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Nov 18 2020

Chief Executive Advisor Named Interim Head at Hong Kong Art District

by Pamela Wong

Portrait of BETTY FUNG. Image via Instagram.

Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA), a government statutory body that oversees the development of the city’s HKD 47.1 billion (USD 6 billion) arts precinct, which includes the M+ Museum for visual culture, has appointed Betty Fung Ching Suk-yee, currently director of the city’s Policy Innovation and Coordination Office, as WKCDA’s interim head to replace its outgoing CEO, Duncan Pescod.

Details of the news were announced to WKCDA board members today, according to reports by HK01 and South China Morning Post. Fung will serve for six months until the confirmation of a newly appointed CEO.

Born in Hong Kong, Fung graduated from the University of Hong Kong in 1986 and has served as a civil servant for more than three decades. Her previous posts were Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs (2014–18), and head of Leisure and Cultural Services (2009–14). She has been involved with WKCDA’s developments as a Bureau representative since 2014. In 2017, she was appointed by Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam to take part in the five-member “core team” that developed the Hong Kong Palace Museum, slated to open at West Kowloon in 2022. Funded by a donation of HKD 3.5 billion (USD 451 million) from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the Palace Museum announced that construction on its building has just been completed, according to a press release from WKCDA on November 18.

News regarding the resignation of the current CEO Duncan Pescod was announced last month, with no reasons specified for his departure. Pescod will step down on November 28, eight months before the end of his contract. He was promoted from chief operating officer to CEO in 2015 following an unsuccessful earlier global search for a CEO. In the last decade, the WKCDA has witnessed a number of sudden departures, including former executive director of M+, Lars Nittve, in 2016 after a five-year term, and the rapid exit of the WKCDA’s second chief executive, Graham Sheffield, in 2011, after less than a year of his appointment. 

Fung is married to Wilson Fung Wing-Yip, former deputy secretary at the Economic Development and Labour Bureau (EDLB), who was sentenced to jail for nine months in September 2019 for misconduct in public office, in a high-profile corruption case.

Pamela Wong is ArtAsiaPacific’s assistant editor. 

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