Kingston Kwek

Class Year: 

Hometown: Singapore


Raffles Junior College


Chinese (Mandarin)

Prior to Penn, Kingston served in the Singapore military for 2.5 years, most of which was spent in the military intelligence department. The transition from a regimental world to the vibrant and friendly environment of college bursting with activity was a vast life improvement and as such, Kingston describes his days at Penn as one of the best times of his life. He was especially attracted to Huntsman because of its international flavor and its integrated program, which has a nice balance of liberal arts and business courses, as well as its study abroad component.

At Wharton, Kingston concentrated in Finance and did a minor in Psychology on top of the major in International Studies. He spent a semester at Beijing University where he took courses with the local students at the International Relations department, as well as a summer at Moscow State University. During the summer, he also did internships at an accounting firm and a real estate firm in Singapore, and at the Singapore embassy in Washington. Upon graduating from Penn, he went on to Columbia University to pursue a Master's degree in Political Science. Subsequently, he went over to Washington to work at some prominent think tanks both on the conservative right and on the liberal left whose main job was to give advice to the U.S. government and special interest groups on various aspects of public policy. One of the think tanks advised Barack Obama on how he could remake Bush's Asian policy. Following that, Kingston moved to New York to work for the Southeast Asian initiative at the Soros Foundation, a charitable organization whose objectives are to provide money and aid to the less fortunate and to promote greater openness and democracy in selected countries around the world. He especially helped to analyze the particular circumstances and the philanthropic climate of the countries in the Southeast Asian region. Kingston speaks standard English, Chinese, Russian, and Japanese fluently, understands some French and Spanish, and was a former freelance Chinese translator. In an effort to keep busy, Kingston hopes to author a few books, the topic of which he has yet to decide.