Rachel Leng is Associate at Whiz Partners, Inc. (株式会社ウィズ・パートナーズ) in Tokyo, Japan. She previously worked as Policy Analyst and Research Associate at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul, South Korea. As a multiple award-winning specialist in East Asian affairs, Rachel has been recognized widely for her leadership and original work.
Rachel graduated with scholarships from Harvard University (M.A. in Regional Studies - East Asia) and Duke University (B.A. with double distinction and highest honors in Public Policy Studies, Asian Studies, and Economics). At Harvard, she was the recipient of a Harvard GSAS Merit Fellowship, and was named a 2015 Graduation Commencement Marshal. She was also a 2014-2015 Intellectual/Cultural Fellow at Dudley House, Editor-in-Chief at the Harvard Asia Quarterly, and President of the Harvard East Asia Society (HEAS).
Rachel's award-winning work includes her Harvard M.A. dissertation, which received an Honorable Mention for the 2015 Joseph Fletcher Memorial Award. At Duke, she wrote two senior honors theses which won the Robert P. Durden and Aptman Prizes for excellence in research. Rachel was also an honoree of Yale University's China Hands “25-Under-25 Rising Stars in China-U.S. Relations” in 2013, and has been invited to prestigious delegations such as Harvard's IMUSE Project, Stanford's FACES conference, and the Duke-UNC China Leadership Summit.
As a former Miss Singapore 2013 titleholder, Rachel was named a “Campus Celeb” by HerCampus Harvard magazine as a role model to college women. She has been internationally featured in interviews by magazines, TV programs, and newspapers and is regularly invited to speak at seminars or public talks.
Rachel was born in Singapore, but moved to Shanghai and lived there from the ages of 6 to 18. After high school, Rachel took a gap year to pursue her interests in translation studies, writing, music, and art history. To date, Rachel has diverse international and cross-cultural background with credentials from tertiary institutions in China (Shanghai), Singapore, Italy (Venice), Japan (Kyoto) and the United States (Durham, NC; Cambridge, MA). She also speaks Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and some Korean.
[Grants, Scholarships, and Awards]
Rachel has been honored with more than 20 different grants, scholarships, and awards affiliated with Harvard, Duke, Yale, and Stanford Universities, as well as the Sanford School of Public Policy.
[Publications and Speaking Engagements]
Since her undergraduate years, Rachel has published 27 book chapters, journal or magazine articles on topics including contemporary Chinese literature, civil society, cultural history, gender rights, queer activism, migrant issues, and environmental policy. She has been invited to speak at 19 conferences across the U.S., China, Singapore, South Korea, and Japan. Her work has been cited by numerous scholars in highly regarded publications, including the Routledge Handbook of East Asian Popular Culture (2016).
Rachel is passionate about working with and raising awareness of marginalized groups and under-privileged children, especially across the U.S. and China. She served as a DukeEngage in China Fellow in 2012, where she taught in a non-profit school for migrant children who have moved from rural areas throughout China to Beijing. She also served as a seminar leader for the Komatsu Summer School in 2014, where she worked with high school students in rural Japan. She frequently volunteers at schools to tutor and lead workshops in her free time. Most recently, Rachel was invited to be a seminar leader and expert speaker at Ignite Academy in Guangzhou, China. She is currently active as an advisor with Three Guineas Academy, an education consulting NPO, and K-Move, a mentorship program organized by the South Korean government.
[Miss Singapore 2013 and Media Presence]
Rachel was a finalist in the Miss Singapore 2013 national pageant and placed as Top 3 and a Runner Up for Miss Singapore World 2013. She also won the title of Miss Singapore - Beauty With a Purpose 2013. This was her first pageant.
She has been featured internationally by various magazines and newspapers as a role model for work-life balance and youth leadership. She regularly speaks at university seminars and public panels on topics including research, education, publishing/editing, multiculturalism, and women's leadership. During her time as a Miss Singapore titleholder, she visited schools and led seminars to encourage leadership, education equality, and empowerment for girls. She has also made TV appearances, including for interviews and documentary feature films.