About me

At Women in Art Exhibition with Dominika (Dubai, 2011).  Photo courtesy of Ahlan! Live (www.ahlanlive.com).

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); Economic Strategy Office of DED (Abu Dhabi).

Affiliations: Canada-Meets-Germany, Princeton Association of New York City, University of Toronto Alumni Association.

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 (mother tongue), French (B2+), Mandarin Chinese (L4), German (B1+), Russian (A1+).

Immersion language programmes: French (Paris, Quebec and Villefranche); German (Berlin and Frankfurt); Russian (Saint Petersburg); Mandarin Chinese (Shanghai).

Places lived (legal resident status) as an adult: Toronto, Princeton, Cologne, Frankfurt, Singapore, New York, Dubai, Montréal, Abu Dhabi.

Kai L. Chan,
Abu Dhabi,  2022

Presentation of the Dubai Mighty Camels men’s league Championship Cup. (Dubai, 2012)