Elizabeth Kite2023-2024 Columbia University Scholars
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Take The Lead Tonga
Elevating youth voices and empowering young leaders in Tonga and the Pacific region to lead impactful change within their communities.
Elizabeth Kite is the founder and chief executive officer of Tonga’s first youth-led organization, Take The Lead. Take The Lead educates, equips, and empowers aspiring leaders and underrepresented groups in Tonga to lead, be catalysts of change, and amplify their voices in national decision-making. The organization’s She Leads Fale Alea ‘O Tonga (Parliament of Tonga) program trains young women in civic education, fundamentals of leadership, and how to pursue a career in politics. The organization also hosts Tonga’s only networking event that connects leaders in various fields with young people using the traditional method of talanoa, the process of safe and respectful discussion. Take The Lead also introduced the first civic education program to educate students across the country on Tonga’s government and parliament and their responsibilities and rights as citizens. Elizabeth’s organization has trained 2,000 young leaders, and their materials have reached 20,000 Tongan youth. Elizabeth hopes to use the Scholars program to build Take The Lead and support young women in male-dominated industries such as business, finance, and technology.