Image of a male in a white button down shirt
May 2021

Welcoming new leadership

Rex Wong BArch 03 Arch

RISD President Rosanne Somerson is delighted to announce that Rex Siu Han Wong BArch 03 will be the new president of the RISD Alumni Association, effective July 1, 2021 with a term that extends through June 30, 2023.

Wong has been an active and enthusiastic member of the RISD Alumni Association since he graduated. He co-founded the RISD Club of Hong Kong. He also has served as a member of the President’s Alumni Advisory Council and as a member-at-large of the Alumni Association Leadership Council. As president, he also will represent the Alumni Association as an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees.

Wong is a Co-Owner and CEO at Kum Shing Holdings. He joined the prominent Hong Kong-based international infrastructure and property development firm in 2008, and was promoted to Executive Director in 2012 and then to Deputy CEO in 2015. His grandfather, Kam Fai “KF” Wong, founded the company in 1963.

Wong is also the founder of Yan Concept, a Hong Kong and Dongguan-based creative brand hosting cultural events and providing exhibition spaces. Its residence program at Yan Garden has attracted young artists from around the world to showcase their talents. Unknown, a painting studio, offers art education programs to the local communities.

Prior to joining his family’s development business, Wong worked with several leading architectural design studios in Madrid, New York and Hong Kong. He is a licensed architect in the state of Florida and served as President of American Institute of Architects (AIA) Hong Kong chapter in 2017. He is also recognized as a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Accredited Professional by the U.S. Green Building Council.

In recognition of his volunteer service and charity work, he was honored as a Justice of the Peace in Hong Kong in 2020 and as an Honorary Citizen in Dongguan in 2016. In addition to his service to RISD, Wong volunteers for other education institutions, having served as a member of the Board of Governors for Brentwood College School (British Columbia, Canada) since 2019 and was recently appointed to the governing Council for the City University of Hong Kong.

“Rex’s passion for RISD is inspiring and I’m thrilled that he has agreed to lead our Alumni Association at such a pivotal time,” says President Rosanne Somerson. “It is important to me that RISD invest in its alumni community and we now have a strong foundation for alumni engagement with more than 50 alumni clubs and affinity groups in varying stages of development around the world. Rex has the vision and commitment to engage even more alumni with innovative programs, to provide new opportunities to give back to support our students, and to celebrate all that is special about RISD.”

Wong succeeds Donald Choi, BArch 82, P 07, who served as president from 2019–2021. During Choi’s tenure, the Alumni Association was re-established to support the reengagement of alumni. More than 3,500 alumni now volunteer in a global network of 35 alumni clubs, 19 affinity groups, and via the RISD Network, the college’s digital platform for mentoring and networking. Choi’s tenure also included the launch of alumni programs such as Alumni Insurance, the Fleet Library at RISD Alumni Collection, Pulling on the Thread podcast, the Alumni Awards, Founders Day, a new alumni association website and a monthly newsletter.

“RISD is deeply grateful to Donald for his outstanding service. His positive outlook and steady hand were crucial to the Alumni Association’s successful launch of new programs and development of so many more leadership volunteers. To think that so many of these accomplishments happened during the pandemic is all the more remarkable,” adds Somerson. “It has been a pleasure working with him and I am personally thankful for his deep commitment to RISD students and alumni.”