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Kai L. Chan


Dr Kai L. Chan is a Distinguished Fellow at INSEAD Innovation and Policy Initiative. He is also part of the senior management team of a Montreal-based technology (cloud) company.

Previously Dr Chan was a special adviser to the UAE federal government on competitiveness and statistics, where he focused on that country's positioning on global performance indices. He was also a member of the Dubai Expo 2020 bid team.  

Prior to moving to the UAE in 2011, Dr Chan served as an associate and the in-house economist for a consumer finance merchant banking firm in Manhattan. Before that, he 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’s expertise/research cover education, income distribution, migration, government & policy, and performance measurement. He is the creator of the Power Language Index, Gender Progress Index, and Intelligence Capital Index. His works and analysis/commentary are often covered by the media.

Dr Chan holds an undergraduate degree (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, the University of Toronto and Concordia (Montreal).

Kai grew up in Toronto, Canada, but currently resides in Montreal. He speaks English, French, Cantonese, Mandarin and German, and is currently learning Russian. He enjoys playing (ice) hockey, training mixed martial arts (Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu), gastronomy and travelling in his free time.

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Leadership & Organisations

The Countries Getting the Highest Return on Education

The key to fostering a more educated populace is not financial – it’s cultural.

Leadership & Organisations

The World’s Smartest Countries

The countries most likely to produce the next Google.

Leadership & Organisations

The World’s Most Powerful Languages

What leaders should know about English and other languages competing for global influence.


A New Global Measure of Gender Progress

Societies should look beyond where women fall behind and instead try to tap the full potential of both sexes.