COMMUNITY activist and businesswoman Melissa Kwee has been named the new chief executive of the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC).

She will formally step into the role of chief executive on Sept 1, replacing Mr Laurence Lien who led NVPC for over five years.

"Melissa comes with an ideal background, having been actively involved in the community and devoted a good portion of her life to helping others. Among her experience includes track record in the non-profit, community and private sectors. This will augur well for NVPC as corporate giving and engagement with NPOs (non-profit organisations) become a priority for us," said Mildred Tan, chair of NVPC's board and managing director of Ernst & Young Advisory Pte Ltd.

Ms Kwee's career has spanned the public, private and community sectors as anthropologist, researcher, educational programme designer, social innovator and most recently as a catalyst in the private sector.

Her achievements include starting Project Access, a values-based leadership education initiative to inspire and equip girls and young women to be role models and catalysts for positive change; and pioneering service learning programmes in schools.

She has also served as chairman of Halogen Foundation, a youth leadership organisation, president of UN Women Singapore (formerly Unifem Singapore) as an advocate and community mobiliser tackling trafficking issues and building support for the protection of migrant workers, and initiated various community projects and campaigns engaging and empowering youth as advocates and educators.

Mr Lien will step down from his role on July 31. Under his watch, NVPC achieved a volunteer participation rate of 32.3 per cent, a record high, and donor participation rate of 91 per cent. He also launched various initiatives including SG Cares in 2009 and SG Gives in 2010.