Kai L. Chan

Dr Kai L. Chan is a Distinguished Fellow at INSEAD Innovation and Policy Initiative, and a special adviser to the UAE federal government on competitiveness and statistics.  In his adviser role he provides rigorous analytical support to the initiatives of the UAE government (including a stint with Dubai’s successful bid for Expo 2020 where he modelled the visitor and revenue projections).  Amongst other tasks, he is responsible for identifying data gaps within the country that impact the UAE’s competitiveness and helps in formulating impactful initiatives for the nation’s long-term prosperity.  His work also entails monitoring the UAE’s performance in international ranking reports such as the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report and INSEAD’s Global Innovations Index.

Dr Chan’s other expertise/research include education, income distribution, migration, and policy analysis. He has recently developed the Power Language Index and the Intellectual Capital Index as ways to measure the efficacy of languages and the readiness of nations to transform into knowledge economies, respectively.  His works and analysis/commentary are often covered by the media.    

Prior to moving to the UAE in 2011, Dr Chan served as an associate and the in-house economist for a boutique advisory and investments firm Manhattan.  In his role in New York City, Kai spearheaded research in the specialty finance sector, worked on sell-side investment banking mandates, helped specialty finance companies raise capital, and provided analytical support for asset acquisitions.  Prior to that, Dr Chan worked in the Singapore office of a global management consulting firm with assignments in Asia and Europe covering risk management and strategic planning for banks.

Dr Chan holds an undergraduate degree (Hon BSc) in economics & mathematics from the University of Toronto and graduate degrees (MA, PhD) in economics from Princeton University, where he wrote his doctoral dissertation on monetary policy.  He has taught courses in economics, mathematics and statistics at Princeton University, University of Toronto and Concordia University (Montreal).

Kai grew up in Toronto, Canada and currently resides in Dubai, UAE.  He speaks English, French, Cantonese, Mandarin and German, and is currently learning Russian.  He enjoys playing (ice) hockey, training Muay Thai (kickboxing), gastronomy and travelling in his free time.

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