The Obama Foundation Leaders: Asia-Pacific program is a one-year leadership development and community engagement program that seeks to inspire, empower, and connect emerging leaders from across the Asia-Pacific region.
About the Program
In December 2019, 200 emerging leaders from 33 nations and territories across the Asia-Pacific region gathered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to begin their journey in the Obama Foundation Leaders: Asia-Pacific program! Over the course of the five-day convening, President and Mrs. Obama, as well as other prominent speakers and thought leaders, joined our Leaders for discussions around progress and opportunity in the Asia-Pacific region and values-based leadership.
In addition to the plenary sessions, Leaders participated in skill-building workshops, leadership development training, and a community service project, among other activities.
Get to know the Leaders below, then check out the full plenary sessions from the event!
President Obama takes the stage with his sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, for a conversation about values-based leadership and growing up in Indonesia and Hawaiʻi.
Michelle Obama and Julia Roberts reflect on their trip to Vietnam with the Girls Opportunity Alliance—and share stories from their own journeys in leadership.
Entrepreneurs from vastly different industries share what it means to practice values-based leadership—and what drives them to pursue their path. Hear the purpose behind their work and what it took to grow their organizations from the ground up.
The Asia-Pacific region is alive with possibility, promise, and progress. Leading changemakers will talk about the opportunities and challenges in the region—and how to take on issues together.
Check out the latest coverage of Leaders: Asia-Pacific!
Simon Moss, the Co-Founder of Global Citizen, joined Leaders for a conversation facilitated by Leaders Angga D. Martha (Indonesia) and Jaclyn McLendon (Australia). Drawing from his decades of experience as a campaigning and community education expert, Simon discussed the powerful potential of uniting like-minded people for a common purpose, recapping Global Citizen’s virtual concert, One World: Together at Home — a campaign that attracted nearly 21 million viewers.
Dr. Maya Soetoro, Director of the Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Co-Founder of the Institute for Peace & Climate, joined Leaders to talk about her career in global peace education. Sharing lessons from both theory and praxis, Maya inspired the cohort with her comprehensive approach to peace work. Obama Leaders Leanne Kealoha Fox (Hawaiʻi) and Yunmei Li (China) moderated the conversation.
In February 2020, President David W. Panuelo of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) joined us as our inaugural speaker for our Virtual Speaker Series. President Panuelo spoke to the cohort about the importance of values-based leadership, the importance of transparency in governance, and the role of island communities in the region. The conversation was moderated by fellow Micronesian and Obama Leader Yolanda Joab-Mori, who works on climate action issues in Chuuk, FSM.
December 2, 2019More
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MEET THE LEADERS
Designing Leaders: Asia-Pacific
At the beginning of the year, we invited a group of 21 emerging leaders from 16 countries and territories across the Asia Pacific for a hands-on workshop in Hawaiʻi. Together, we explored how to design the future Leaders program in the region. Incorporating their input, passion, and drive, the context-specific and engaging leadership program has come to life!
Get a closer look at the Hawaiʻi design workshop and the 21 leaders who helped craft the current program.
Read our FAQ sheet for more detailed information about Leaders: Asia-Pacific.