo (where he was invited as a cultural leader of Singapore); a Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) symposium in Tahiti (French Polynesia); as well as at the universities of Chicago, Fudan (Shanghai, China) and Melbourne (Australia).

He was a Mason Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, USA, where he earned a master’s in public administration, and also holds degrees in English from Cambridge University, and in education from London University, UK. He was previously Adjunct Associate Professor of leadership at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, and Adjunct Faculty in media policy at the Singapore Management University.

Based in Singapore

Speaking topics:

  • Country branding: How it’s different from commercial branding, why it’s essential
  • Singapore case study of nation branding
  • Lessons from Singapore’s economic growth strategy, urban development

Available for:

  • Conference presentation
  • Panellist at forum / symposium
  • One-day / half-day workshop


Talk #1:  Brand Singapore: Successes and challenges

Talk #2: Why nation branding matters

Speaker characteristics:

#passionate #insightful #insider_outsider #outofthebox

Ideal audiences:

  • Place branding conferences
  • Governments and government agencies
  • Academic departments / schools of public policy, marketing, business, etc.

Interested in booking Buck Song KOH as speaker? Please get in touch here. More about his work in our interview with Buck Song.