On the face of it, Rosanna Wong's return to the limelight so soon after her humiliating resignation represents a stunning turnaround. In reality, Ms Wong never strayed far from political centre stage, having continued to serve as one of Tung Chee-hwa's closest advisers. Her fall from grace last year represents the only blemish on 16 distinguished years in the political arena. An adviser to governor Chris Patten, she survived the handover to remain a key Exco member under Mr Tung. To some, her decision to resign from the Housing Authority last June was to her credit and a demonstration that senior officials were willing to be held accountable. The appointment of Ms Wong, who is noted for her pragmatism and willingness to compromise, shows how serious Mr Tung is about being seen to tackle education reform. The strong working relationships Ms Wong has built up with senior colleagues and her popularity with the public will work in her favour. Her extensive background in social work and involvement with young people make Ms Wong a worthy choice to take the helm of the Education Commission. Born in 1952 and raised in Mid-Levels, Ms Wong was educated at St Stephen's Girls' College. She earned a degree in social work from the University of Hong Kong in 1975 and then spent five years in social work, becoming executive director of the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups. After being named one of the 10 Outstanding Young Persons of 1985, she was appointed to the Legislative Council in the same year. Three years later she became the youngest person to join the Executive Council, at the age of 35. In 1991 she left for the United States to study, receiving a doctorate in sociology from the University of California. Following her return in October 1992, she was appointed to a number of advisory bodies, including the Fight Crime Committee and Law Reform Commission. She also returned to Exco. She chaired the Housing Authority from July 1993, taking over from Sir David Akers-Jones, and two years later became convenor of Mr Patten's de facto inner cabinet. Her biggest challenge came following the disclosure of a series of construction scandals in public estates. The scandals caused uproar, but government investigations cleared senior officials and put the blame on middle-ranking civil servants and contractors. Legco has set up a select committee to investigate further. Ms Wong's resignation came on the eve of a Legco vote of no-confidence in herself and in Director of Housing Tony Miller. In an emotional speech, she said her decision to quit reflected her having lost the trust of the public. Despite remaining in Exco, she has until now managed to keep a low profile. Ms Wong is separated from her husband, Alfred Tam Yat-chung, and has two children, Joyce and Johnathan.