何女士是美國夏威夷大學工商管理（榮譽）學士， 2010年獲美國夏威夷大學商學院頒發 "Hall of Honour" 榮譽獎項，其後於史丹福大學商學研究院修畢行政管理課程。
何女士熱心支持香港大學的教研工作，現擔任港大社會工作及社會行政學系諮詢委員會委員。在她的領導下，利希慎基金資助了港大不同範疇的項目。在藝術及人文領域方面，基金為香港人文社會研究所的學生提供海外交流學習機會，並邀請國際知名學者到訪研究所。她和基金團隊又與新聞及傳媒研究中心合作，致力推動香港紀錄片拓展計劃，旨在培育一班新晉紀錄片製作人，支持本地紀錄片製作，並提升公眾的紀錄片鑒賞水平。其他資助項目包括秀圃老年研究中心開展的《風起航 ― 中風家庭支援行動》計劃以及一個名為「明德（境外學習）」的跨學科項目，讓港大師生有機會往中國內地的貧困地區進行體驗學習，在服務中應用他們不同學科的知識和技能。
Citation delivered by Professor William HAYWARD, Dean of Social Sciences
Mr Pro-Chancellor, may I begin this august ceremony with a reference to Classical Greece, and the phrase, nosce te impsum – which is said to have been an inscription at the ancient Temple of Apollo at Delphi. It is usually translated as “know thyself.”
Ms Cecilia Ho Chung Chee is the President of Lee Hysan Foundation, an experienced and respected former banker, and nosce te ipsum could easily be her motto. She is dynamic, focused and industrious; a leader who knows herself well and who leads by example.
Ms Ho holds a BBA (honours) from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and has said that she completed her four-year undergraduate programme in just two, not only because she wanted to challenge herself, but also so that she could “get out into the real world and do new things!” She also attended the Stanford Executive Program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and was presented with the Hall of Honour Award by the University of Hawaii College of Business in 2010.
Her undergraduate years in Hawaii opened Ms Ho’s eyes to the value of multiculturalism and diversity, showing her that a community that embraces difference is one that is stronger and richer. This perspective would continue to be a source of strength and inspiration for her later, as she went from strength to strength in her banking career.
Ms Ho has served as Executive Director of Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC, and Managing Director and Team Head of Citi Private Bank. She has over 30 years of banking experience in various senior management positions including: Asian Business Development Head at Citi Canada; Business Manager for International Personal Banking Business at Citigroup; and Head of Sales & Services at Standard Chartered Bank.
It was during her appointments in Canada and the US – each new role bringing with it fresh challenges and unknown territory – that she found herself working with an increasingly global client base and multinational colleagues. Indeed, at one point there were over ten different nationalities in her team.
However, it was while she was working at the highest levels of the banking sector that she, in her own words, witnessed not only “great wealth creation, but also great wealth destruction.” She started to feel that there were risks to the belief that creating wealth was the most important thing in life.
She says that watching the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami that hit the northeast coast of Japan in 2011 was a turning point for her. It made her realise that many of the most valuable things in life could be lost in an instant.
Ms Ho started to look more closely at the work of charities, non-governmental organisations and philanthropic organisations. She was moving towards the next chapter of her professional life, a world she knew very little about, and she is grateful for the encouragement and support her husband gave her throughout. But remember too, that Ms Ho likes doing new things!
In 2012, she joined Lee Hysan Foundation, a private family foundation established in 1973 that supports meaningful and impactful charity initiatives in Hong Kong. Her aim was to bring her years of experience in banking to the Foundation and help give the organisation strategic direction, strengthen its vision and mission, and establish funding principles that would make the most impact.
Under her leadership, the Foundation currently focuses on four main sectors: Education, Social Welfare and Health, Arts and Culture, and the Environment. The projects supported by the Foundation are underpinned by the core objectives of creating positive social impact, transforming lives, and emphasising character education.
Ms Ho is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Department of Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong. Under her leadership, Lee Hysan Foundation has funded HKU on a diverse range of initiatives. In the realm of arts and humanities, she and her team have provided support for the Hong Kong Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences to invite world-renowned academics to HKU as visiting scholars, and to offer overseas exchange opportunities for local students.
The Journalism and Media Studies Centre has also received backing for the “Hong Kong Documentary Initiative”, which aims to nurture the next generation of documentary filmmakers and build a dynamic documentary scene in Hong Kong.
Other initiatives include the “WeRISE” Stroke Family Empowerment Project under the Sau Po Centre on Ageing; and “Horizons Mingde”, a university-wide experiential learning initiative, offering students and teachers from all 10 Faculties an opportunity to apply their learning to serve impoverished communities in Mainland China.
The University of Hong Kong’s strategic vision of incorporating innovation, interdisciplinarity and internationalisation into every area of our work in order to create maximum impact could easily be a description of Ms Ho’s approach to her endeavours as well – highlighting the key values that we share.
After seven years with the Foundation, Ms Ho is proud of the many opportunities she has had to make a difference in people’s lives. But her proudest moments were when she could finally see the difference her banking experience had brought to the business of philanthropy, creating impactful grant policy changes, and building greater collaboration between different parties, particularly the public and private sectors.
Ms Ho has also made outstanding contributions to the Hong Kong community. She is a member of the Advisory Committee on Arts Development under the Home Affairs Bureau, the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund Task Force, the Steering Committee for “FOOD-CO” Intermediary Services for Building Capacity in Food Support Service, the Advisory Committee of the School of Drama of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, as well as the Hong Kong Private Wealth Management Association’s Accreditation and Exemption Committee.
When asked what her message to our students would be, she replied without hesitation: “We make living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” At some point, one will discover that making money isn’t the most important thing in life, and that the axiom that money can’t buy happiness is true. “Never settle for striving to be the lone brightest star,” she says, “but always ponder how you can help others shine as well.”
It gives me great pleasure, Mr Pro-Chancellor, to present Ms Cecilia Ho Chung Chee for the Honorary University Fellowship, in recognition of her contributions to Hong Kong and academia.