Jonathan first studied accountancy at university but later pursued a master’s degree in international relations in 2000 to fulfil a deeper interest in global affairs. In late 2008, his passion for peacebuilding through the arts and music led him to start the OOOM initiative, Singapore’s first social open mike. Compelled by his Christian faith to love thy neighbour, Jonathan enjoys promoting humanitarian and environmental causes. He organised fundraising concerts from 2009 to 2011 in support of NGOs like Mercy Relief, World Vision, WWF and the Jane Goodall Institute, and in 2010, the Asia Humanitarian Forum to promote public awareness of humanitarian and environmental issues.
Over time, Jonathan became increasingly mindful of the needs of refugees and IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) and the extreme distress they endure as they are forced to flee from their homes in search of safe refuge because of conflict, calamities and climate change. In 2012, he started the NGO World Refugee (the predecessor of Relief.sg), founded on his conviction that his purpose in life is to help forcibly displaced and stateless persons. In his free time, Jonathan monkeys around with his three boisterous children, attends music gigs and daydreams. He is also an avid badminton player, and loves a spirited game anytime.