Early years: Born on the streets of rural China (literally) to peasant parents and immigrated to Canada at age 4. Raised in a working-class neighbourhood of Toronto (South Riverdale).
Teen years: Bounced around 5 high schools, finally graduating from Riverdale Collegiate Institute in Toronto. Worked as a busboy-cum-waiter at the Organ Grinder (a family restaurant noted for having a working theatre organ inside it). Was arrested twice as a young offender.
University years: Attended the University of Toronto (Hon BSc in economics & mathematics) and Princeton University (MA, PhD in economics). Worked as part of the stock crew (midnight shift) at a national supermarket, and as a bartender at the Harbourfront Centre while attending the U of T.
Internships: Consulting internship at LECG (Toronto and Washington DC). Banking internship at Sal. Oppenheim (Köln and Frankfurt). All of my internships came after I had graduated from the U of T.
Teaching & academics: INSEAD, Princeton University, University of Toronto, Concordia University (Montréal).
Professional years: Oliver Wyman (Singapore); FG Companies (New York); Prime Minister’s Office / Minister of State Office (Dubai); Aiowala (Montréal); Whiteshield Partners (Dubai).
Activities and interests: Gastronomy, (ice) hockey, horology, languages, MMA (esp. jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai), running (ran cross-country OFSAA in high school), travelling, trekking (summited Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895m), Mount Toubkal (4,167m), Mount Fuji (3,776m) and Mount Kumbel (3,200m)).
Languages: English (native), Cantonese (native), French (C1), Mandarin Chinese (L4), German (B1+), Russian (A1+).
Immersion / intensive language programmes: French (Québec, Villefranche and Paris); German (Berlin); Russian (Saint Petersburg); Mandarin Chinese (Shanghai).
Places lived (legal resident status) as an adult: Toronto, Princeton, Cologne, Frankfurt, Singapore, New York, Dubai, Montréal, Dubai (again).
Kai L. Chan,