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2021 Exco

Emma Davidson
Emma read PPE at Corpus Christi, Oxford, and has lived in Malaysia since 1997 with her Malaysian husband and their children. She left the world of insurance and loss adjusting for the more soul satisfying work of being a teacher. After 7 years with the British Council, she now teaches at Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar, which she initially joined to help open their new primary school in 2013. She is the Deputy Head of the Sixth Form at KTJ and especially focuses on creating and running outreach events. In her free time, she enjoys open water swimming and long distance running and has successfully competed in many Oxford-Cambridge Boat races in Malaysia organised by the Society.

Gerard Bodeker
Vice President (Oxford)
Dr. Gerry Bodeker, an Australian, whose doctoral studies were at Harvard, has held research and teaching appointments in the Division of Medical Sciences at the University of Oxford for two decades and is a member of Oxford’s Green Templeton College. An Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University, New York, and in integrative medicine at the University of Western Sydney, Gerry has worked with a number of UN agencies, including the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and the UN Development Program, and is currently working with the Asian Development Bank on a book and policy frameworks for Wellness in Asia. He has worked with the Qatar Foundation on cultural traditions of wellness in the Islamic world and chairs the Mental Wellness Initiative of the Global Wellness Institute. He is a Fellow of the International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry.

Yen Chua
Vice President (Cambridge)
Yen is the co-founder and CEO of Science Bridge Academy, a science education company with a mission to inspire the next generation of scientists. She is also a mother of two adorable children. When she is not working or dealing with her energetic kids, she likes to spend time reading or relaxing with friends. Yen graduated with a PhD in geotechnical engineering from Churchill College, Cambridge.

Zamir Zulkefli
Zamir is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia. His research focus is in acoustics and he is also passionate about the commercialization of local innovations. Recently, as an ASEAN Science & Technology Fellow he worked with the Commercialization Division at MOSTI to look at the role of science parks in enabling Malaysia’s commercialization ecosystem. Zamir received both his bachelor and master degrees in aerospace engineering from Boston University, his PhD in mechanical engineering from Case Western Reserve University, and his MBA from the University of Cambridge.

Faisal Ariff
Faisal runs a tech startup after a career in investment management in the UK, Singapore and Malaysia. He studied Law at Peterhouse, Cambridge and Columbia University, New York where he was a Fulbright Scholar. His hobbies include photography, reading, writing, indoor soccer and computer games.

Dr Lyana Khairuddin
Communications Officer
Lyana is Political & Human Rights Adviser with the British High Commission, Kuala Lumpur. She trained as a virologist, and is currently bridging science with policymaking, relevant especially in the current Covid world. Lyana’s former column, NaturalLy, published by The Star Media Group, commented on socio- and identity politics in Malaysia. She founded the social movement #bringbackthekebaya in 2016. Lyana received her bachelor degree from University of Malaya, PhD in medical research from University of Queensland, and her Master of Public Policy from University of Oxford. She is a St Catherine’s College and Blavatnik School of Government alumna, where she was funded by the Chevening-Khazanah scholarship and attended the Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust (WHT) Leadership Programme.


Elizabeth Lee
Elizabeth Lee cannot deliver babies; her doctorates are honoris causa. She considers herself just a humble teacher at heart, who has been denied her great love for playing the female role of To Sir With Love to now indulge in her self professed hobby of managing a group of private education institutions including 2 Universities, a medical school, schools of all levels from the kindergarten years and Colleges of Higher Education all over Malaysia. She finds shopping a chore and tries desperately to understand the alien language & planet her children seem to have migrated to whilst dragging a totally bewildered partner-for-life to catch up on what she’s up to through Twitter. For her sins of involving herself too much in Oxbridge Society events, she has been serving in “EXCO” for as long as she can remember & was even its first Madam President.

Shawn Tan
Shawn Tan has a PhD in Engineering from Magdalene College, Cambridge. He is a Chartered Engineer who has been programming since the late-80s. A former research fellow and academic, he minds his own business at Aeste while serving as an industry advisor to universities. He attempts to hack the operating system of society by reading Law. He designs open-source micro-processors for fun (and profit). He can usually be caught reading a good book.

Chook Yuh Yng
Chook Yuh Yng is a graduate in Engineering from Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Unfortunately she does not have any specific skills or hobbies but likes poking her nose into new things. In the past, she has initiated events such as The Oxbridge Malaysia Boat Race and Oxbridge Alumni-Students Mentorship Program. During her free time, she actually just likes spending time with her family at home. Fortunately she contributes more to the society at work. Yuh Yng is the Country Manager for Malaysia and Singapore, and jobsDB Singapore. She works hard to uphold the company’s purpose of Improving Lives through Better Careers, and is passionate about anything hiring or career related.

Balraj Pannu
Balraj read law at Keble College, Oxford. This was because his dad was very clear that he could study anything he wanted, as long as it was law or medicine. Anyway, he trained as a solicitor in London and Hong Kong with Slaughter and May. After a stint of voluntary work in India with meditation research, he moved on to doing business predominantly in private equity investee companies. The most fun was a founding Malaysia’s best wellness centre as part of a property company health branding drive. This allowed him to live his yoga teacher dream – he taught yoga to a Malaysian Sultanah, Tun Badawi and KJ. He is now engaged with a Indian telemedicine start up and a European muscle activation tech business. There is a suspicion that he is trying to go into the medical line without looking like he is going into the medical line.

Margaret Hall
Margaret graduated from St. Anne’s College, Oxford in 1972 with a degree in Geology and is a past-President of the Society. She worked in the oil industry in London and lived in Denmark for a year before moving to work in the oil industry in KL in 1983. She has been a member of the Society since the 1980s and a committee member for many years. Margaret’s main contributions have been in the area of education: an English Language programme for FELDA primary school teachers in 1996 and the annual Oxbridge English Language Event and the Sunway Oxbridge Essay Competition since their inception in 2003 and 2014 respectively

Patrick Helson
Patrick is a Director of Swordbridge Sdn. Bhd. Patrick was formerly with Actis LLP, the emerging markets’ private equity investor. He holds Masters Degrees in Law (Cambridge University) and Economics (London University). He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Mark Disney
Mark has recently celebrated 25 years in Malaysia working in the education sector as a lecturer, publisher, consultant, and exam board COO. He has also accumulated a wife, three children, and an emotional attachment to his adopted country. He is the immediate Past President of the Oxbridge Malaysia society and currently teaches A Level students about Life, Literature, and how to get into top universities.

Sharifah Bakar Ali
Sharifah is an independent consultant providing advice in the areas of financial and capital markets. She also advises her clients on strategy formulation and transformation initiatives. Prior to this, Sharifah was the Head, South East Asia Business Development for Gatehouse Bank Kuala Lumpur Representative Office, a position she held from May, 2013 to March 2016. She previously worked as an investment banker in Malaysia and the Kingdom of Bahrain specialising in the areas of debt capital markets and Islamic finance. Sharifah was instrumental in the completion of landmark real estate securitisation transactions in Asia, namely the Government of Malaysia’s and the Kingdom of Bahrain’s inaugural Residential Mortgage Backed Securitisation transactions in 2004 and 2008 respectively. She has also successfully led large deal teams in executing Sukuk and other Islamic finance transactions in South East Asia where she project-managed the due diligence process. Sharifah was awarded a Chevening Scholarship by the British government in 2010 to pursue a Master in Business Administration degree at Cambridge Judge Business School. She graduated from CJBS in 2011. Sharifah is also a Chartered Accountant and a Certified Public Accountant.

Danial Rahman
Danial is a director at the Sunway Education Group, one of Malaysia’s largest education groups with over 16 institutions and 30,000 students. His passion for education has seen him serve at Malaysia’s education and higher education ministries as the press secretary to the former minister. He has also taken an education technology startup public on the Australian Securities Exchange. An experienced communicator, he has hosted a tv-show and is a newspaper columnist. Danial graduated with a Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL), the postgraduate law degree, from the University of Oxford. He has two adorable cats with their own Instagram account, @tuanramses.

Chacko Vadaketh
Chacko is an actor, voice-over artist and host. He has appeared in shows  on CBS, Cinemax, BBC, Channel 4, USA, TV3, Mediacorp, HBO. He has narrated documentaries on History Channel, Nat Geo and hosted/moderated for ASTRO and in Los Angeles, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Bangalore and for a number of virtual webinars and events during the pandemic. He has voiced advertising campaigns and animation characters. He trains using acting skills in the workplace for multinationals and NGOs. He was a medico-legal litigator with Shearn Delamore and chaired the Law & Ethics Committee of the Malaysian AIDS Council. He is also on the board of Rimau that aims to save the critically endangered Malayan Tiger and AngsanaCare that helps with the mental well being of very ill children in government hospitals. He read Law and Archaeology & Anthropology at Pembroke College, Cambridge and is a Barrister of Lincoln’s Inn.