SHANGHAI—Debby Cheung is a pioneer, one of the first generation of Asian executives to practice public relations in China as a strategic management discipline, and to rise to prominence in senior leadership roles in global organizations. She is a worthy recipient of our 2015 SABRE Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement.

Cheung’s career began at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide in Hong Kong, where she worked her way up to the position of managing director. In 2003 she relocated to Shanghai to lead Ogilvy PR and with an emphasis on innovation and nurturing local talent, developed Ogilvy into the leading agency in the market. 

Underscoring her belief in the importance of professional development, she was group training leader for all Ogilvy brands in Shanghai for several years before being named president of Ogilvy & Mather Group/Shanghai in January 2012—at which time Shenan Chuang, CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Greater China, praised “her unique ability to bring people together” as “a perfect fit for our 360 Degree organization and we’re so excited to promote her to this new role.”

In January of 2014 she was named president of Ogilvy PR, China and Hong Kong—following the promotion of Scott Kronick to the role of Asia-Pacific CEO—and earlier this month she was named to an expanded global executive committee at the company.

Kronick credits Cheung with being one of the first to establish a social media practice in China, some 10 years ago, and with the establishment of Ogilvy PR’s creative department in China, which allowed the firm to deliver integrated, content-driven campaigns in China.

“She is the most selfless leader I have ever worked with,” Kronick adds. “She is intuitive and visionary in seeing opportunity and acting upon it.  She is focused on clients and the work product and not the bureaucracy.”

The Individual Achievement awards will be presented at our Asia-Pacific SABRE Awards ceremony in Hong Kong on September 23.