Tan Tarn How is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies in the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. He graduated from Peterhouse College, University of Cambridge, in 1982 with Bachelor of Arts Honours, Natural Sciences Tripos. He then obtained a Diploma in Education from the Institute of Education, Singapore, in 1984, and later was also a recipient of a three-month Fulbright Scholarship to Boston University in 1993. In the earlier part of his career Tan worked as a teacher, then as a journalist for The Straits Times, Singapore’s main local newspaper, including postings as a foreign correspondent and senior political correspondent based in Beijing and Hong Kong. Later Tan became the Head Scriptwriter for Drama Production at the Singapore Television Corporation and Associate Artistic Director of the drama company TheatreWorks, where led workshops for budding playwrights.
An arts activist and playwright, Tan Tarn How has written on the development of the arts in Singapore, in particular fostering partnerships between the people, private and public sectors; the creative industries in Singapore, China and Korea; cultural policy in Singapore; and arts censorship. His research interests also include arts education and the role of education in cultural and human development. He has also carried out research on the management and regulation of media in Singapore; the impact of the Internet and social media on society; the role of new and old media in the 2008 Malaysian election and the 2006 and 2011 Singapore elections; and the way in which the Internet and social media has influenced the development of civil society and democratic development.