Government Information Centre




New Team at the Top

Anson Chan bows out

After a long and distinguished career, Mrs Anson Chan retired from the post of Chief Secretary for Administration on April 30, 2001.



Mrs Chan had been reappointed on contract terms for 2 1/2 years when she reached the usual retirement age of 60 in January 2000. However, in January 2001 she announced she would retire at the end of April to spend more time with her family.



Mrs Chan was a pioneer in many ways.
In 1962, she was one of the first three women recruited into the Administrative Officer grade, the top echelon of the administration. She subsequently held many senior positions dealing with finance, the economy, commerce, industry and social services.



As a member and office bearer of the Association of Female Senior Civil Servants she successfully fought for equal benefits for female civil servants. Previously they were paid 75% of a man's salary and, once married, had to retire and reapply for employment on temporary, month-to-month terms. Women civil servants received pay parity in 1975 and equal eligibility to fringe benefits in November 1981.



In November 1993, Mrs Chan was appointed as Chief Secretary, which was significant for two reasons: she was the first Chinese to be appointed to the top civil service job in over 150 years of British administration, as well as the first female.

When the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was established on July 1, 1997, Mrs Chan was appointed the first Chief Secretary for Administration of the HKSAR. Her appointment, along with that of all other secretary-level officials (except one who did not meet nationality requirements) was a symbol of continuity in the success of Hong Kong and its system of government and law. On retirement, Mrs Chan achieved another distinction as the longest-serving Chief Secretary/Chief Secretary for Administration.

She was made a Justice of the Peace in 1975 and a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1992. In July 1999 she was awarded the HKSAR's highest honour, the Grand Bauhinia Medal, in recognition of her life-long and dedicated service for the well-being of Hong Kong, and her outstanding contribution to the smooth transition of Hong Kong.



The new team

A new team has been heading the civil service since May 1, 2001.

Former Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, was appointed Chief Secretary for Administration with effect from May 1, 2001.



Mr Antony Leung Kam-chung, a former banking executive, was appointed the new Financial Secretary - only the second person from outside the civil service to hold the government's key finance and fiscal policy post.

Both men bring a wealth of experience to their new jobs.

Mr Tsang became well-known in recent years as one of Asia's most imaginative, capable and enterprising finance ministers during his time as Financial Secretary from 1995.

Mr Tsang saw Hong Kong through the Asian financial crisis which swept across the region in 1997, and later steered through rigorous reforms to the local financial infrastructure in 1998 and 1999 to strengthen Hong Kong's status as an international financial centre.

He joined the Civil Service in 1967 and has held a variety of posts dealing with finance, trade and policies relating to the future of Hong Kong. Mr Tsang was the Director-General of Trade (and Chief Trade Negotiator) between 1991 and 1993. In May 1993, he was promoted to Secretary for the Treasury, taking charge of the overall resource allocation of the Hong Kong Government and the taxation systems.

Mr Leung has served in senior management positions of major international banks in Hong Kong. He joined Chase Manhattan Bank in 1996, and became the Chairman for Asia-Pacific of J P Morgan following the merger of Chase and J P Morgan in 2000.

Prior to that, Mr Leung had spent 23 years with Citicorp where he took supervisory positions in investment banking, corporate and private banking in Hong Kong, New York, Singapore and Manila.

In the public arena, he has chaired the Education Commission and the University Grants Committee and served on the boards of the Airport Authority and the Hong Kong Futures Exchange.




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