Home » Currently Reading:

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); ECZA (Riyadh).

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 City 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, Riyadh.

Kai L. Chan,
Abu Dhabi,  2024

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




These are the world’s most powerful languages:

Research Documents (pdf)

Intelligence Capital IndexPower Language IndexImmigrating into the workforceCanada's Mosaic Ceiling

Presentations (pdf):