Biography of Donald Tsang, Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR
Donald Tsang was elected uncontested on June 16, 2005 as the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, and was formally appointed by the State Council, the Central People's Government, on June 21, 2005. His term of office will last until June 30, 2007.
Tsang became the Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (HKSARG) on May 1, 2001. He was the leading Principal Official to support the Chief Executive in administering Hong Kong and to advise him on matters of policy.
On July 1, 2002, Tsang left the civil service and joined the team of Principal Officials under a new accountability system of government. He continued to occupy the position of the Chief Secretary for Administration until his resignation on May 25, 2005 to stand for election as Chief Executive.
Before becoming Chief Secretary, Tsang was Financial Secretary in the HKSARG. During his six-year tenure as Financial Secretary, Tsang steered Hong Kong through the Asian financial crisis that swept across the region in 1997 and 1998. He later masterminded rigorous reforms to enhance the local financial infrastructure.
Tsang joined the Civil Service in January 1967 and has held many positions in the Administration dealing with local administration, finance, trade and policies relating to the return of Hong Kong to the motherland. In 1977, Tsang was attached to the Asian Development Bank in Manila for a year and worked on water supply and railway development projects in the Philippines and Bangladesh.
As Deputy Secretary of the General Duties Branch between 1985 and 1989, he was responsible for the implementation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. Tsang became the Director-General of Trade between 1991 and 1993, and was responsible for all facets of trade negotiation and administration affecting Hong Kong. In May 1993, he was promoted to Secretary for the Treasury, responsible for the overall resource allocation, the taxation systems and the cost effectiveness of the Hong Kong government.
In September 1995, Tsang was appointed Financial Secretary, the first Chinese to hold the position after the 150 years of British rule. He became the first Financial Secretary in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on July 1, 1997. He received the Grand Bauhinia Medal from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in June 2002.
Tsang was educated in Hong Kong, holding a Master's degree in Public Administration from Harvard University. He has received honorary doctorates from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and the University of Hong Kong.
Tsang is married with two sons. His hobbies include hiking, swimming and birdwatching.