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About the Program

In just a few weeks, 200 emerging leaders from 33 nations and territories across the Asia-Pacific region will gather 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, will join our Leaders for discussions around progress and opportunity in the Asia-Pacific region and values-based leadership.

In addition to the plenary sessions, Leaders will participate in skill-building workshops, leadership development training, and a community service project, among other activities.

Get to know the Leaders below, then tune in for livestreams of the event beginning on December 10, 2019!


Check out the latest from Kuala Lumpur!

Growing up in Brisbane, Australia, Nicholas saw that people in his own backyard didn't have access to really simple things like a roof over their head, a warm shower, or a community to be connected with. That's why he and his best friend, Lucas, had the idea of putting a washer and dryer on the back of a van and offering free laundry services to people in his community. They called it Orange Sky.

When Dissa was 10 years old, she met a deaf person for the very first time in her life. She was struck by how learning and communicating in sign language could connect her with the deaf community. That's why she started Fingertalk, a social enterprise with the mission of providing employment opportunities for deaf people in Indonesia.

Obama Foundation Leader Julian Aguan was born and raised in Guam and is grounded in the central Chamorro value of reciprocity. He started Blue Ocean Law with that value in mind, and today he's doing his part to defend vulnerable communities from pressing issues in the Pacific region.

December 2, 2019

Julia Roberts to Join Michelle Obama in Conversation at Leaders: Asia-Pacific Convening

CHICAGO, IL — Today, the Obama Foundation announced that actress Julia Roberts will join Michelle Obama in a plenary conversation at the Obama Foundation’s inaugural… More
Designing the Asia-Pacific Leaders Program

January 2, 2019

Designing the Asia-Pacific Leaders Program

“What’s best in me, and what’s best in my message, is consistent with the tradition of Hawaiʻi.” —President Obama, 2004 As President Obama met with… More

Livestream Schedule

Tuesday, December 10

11:30 AM-12:30 PM MYT (UTC +8) | 10:30-11:30 PM EST (UTC -5)

We Are the Future: Progress and Possibility in the Asia Pacific

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.

Wednesday, December 11

9:30-10:30AM MYT (UTC +8) | 8:30-9:30 PM EST (UTC -5)

Entrepreneurship: Working with Purpose

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.

Thursday, December 12

11:00 AM-12:30 PM MYT (UTC +8) | 10:00-11:30 PM EST (UTC -5)

Michelle Obama and Julia Roberts in Conversation with Deborah Henry

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.

Friday, December 13

11:30 AM-1:00 PM MYT (UTC +8) | 10:30 PM-12:00 AM EST  (UTC -5)

How the Asia Pacific Shaped Us: President Obama and Maya Soetoro-Ng

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.

Don’t Miss a Moment

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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!


What is Leaders: Asia-Pacific?The backstory.

Get a closer look at the Hawaiʻi design workshop and the 21 leaders who helped craft the current program.

More questions about the program? We've got answers.

Read our FAQ sheet for more detailed information about Leaders: Asia-Pacific.