Ms. Chan became Ambassador-at-Large to the Singapore Foreign Ministry following service as the Ambassador of the Republic of Singapore to the United States from July 1996 to July 2012. She has been a member of the President's Council for Minority Rights since July 2012 when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong appointed her. Heng Chee also serves as Chairman of the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities in the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). In addition, she is currently Chairman of the National Arts Council.
Previously she was the Executive Director of the Singapore International Foundation and served as Director of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. She was also the founding Director of the Institute of Policy Studies. She is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Asia Society, New York and was a member of the International Advisory Board of the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London.