The Hong Kong International Literary Festival

About Us

Board and Advisors


Martin Haigh 

SVP Asia, Ticketmaster

Martin’s first career was in stockbroking, trading in the emerging equity markets of Asia and South America, his second in the events industry working for the company that owns Clockenflap and Ticketflap. Martin is an active supporter of various social, charitable and community initiatives.

Julia Kuehn

Professor of English Literature and Head of School, School of English, University of Hong Kong

Julia teaches and researches in the area of nineteenth-century English literature and culture. Her special interests are in popular fiction and China-related travel writing, in the Victorian era and beyond. Julia was a Director of the Asian Literary Prize and is currently on the management team of the Arts Faculty, with responsibilities for Teaching and Learning.

Jo Lusby 

CEO of Pixie B, an independent creative and media agency

Jo Lusby is the former North Asia Managing Director of Penguin Random House. A high-profile member of the regional business community, Jo is a non-executive director of the China-Britain Business Council, PEN Hong Kong and works as a guest lecturer at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s Innovation Centre. She also works with managers in multinational and international companies offering leadership development. A fluent Mandarin speaker, Jo has lived in Asia since 1995.

Angela Mackay

Co-chair, Managing Director of Financial Times, Asia Pacific

Angela leads the FT’s Asia Pacific commercial operations in Hong Kong where she has an extensive network of personal and professional contacts. She is a former senior correspondent for the FT and a keen supporter of the arts and literary events in Hong Kong.

Winnie Ng 

A UK pharmacy graduate qualified to practise in both UK and Hong Kong. Prior to relocating back to Hong Kong in 1994, Winnie worked in various managerial roles in retail pharmacy until establishing her own business in London. She has been involved in community service in London (Standing Joint Committee, Barnet Local Pharmaceutical Committee) and Hong Kong (Honorary Secretary of the Pharmaceutical Society of Hong Kong, Dispensing Practice Standards Subcommittee (Chair), Cub Scout Leader (32nd Silver Jubilee District).

Paul Tam 

Executive Director of Hong Kong Ballet and Chairman of the Hong Kong Arts Administrators Association

With expertise in brand-building, business development, growth and sustainability for both the NGO and commercial sectors, Paul Tam has been Executive Director of Hong Kong Ballet since 2014. He is also an Executive Committee member of the Hong Kong Dance Alliance, Committee Member of Art Form Panels (Festivals), Leisure and Cultural Services Department and Advisory Board Member for the EMA (AME) Programme, HKIED. Paul is an awardee of the 2015 The Secretary for Home Affairs’ Commendation Scheme for his contributions to the development of arts and culture in Hong Kong.

Christine Van

Director, Kelly International Corporation Limited, BA, Comparative Literature & International Relations, Brown University, USA; MA in Law, Cambridge University, UK.

Qualified as a barrister-at-law in the UK (1985) and Hong Kong (1986), Christine worked in litigation, corporate and commercial law in London, Hong Kong and Tokyo before relocating to Hong Kong in 1994.

 Simon Westcott

CEO & Owner, LUXE City Guides

LUXE City Guides CEO & OwnerSimon Westcott was educated at Oxford. He was Co-Founder of Mr & Mrs Smith Asia Pacific and former global publisher and director of Lonely Planet group. He is recent Chairman of Australia’s premier contemporary theatre company, Malthouse Theatre and a past board member of contemporary dance company, Chunky Move and the Castlemaine State Festival. He has also sat on the board of advocacy group Get Up! and is an alumnus of the Williamson Community Leadership Program in Victoria. He is currently a founding member of the revived PEN Hong Kong Executive Committee.


Jennie Orchard

Jennie Orchard is an experienced editor and publisher, with strong links to the non-profit world and to women’s organisations. She was formerly the inaugural Development Director for Room to Read Australasia, raising millions of dollars to fund literacy initiatives and promote gender equality through education for children in ten developing countries in Asia and Africa. She currently divides her time between Sydney and Hong Kong and continues to be involved in a range of non-profit commitments.

James Shea

Assistant Professor, Hong Kong Baptist University

James Shea is the author of two poetry collections, The Lost Novel and Star in the Eye. Star in the Eye was selected for the Fence Modern Poets Series and included in the Poetry Society of America’s New American Poets series. His poems have appeared in various anthologies including The New Census: An Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry and Isn’t It Romantic: 100 Love Poems by Younger American Poets. A former Fulbright Scholar in Hong Kong, he is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Humanities and Creative Writing at Hong Kong Baptist University.

 Jeffrey Wasserstrom

Author and Chancellor’s Professor of History, University of California, Irvine

Jeffrey Wasserstrom is the author of five books, including China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know and Eight Juxtapositions: China through Imperfect Analogies from Mark Twain to Manchukuo. He has edited or co-edited several other books, including The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern China.  He is a frequent contributor to newspapers (Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, etc.), magazines (e.g., TIME ), and literary reviews (Times Literary Supplement, Asian Review of Books, and Los Angeles Review of Books, for which he serves as an advising editor). He is Chancellor’s Professor of History at the University of California at Irvine, where he also serves as Historical Writing Mentor for the Literary Journalism Program and holds a courtesy appointment in the Law School.

 Kate Whitehead

Freelance Journalist

Kate Whitehead holds a BA in Literature (Warwick University) and a Masters in Literature (Sussex University). The author of two Hong Kong crime books – After Suzie and Hong Kong Murders – she was on staff at the Hong Kong Standard and the South China Morning Post and then as editor of Cathay Pacific’s inflight magazine Discovery. She is now a freelance journalist and over the last three years has written for many international media outlets, including Acumen, BBC Travel, CNN, Forbes, Publishing Perspectives, Time, Travel & Leisure and Women’s Wear Daily. She also writes for local publications, chiefly the SCMP.

 Xu Xi


Xu Xi is author of thirteen fiction and non-fiction titles, most recently Insignificance: Hong Kong Stories (2018) and Dear Hong Kong: An Elegy For A City (2017).  Forthcoming is This Fish is Fowl: Essays of Being (2019).  She is Faculty Co-Director of the International MFA in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Vermont College of Fine Arts and co-founder of Authors at Large. An Indonesian-Chinese native of Hong Kong and long-time resident of the city, she now lives mostly in New York, when not inhabiting flight paths.


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