Kory D. Kantenga, PhD

Hometown – Fort Myers, FL
Undergrad – Georgetown University, BSc, Foreign Service and International Affairs
Graduate School – London School of Economics, 2012, MSc Economics, University of Pennsylvania, 2018, PhD Economics
Current – Senior Economist, LinkedIn

As the child of an immigrant Kory understands the immense values of the opportunities available in his life and has made it one of his life missions to capitalize on and appreciate the opportunity that he is presented. His father migrated to the country from the Democratic Republic of Congo on – a country plagued with political corruption and economic instability – and instilled the value of education in his son. Born in Vero Beach, Florida, Kory realized he was academically talented at a young age. And the only word that could truly describe Kory upon his entrance into high school was determined.

He was determined to excel in college level courses, so he joined the International Baccalaureate program at Fort Myers High School. Throughout the program Kory grew in understanding and appreciation of the world around him. He has spent immeasurable hours working to achieve excellent grades, and the only standards higher than those Kory has achieved are his own. By the end of his junior year, Kory had taken nine AP exams and earned at least a four on each one. Kory has been an online student, taking two AP and one honors class online, voted most academic in his senior class, a member of his school’s academic team, and placed in the top twenty at regional, invitation, state, and national mathematics competitions. Upon the beginning of his senior year Kory knew the reasons for valuing and appreciating history, mathematics, and literature and cannot spend a day without quoting his favorite playwright and sonneteer, William Shakespeare.

But academic success in not the only aspect of Kory’s high school career that he values. He sees leadership as a foundation for progress and seeks to lead as a director in his school’s news show, president of a journalism honor society, and active member in several other honor societies. In addition, Kory feels he is best living the human experience when he is active by having run cross-country in high school and being a tennis aficionado. And when it comes to obstacles, Kory confronts them with grit and determination. This same desire has been rewarded not only with math team trophies but an opportunity to meet Governor Jeb Bush as his high school all-star for Lee County and an anchoring spot on cable TV.

Despite his early success in the broadcast field, Kory believes his true calling is to use his talents to serve others, having donated countless hours to volunteering at a local hospital and tutoring in mathematics. He says “I see myself not only as a citizen of the United States but also as a citizen of the world.” And he is focused on building a career in international economics to aid countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo in developing and utilizing their resources to their highest potential. And “if you could look into the seeds of time,” you would know that his focus and determination will lead him to help others, and achieve his highest aspirations.