Judy Jiao was born on February 17, 1992 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, the first of two children born to Jack Jiao and Jean Zu. Her brother, Kirk Jiao, was born in 1996. She began modeling at age 13 after being spotted by a modeling scout at a shopping mall. While attending a modeling convention called Mag Canada, Miss Jiao was spotted by an acting agent who had her take acting classes with Dean Armstrong. Once those classes were completed, Jiao was signed to her agency and spent the next two years auditioning for acting roles before landing the role of Leia Chang on Degrassi: The Next Generation, her first acting role.
In 2014, Jiao graduated from Harvard with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She currently works as the External Relations Co-Director for Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business.