Special Adviser

CityNet has two Special Advisers who served as Secretary General. Having served for CityNet, CityNet’s Special Advisers share their time in providing advice to Network’s strategic directions. They also provide overall guidance in improving CityNet’s organizational agenda and in providing strategic and in-depth perspectives in the development of the network’s long-term goals.

CityNet Advisers bring with them unparralled experience in their areas of expertise. Even before joining CityNet stint, they already had established careers on their own.


Dato Lakhbir Singh Chahl

Dato Lakhbir Singh Chahl is the founding Secretary-General of CityNet having served the position from 1991-2009. Under his guidance, CityNet has grown and achieved its status to become the leading network of advocacy for local governments in the Asia-Pacific.

In CityNet, he had served and represented the network in several United Nations agencies committees like in UNESCAP, UN-Habitat, and UNEP, to name a few. He represented CityNet in Rio Summit 1991, in series of World Urban Forums in Vancouver (2006) and in Nanjing (2008) and at the UN Habitat Summit 1996 in Istanbul.

Mr. Singh was an adhoc expert to the UN-Department of Economic and Social Affairs. He was a member of the Advisory Committee of the Asia Urbs Program of the European Union which strengthened cooperation between Asian and European cities.

In his hometown Penang, Malaysia, Mr. Singh had contributed to the promotion of planning and development of the Penang’s State Master Plan. He has also contributed to the development of local sports having served as president or vice president in many of state’s sports associations. Currently, he is one of Penang’s most-sought legal practitioners.

Mary Jane Ortega

Mary Jane Ortega served as CityNet’s Secretary-General (2009-2013) and a mayor of San Fernando City, La Union (1998-2007). She was also one of three Vice Presidents of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.

She is the first Filipina to receive the United Nations Scroll of Honour Award from United Nations Habitat in 2000 for her advocacy for the empowerment of women and for the City Development Strategies. She is currently a member of Board of Trustees of Clean Air Asia, a member of the Advisory Board of the Global Initiatives on Trans National Crime, and Special Advisor to the City of Yokohama’s Y-Port Project.

In the Philippines, she continues to be a part-time lecturer at the Ateneo School of Government, Acting Chairman of the Institute of Solidarity in Asia, Mentor for Synergeia Foundation, board member of St. Louis College and Coordinator/Liaison for the La Union Marine Center.

Mary Jane generously shares her time by representing CityNet in high-level conferences, contributing to the network’s strategic long-term agenda, and promoting CityNet in the Asia Pacific region.

Senior Adviser

CityNet’s Senior Advisers bring with them the fruitful years of exceptional public policy and program experience cross cutting urban development issues across Asia-Pacific. They are known for their commendable professional work, competence and integrity in their field of expertise.

Dr. Gyeng Chul Kim – Senior Adviser
Dr. Gyeng Chul Kim served as a president of the Korea Transport Institute (KOTI) from 2011 to 2014. He received his PhD in Transport Planning and Administration at Seoul National University in 1993. His career in transport policies and management spans nearly two decades with engagement in both the public and private sectors with specific interests in public transport, such as subways and buses. He serves as a member of the Transport Committee of Seoul Metropolitan Government as well as the Committee for Rail Division of the Board of Audit and Inspection. Additionally, Dr. Kim currently heads the Public Transport Committee of Korea Transportation Research Society. Dr. Kim is also a former Director of the Department of Urban Transit in Seoul Development Institute (SDI). Dr. Kim has long been an advocate and supporter of CITYNET, and has served as Deputy Secretary General since 2009.



Technical Adviser

CityNet Technical Advisers are leading and recognized experts in their fields. They have the technical authority and have solid foundation in their area of expertise. CityNet Technical Advisers extend their time and talent to CityNet’s member-cities serving as resource persons, providing them further with technical advice, and linking members with other experts and development institutions. Technical Advisers also provide guidance to the Secretariat, bring in fresh ideas on strategic program implementation and contribute to regional policy discussions.


Dr. Hoong-Chor Chin

Dr. Hoong-Chor Chin is a Professor at the National University of Singapore (NUS) specializing in transportation planning, congestion management, road safety assessments, and sustainable development. At the NUS, he also spearheads the Safety Studies and Urban Mobility Initiatives. He has won Innovative Teaching Awards in 2002, 2011, and 2016. He has published more than 100 papers for international conferences and journals.

As a registered engineer, Dr. Chin has extensive consultancy work in the field of transportation and sustainable development both in Singapore and in the Asia-Pacific Region. He has done consultancy work for Land Transport Authority (Singapore), TYLin International, Cities Development Initiative for Asia, Asian Development Bank, and UN-Habitat, among others. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, a member of the Ministry of Defence Civil Resources Compensation Board and the Governing Board of the Workplace Safety Institute, as well as a Director of the Singapore Taxi Academy.

You may reach Dr. Chin at engchc(at)gmail.com

Dr. Young-June Choi
Dr. Young-June Choi is currently the Director and Chief Research Officer at Seoul Water Institute, Seoul Metropolitan Government for 12 years. He manages water-related research and development projects that include drinking water treatment and supply, wastewater treatment, sewer system, urban drainage system, renewable energy, water reuse, water-energy NEXUS, IoT and Big Data based water system, international collaboration and policies and strategies for water issues.

He has also been a key member in many advisory committees and technical reviewers in water science -related academic journals. In 2012, he got the Excellent Reviewer of the Year award by the Desalination Journal. The same year, he and his team were awarded by the International Water Association (IWA) with the Project Innovation Award. In CityNet, he is among the key resource persons in presenting Seoul City’s best practice in urban water management.

You may contact Dr. Choi at youngjune(at)seoul.go.kr


ASG Lee, Hoi SeungLee, Hoi Seung – Formal Assistant Secretary General
Lee, Hoi Seung serves as Adviser at CityNet and is the Director General of Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG). Mr. Lee studied Public Administration at University of Seoul. He has devoted for SMG almost 25 years and has since accompanied the city of Seoul on its way to becoming a major force in East Asia. He works closely with both CityNet and SMG to facilitate the relationship between Seoul and CityNet member cities.