Chan was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and lived in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. He moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 1997, to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering.
As a consequence of both his academic and acting careers, Chan has an Erdős–Bacon number of 4. He co-authored a peer-reviewed paper on OFDM, giving him an Erdős number of 3. Chan appeared alongside Kevin Bacon in Patriots Day, giving him a Bacon number of 1.
Chan first began his career working on student films, indie films, and theatre in the Boston area while still a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It took several years before he landed his first major role in 2006, a part in Walt Disney Picture's Underdog, which was released in 2007. He followed up with TV roles that same year in The CW Television Network pilot I'm Paige Wilson and Showtime's Brotherhood.
Also in 2007, Chan took matters into his own hands and wrote, directed, produced, and starred in his own film, Fate Scores, which also featured the acoustic guitar song "It Won't Be Long", written and performed by Chan. In his directorial debut, Chan was recognized by the National Film Board of Canada as second runner-up for Best Canadian Short Film at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival in 2009. Fate Scores premiered at the Wisconsin Film Festival on April 5, 2009, and has since appeared in seven additional film festivals in North America. The film was acquired for distribution in 2010 by Moving Images Distribution (formerly Canadian Filmmakers Distribution West).
In 2008, Chan was cast in a supporting role working alongside Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner in the New Line Cinema romantic comedy Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and also completed filming Every Day, starring Helen Hunt and Liev Schreiber, which opened at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival.
In 2009, Chan filmed the supporting role of Richard in the indie feature Life of Lemon, starring Dan Lauria, Beth Grant, and Rachel Miner and also had a role on the NBC hit drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In 2010, he was cast in ABC's Body of Proof, and the following year he was cast in Spike Lee's HBO pilot Da Brick.
Chan returned to filmmaking in 2011 when he wrote, directed, executive produced, and starred in his own film, The Commitment, about an interracial gay couple adopting a newborn baby. The film was inspired by an unsuccessful adoption in Chan's actual life. "Those familiar with domestic adoption had told us before we began that the adoption process is truly a roller coaster ride, and now we finally understood what these people meant," Chan explained on the film's official website. "I dealt with the feelings of loss and disappointment the only way I knew how—I wrote a screenplay. Four unsuccessful birthparent matches and one year later, The Commitment went into production. Two weeks after the film wrapped, our beautiful son Andrew was born, the result of our fifth match." The film premiered in Palm Springs on September 22, 2012, and has since won the 2013 National Association of Social Workers Media Award for Best Feature Film (edging out fellow nominees Moonrise Kingdom and What to Expect When You're Expecting (film), the Audience Award for Best Short at the 2013 Desperado LGBT Film Festival (Phoenix, AZ), both the Jury Award and Audience Award for Best LGBT Film at the 2013 SENE Film, Music, & Arts Festival (Providence, RI), a Best LGBT Film nomination at the 2013 Out in the Desert: Tucson's International LGBT Film Festival, Audience Favorite - Short Series at the 2012 Palm Springs Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (shared with Little Ones and Groom's Cake), and Best Supporting Actress - Short Film at the Summer 2012 Asians On Film Festival.
In 2012, Chan appeared as Roy on the NBC hit comedy series 30 Rock. He also filmed two television movies: Clear History starring Larry David and Jon Hamm and directed by Greg Mottola for HBO, and The Makeover starring Julia Stiles and Camryn Manheim for ABC and the Hallmark Hall of Fame. The Makeover premiered on ABC on January 27, 2013, and Clear History premiered on HBO on August 10, 2013. Also in 2013, Albert was cast Lloyd Chang in his second role on the NBC hit drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, opposite special guest star Cybill Shepherd. Albert also completed principal photography on Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future, a film he wrote and directed, starring Golden Globe, Emmy, and Drama Desk nominee Tina Chen.
From 2007 to 2013, Chan trained at Straeon Acting Studios, based on the teachings of legendary coach Roy London.
He is currently an on-line spokesperson for Staples Inc. where he demonstrates printers as Mike from EasyTech.
Chan has been featured as an up-and-coming actor and director in numerous print and on-line articles including a story by The Advocate, an Asian American Risings A-Profiler feature, three Sampan articles, two Bay Windows interviews, an MIT Alumni Association profile, and a Slice of MIT article. He has also appeared as a panelist at a sneak preview of the PBS TV show American Masters: Hollywood Chinese.