Invited Talks, Honors, and Delegations

Rachel Leng is an engaging presenter who regularly speaks on topics including education, global careers, publishing, multiculturalism, and women's leadership. During her time as a Miss Singapore titleholder, she also led seminars to encourage leadership, education equality, and empowerment for young women.

She has lectured at several universities, including Harvard University, Duke University, Columbia University, Stanford University, University of California - Berkeley, National University of Singapore, Sophia University (Tokyo, Japan), and Ewha Womens University (Seoul, South Korea). She also speaks at corporate and professional conferences around the world.


Rachel Leng Guest Speaker China
Speaking in Guangzhou on entrepreneurship and leadership in China


[Motivational Talks and Seminars]

"Women in Business: Insights from East Asia." Invited as Guest Speaker at Samsung Corporation's Global Strategy Group in Seoul, South Korea. July 2017.  

"Women in Entrepreneurship and Leadership in China." Invited as Speaker for Ignite Academy's panel event on Entrepreneurship and Innovation in China. Guangzhou, China. July 31, 2016. 

"Studying abroad and living in different countries: 5 Tips for Success." Invited to speak as a Guest Lecturer, Ewha Women's University, Seoul, South Korea. May 12, 2016.

"How International Experiences Shape Student Leadership." Sole Student Representative invited to share insights as a student leader at the Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association. Harvard University.  May 9, 2014.

"Getting Published as an Undergraduate." Invited as a Speaker for a seminar on publishing and editing based on outstanding track record as a young scholar in academic journals. Harvard University. November 5, 2013.  

"Graduate Student Council Master's Student Panel." Invited as a Speaker to share experiences and insights on job prospects, scholarships, and programs as an international student at  Harvard University. September 4, 2013. 

"The Value of Studying Abroad and Global Perspectives." Invited as Panelist to speak on the importance of multicultural and global experiences at Duke University. 2012. 



Rachel Leng Chinese

[Academic Lectures and Conference Talks] 

"Biopolitics of Chinese Hybridity," Invited to Present at the 13th Asia Pacific Conference, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU), Beppu, Oita, Japan, November 7-8, 2015.

“The Circulation of Ghostly Women and Li Yongping’s Affective Sinophone Malaysian Identity,” Invited to Present at the 18th Annual Harvard East Asia Society (HEAS) Graduate Student Conference, Harvard University, February 20-22, 2015.

 “Japan’s Civil Society from Kobe to Tohoku: Impact of Policy Changes on Government-NGO Relationship and Effectiveness of Post-Disaster Relief,” Invited to Present at the Asian Studies Conference Japan (ASCJ), Sophia University, Tokyo, June 21-22, 2014.

 “Military Gay Comrades: Negotiating The Homosocial(ist) Identity in PRC Tongzhi Fiction,” Invited to Present at the 5th Annual Berkeley Stanford Graduate Student Conference in Modern Chinese Humanities, April 18-19, 2014.  

 “Military Tongzhi Fiction from Mainland China: Homosocial(ist) Soldiers in the Chinese Army,” Invited to Present at the 23nd Annual Columbia Graduate Student Conference on East Asia, February 14-15, 2014.

 “Tongzhi Tales: Male Subjectivities in Online Comrade Literature from Mainland China,” Paper Presentation at the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies (IACS) Society Graduate Conference, National University of Singapore, July 1-2, 2013.

 “The Underground Homosexual Community and Queer Comrade Fiction in Mainland China,” Invited to Present at Visible Thinking: Annual Symposium of Original Research, Duke University, April 20, 2013.

 “Queer Comrade Literature, Political Reality, and the Tongzhi Movement in the People’s Republic of China,” Nominated to speak at the 8th Annual ACC Meeting of the Minds Conference as a Duke University representative, Wake Forest University, April 4-5, 2013.

 “The Subaltern Voice in Dream of Ding Village: Speaking to the Myth of Consanguinity through China’s Blood Crisis,” Invited to Present at a Workshop on Yan Lianke’s Fiction, Duke University, March 30, 2013.

 “Popular Comrade Narratives and the Tongzhi Subculture in Mainland China,” Scheduled to Present at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association (PCA/ACA) National Conference, Panel on Asian Popular Culture, March 27-29, 2013.

 “Online Comrade Narratives from Mainland China: Contesting Hegemonic Norms of Gender and Sexuality,” Invited to Present at Asia Intertwined, the 16th Annual Harvard East Asia Society (HEAS) Graduate Student Conference, February 22-24, 2013.

 “Gender Relations in Chinese Comrade Literature: A Discussion of ‘The Illusive Mind’,” Invited to Present at the 22nd Annual Columbia Graduate Student Conference on East Asia, February 15-16, 2013.

 “Homoerotic Narratives and Emergent ‘Comrade’ Communities on the Chinese Internet: Inscribing Sexual Citizenship and Rights in Modern Chinese Society through Homosexual Stories,” Invited to Present at Navigating Place and Power, an Annual Conference for Graduate Students in the Humanities  and Social Sciences Sponsored by the Duke University Department of History, February 15, 2013.

 “Queer Comrade Literature, Political Reality, and the Tongzhi Movement in the People’s Republic of China,” Paper Presentation for Senior Honors Thesis Research Symposium at the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University, November 30, 2012.

 “Lived Lives and ‘Fictive’ Narratives of Underground Same-Sex Attracted Communities in Urban China,” Paper Presentation at the State of North Carolina Symposium on Research and Creativity (SNCSRC), Duke University, November 17, 2012.

“Exclusionary Government Policies and Human Rights Issues for Migrant Worker Communities in Rural China: Significance to U.S.-China International Relations,” Research Presentation for the Annual Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy Open Forum, Duke University, October 27, 2012.

“Comrade Stories as Political Narratives and Protest Mechanisms in Contemporary China,” One of Two Honors Students Nominated for Paper Presentation to the Annual Board of Visitors Conference at the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University, September 28, 2012.

 “Taiwanese Queer Comrade Literature and National Identity Politics,” Paper Presentation for Unzipped, a Symposium for Research in Gender and Sexuality Sponsored by the Duke University Women’s Studies Department, September 12, 2012.



Rachel Leng Ewha Lecture
Guest speaker at Ewha Women's University in Seoul, South Korea


[Selected Honors, Grants, & Fellowship Awards]                                                

  • Harvard University Joseph Fletcher Memorial Award - Honorable Mention (2015)
  • Harvard University Arms of Dudley (May 2015)
  • Harvard Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Merit Fellowship for Master’s Students, (2013-2015)
  • Harvard Asia Center Jack C. Tang Winter Research Grant, (January 2015)
  • Forum for American/Chinese Exchange at Stanford (FACES) Conference Travel Award, (2014-2015)
  • Reischauer Institute Conference Travel Grant, Harvard University, (2014)
  • Reischauer Institute Summer Language Grant, Harvard University, (Summer 2014)
  • Harvard Asia Center Jeffrey Cheah Travel Award for Southeast Asia Research, (Summer 2014)
  • Fairbank Center Award for Research in Taiwan, Harvard University, (Summer 2014)
  • Fairbank Center Conference Travel Grant, Harvard University, (Spring 2014)
  • China Hands “25 Under 25” Leadership in US-China Relations Award, Yale University, (2013)
  • Lowell Aptman Award for Excellence in Research, Duke University, (2013)
  • Undergraduate Research Support (URS) Travel Grant, Duke University, (Summer 2013)
  • Moley Travel Grant for Research in Public Policy, Duke University, (Spring 2013)
  • Asia/Pacific Studies Institute Conference Travel Grant, Duke University, (Spring 2013)
  • Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Conference Travel Grant, Duke University, (Spring 2013)
  • Robert F. Durden Prize for Excellence in Research, Duke University, (2012)
  • Duke Colloquium Fellow, Duke University, (2012-2013)
  • Deans’ Undergraduate Research Grant, Duke University, (Fall 2012)
  • Asia/Pacific Studies Institute Research Grant, Duke University, (Fall 2012)
  • Schiff Research Fellowship in the Humanities, Duke University, (Summer 2012)
  • Dean Lee Baker’s Policy Research Award, Duke Sanford School of Public Policy, (Spring 2012)


[Notable Leadership Delegations]

Delegate, 2016 Harvard Namibia Trek [Windhoek, Namibia]

Delegate, 2015 Harvard Kennedy School Israel Leadership Trek [Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Israel and Palestine]

Delegate, 2014-15 Stanford-PKU FACES Conference ( [San Francisco and Palo Alto, California, US and Beijing, China]

Delegate, 2014 Harvard Kennedy School Korea Leadership Trek [Seoul and Jeju Islands, South Korea; Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and Joint Security Area (JSA)]

Delegate, 2013 Duke-UNC China Leadership Summit ( [Durham and Chapel Hill, NC]

Fellow, 2012 Harvard-PKU-Tsinghua IMUSE Fellowship ( [Beijing and Hong Kong, China]


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  • Rachel Leng Masters Student Panel