Wing T. Chao
Former Vice Chairman of Development, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, Asia Pacific
Former EVP of Master Planning, Architecture & Design, Walt Disney Imagineering
Wing T. Chao is an internationally renowned master planner, architect and developer. He has been working on numerous multi-billion dollar integrated resorts, theme parks, water parks, hotels, retail, entertainment and commercial projects in the US and overseas.
In the course of his 37-year career at Disney, Chao oversaw the design and development of Disney's parks and resorts worldwide businesses worth over $12 billion dollars. Chao was Vice Chairman of Development for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Asia Pacific. Chao was also Executive Vice President for Master Planning, Architecture & Design at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts' creative division - Walt Disney Imagineering. Chao led various development teams consisting of Disney Imagineers and many of the world's most renowned architects and designers, developed and built projects including theme parks, 100,000 new and renovated resort hotel rooms, 200 restaurants, 4-million square feet retail spaces, 3-million square feet of entertainment venues, 4-million square feet of office spaces, 2-million square feet of mixed-use spaces, 4 cruise ships, water attractions, convention & exhibition centers, sports stadiums, recreational complexes and two award winning new-town communities at Walt Disney Company's resorts in California, Florida, Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Chao is highly respected in the architecture and design community. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA), and has received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Institute.
Chao is widely admired in the hospitality industry. He was featured on the cover of Interiors magazine for the Corporate Design Award in 1992. He was honored in a cover story as one of the Top 20 hospitality industry leaders and innovators by the Hospitality Design magazine in 1999, and was inducted into the prestigious Platinum Circle. In 2009, Chao was presented with the Legend Award by Contract Magazine, the leading publication for the commercial design industry. Chao also was named an Honorary Senior Fellow by Design Futures Council in September 2009 for his "brilliant work and great insight".
In 2007, Chao was selected to join the prestigious Committee of 100, an organization of American citizens of Chinese descent whose achievements in a wide range of fields have distinguished them as leaders within their professions. Chao was named one of the 500 most influential Asians in the United States by Avenue magazine in 1997; ranked among the top 40 Asian-American professionals by Transpacific magazine in 1996.
Chao holds Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degrees from University of California, Berkeley, a Master of Architecture with a focus in Urban Design from Harvard University, and an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration in Hospitality Management from Johnson and Wales University.