Originally, Kiang was a humanities major at Wellesley College. While she was interning for Mic in 2011, she was assigned to cover a NASA Space Shuttle launch which inspired her to change her career trajectory and become an engineer. She went on the graduate with a B.A. in Mathematics. She earned her Master of Engineering in Bioengineering and Biomedical engineering from Cornell University.
Early in her career, Kiang was a AP Computer Science Teacher at Dana Hall School and Ground Software Engineer at Boeing. In 2016, she joined SpaceX and has overseen the development of the "Crew Dragon" spacecraft's human systems and space suits as the program lead, with the goal of sending humans to Mars. Kiang was a member of the Space Generation Advisory Council, which advises the United Nations.