Sonny Leong

Track - Developing New Generation/Future Workforce

 A dynamic, creative and highly experienced Business and Social/Educational Entrepreneur. An excellent communicator, presenter, leader and networker with the ability to develop positive working relationships at all levels.  A positive, focused and results orientated individual who works well under pressure, demonstrating high levels of commercial acumen, strategic thinking, project management and financial management skills


• Value generation through revenue generation

• Milestone identification and achievement, and cost management

• Business & corporate development and strategy

• Project management

• Executive Recruitment

• Team building

• Finance management

• Board governance


• Business and Social/Educational Entrepreneur.

• Strategic thinker, successful at generating new ideas and raising support and resources required for implementation.

• Team  leader  with  proven  abilities  at  encouraging  and  facilitating  skills development in others.

• Excellent presentation, communication and networking skills.

He was appointed to the Council of the Council for Education in the Commonwealth in 2008 and elected as Chair in 2015. The Council is an affiliated international NGO with the Commonwealth Secretariat. Its purpose is to create an informed public opinion on the salient issues concerning education and training in the Commonwealth and to identify appropriate ways in which Britain and the European Union can best contribute to their development.

He seed-funded and was Deputy Chair of Future First, a social enterprise company, whose vision is that every state secondary school and college should be supported by a thriving, engaged alumni community that helps each one to do more for its students.

Former Chairman and Hon President of the Independent Publishers Guild, a trade association representation over 500 members with combined revenues annually of £1 billion. He was Chairman of the International Board of the Publishers Association in the United Kingdom, and sat on Council. He was also Chairman of Book Power; a charity that makes available tertiarytextbooks in developing countries at substantially reduced prices. He was the Ambassador for the Help the Aged promoting their policies to Ministers and MPs and Peers.

He is a member of the Singapore British Business Council, and chairs the publishing division. He has worked tirelessly in setting up the All Party Parliamentary Group on Publishing with Members of Parliament.

He is a regular speaker at major international conferences and seminars on the contribution of the publishing sector to the creative industries economy. He is passionate on the protection of copyright and the need for publishers in developed countries to contribute and assist those needy in developing countries, particularly Africa.

He is well respected within Chinese Community in the UK, engaging with community and business leaders regularly on the need for Chinese representation in all walks of public life. He is also working with the British East Asian Actors community in their struggle for colour blind casting and equal treatment in the arts and culture scene, particularly, screen, television and theatre.

Awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday

Honours List 2014.


2012 Chief Executive, Civil Service College Limited

Founded Civil Service College ( to fulfil a gap left by the closure of the National School of Government to offer face-to-face training and other innovative training approaches in the public sector.

2011 Executive Chairman, Academy for Parliamentary & Policy Studies

Founded  Academy  for  Parliamentary  &  Policy  Studies  (  to provide  training  for  the  civil  service,  corporate  clients,  foreign  governments, parliamentarians and  the third sector.

2010 Deputy Chairman, FutureFirst Limited

Appointed Non-Executive Chairman of FutureFirst, a social enterprise business working to revolutionise careers advice and build communities in comprehensive schools across the United Kingdom.

2010-2011  Non-Executive Director, Berghahn Books Limited

Appointed Non-Executive Director of Berghahn Books, an independent scholarly publisher in the humanities and social sciences, with a focus on History, Politics & Economics, Cultural and Media Studies, Anthropology & Sociology, International Relations, and Migration Studies.

2006-2008  Executive Chairman, Routledge-Cavendish, an Informa business

Since the acquisition of Cavendish Publishing by Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa PLC business, a Company listed on the London Stock market, with offices in London, Brighton, Basingstoke and Abingdon in the UK, New York and Philadelphia in the USA and Singapore and Melbourne in the Pacific Rim. The Group publishes more than 1000 journals and around 1,800 new books each year, with a books backlist in excess of 20,000 specialist titles.

Routledge-Cavendish publishes in the areas of law, criminology and criminal justice for the academic and professional market. It has a very  strong publishing presence in the Caribbean, South Pacific and Australasian regions.Ensured the acquisition integration went successfully with staff settled in new environment, customers continuing their support, IT and distribution systems and processes in place to support the new business structures.

1992-2006  Executive Chairman, Cavendish Publishing Limited

Established Cavendish Publishing with another founder to publish books and journals for the academic law community. Was responsible for generating year on year growth and profitability since inception, and grew the Company to be one of UK’s fastest and biggest independent law publisher with award winning books and authors.

Built a recognisable brand for the law student market with the introduction of a range of study and revision aids which are still market leaders.

Managed the growth of  the Company with profits generated through effective marketing and exploring new channels to markets. Implemented prudence  financial management ensuring the Company cash reserves were preserved and costs observed diligently.


MuLan Foundation Network (2011) Established this charity to promote social inclusion for the public benefit amongst members of the Chinese and East Asian community who are socially excluded on the grounds of their ethnic origin by preventing them from becoming socially excluded, relieving their needs and assisting them to integrate into society.

All Party Parliamentary Group on Publishing (2007) Engaged with parliamentarians from all political parties in setting the APPG on Publishing. The Group will provide a forum for parliamentarians to discuss issues affecting the industry, such as international piracy, including cyber or e-crime; environmental impact of publishing; intellectual property and copyright issues; VAT; and skills and innovation.

Public and Community Projects (2006-2007) Organised workshops with sections of the Chinese community, and educating them, in particular women, people with disabilities and those sections of the community who face particular disadvantages and exclusion, the opportunities available to them.

Organised  seminars  and  engaging  with  the  Chinese  community  in  actively participating in the political and democratic processes at local, regional, national, and European levels.

AccessBooks (2005-2007) Set up a foundation to promote the teaching and training of publishing skills in Africa. Working with NGO’s to develop programmes relevant and appropriate to their local requirements. Seeking funding to support capacity building projects in order to achieve sustainable development through skills and innovation.

Independent Publishers Guild (2004-2006) Embarked on an recruitment drive to increase  membership,  introduced  new  income  streams  to  generate  additional revenue to support members services, set up training and development programmes to improve innovation, creative and management skills, established a diversity strategy to encourage BME participation in the creative industries, and set the ground work for the first ever Independent Publishing Awards.

Commonwealth Caribbean Law publishing programme (2000-2003) Worked with a group of English speaking Caribbean lawyers to establish a law publishing programme to meet the needs of the Commonwealth Caribbean legal and judicialeducation. Currently, these texts are used by academics, legal professionals and the judiciary, and have been cited in Caribbean law cases.

Cavendish Publishing (1992-2006) Founded law academic publishing company when  the  market  was dominated  by  two  huge  conglomerate  companies. Subsequently developed to become an acknowledged leader in law, criminology, criminal justice and socio-legal publishing, taking risks with new ideas and new approaches.


Read economics and law at University of London. Member of the Institute of Directors

Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts Fellow of the 48 Group Club Member of the Oriental Club

Member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs

Former Chair, The Book Society

Former Governor, Chilton Primary School


Organised, chaired, and presented at Industry & Trade Conferences


Malay, Cantonese and major Chinese dialects