Dr Yaacob Ibrahim was a structural engineer at Bylander Meinhardt Partnership before receiving a scholarship to pursue a PhD at Stanford University (US). He then worked as a post-doctoral fellow at Cornell University (US) before returning to Singapore to join the National University of Singapore. He is currently on leave of absence from the university as an associate professor.
Dr Yaacob has been active in community service since his schooldays and has been involved with the Association of Muslim Professionals, Jamiyah, Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura and the Nature Society. Dr Yaacob also served as a board member of Civil Service College, the National Heritage Board, STV12 Pte Ltd, and Temasek Polytechnic, and as a trustee of NTUC Income, a union-linked cooperative. He has been associated with Yayasan Mendaki since its formation and has been its Chairman since March 2002.
Dr Yaacob has been Member of Parliament since 1997 - for the Jalan Besar Group Representation Constituency (Kolam Ayer) and then for the Moulmein-Kallang Group Representation Constituency (Kolam Ayer). He was also the first Mayor of Central Singapore District from April to November 2001.
Dr Yaacob served as Parliamentary Secretary and Senior Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology before being appointed as the Minister of State for Community Development and Sports in November 2001. In March 2002, he was appointed as the Ministry’s Acting Minister and Minister-In-Charge of Muslim Affairs. In May 2003, he was promoted to Minister for Community Development and Sports.
In Aug 2004, Dr Yaacob was appointed Minister for the Environment and Water Resources in Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s Cabinet. Dr Yaacob was re-appointed in the same capacity following the May 2006 elections. Following the May 2011 elections, he was appointed Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts. In Nov 2012, with the restructuring of ministries, Dr Yaacob became the Minister for Communications and Information. He continues to be in charge of Muslim affairs.
Dr Yaacob serves in the People’s Action Party’s Central Executive Committee as vice-chairman.
Dr Yaacob was born in Singapore on 3 October 1955. He is married and has two children: a son and a daughter. He enjoys reading, listening to music, and meeting people.