Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr. Jeffrey Cheah AO is a stalwart entrepreneur and philanthropist recognised for his selfless contribution to nation-building and bold commitment to the sustainability agenda.
He established his entrepreneurship credentials by founding Sunway Group, one of Southeast Asia’s leading conglomerates with core interests in real estate, construction, hospitality, retail, education, leisure and healthcare, supported by a 16,000-strong workforce.
In the realm of philanthropy, Tan Sri is the founder and trustee of the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, which has disbursed RM618 million in scholarships and grants as of 2022. Adopting a social enterprise model, the Foundation is the largest of its kind in advancing education in Malaysia. It is Tan Sri’s goal to give out several billion Ringgit in scholarships in his lifetime.
The foundation also endowed US$20 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 to lead continent-wide sustainability initiatives.
This ranks Sunway City Kuala Lumpur alongside New York City and Paris as one of the three overarching UN-SDSN global centres to coordinate continent-wide sustainability initiatives for Asia, the Americas as well as Europe and Africa respectively.
Tan Sri 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.
In 2019, a generous endowment by Tan Sri led to the establishment of the Jeffrey Cheah Biomedical Centre at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, the largest biotech cluster outside the United States.
Tan Sri has been conferred 12 honorary doctorates by world-renowned institutions and is an Honorary Fellow of Cambridge and Oxford universities as well as a member of Harvard University’s Global Advisory Council. He is the first Malaysian recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Luminary Award by Singapore-based Channel NewsAsia and was named four times as “Forbes Asia’s Hero of Philanthropy”. His honours include Order of Australia, conferred by the Australian Prime Minister