Eight From Hawai‘i Announced as New Obama Foundation Asia-Pacific Leaders
President Obama and Mrs. Obama to Join Leaders: Asia-Pacific Program Gathering in Kuala Lumpur; Plenary Speakers Include YB Hannah Yeoh, Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes, Dr. Oyun Sanjaasuren, Tim Brown, Arthur Huang, Helianti Hilman, Aaron Maniam, and Pat Dwyer
[Honolulu, Hawai‘i] – Today, eight emerging leaders from Hawai‘i have been selected as part of the inaugural cohort of Obama Foundation Leaders: Asia-Pacific. These Hawai‘i leaders include:
- Troy J.H. Andrade, Law Professor and Director, Ulu Lehua Scholars Program, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
- Kealoha Fox, Native Hawaiian Liaison, AlohaCare
- Kaiwipunikauikawekiu Lipe, Native Hawaiian Affairs Program Officer, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
- Kaleo Manuel, Deputy Director, State of Hawai‘i Commission on Water Resource Management
- Breanna Rose, Director of Operations and Partnerships, Hawai‘i Green Growth Local2030 Hub
- Benjamin Eduardo Treviño, Sustainability Planner, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation
- Alec Wagner, Director, Purple Prize, Purple Mai‘a Foundation
- Vehia Wheeler, Consultant, Sustainable Oceania Solutions
They will be part of a cohort of 200 emerging civic leaders from 33 nations and territories in the region who will convene in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from December 10-14. The 200 Leaders represent public, private, and non-profit sectors, and they work on a variety of issues, ranging from education to environment to entrepreneurship.
These eight emerging Hawai‘i leaders represent a unique cross-section of experience, while creating solutions for some of Hawai‘i’s most pressing issues of indigenous justice, sustainability, women’s rights, urban infrastructure, economic access, healthcare and climate change.
The Leaders: Asia-Pacific gathering will serve as the kick-off event for a year-long leadership program and is designed to further inspire, empower, and connect the emerging leaders to change the world. While in Malaysia, the Leaders will be joined by prominent speakers and thought leaders who will discuss topics such as progress and opportunity in the Asia-Pacific region, values-based leadership, and the intersection of purpose and entrepreneurship during a series of plenary sessions.
In addition to President and Mrs. Obama, confirmed speakers include:
- YB Hannah Yeoh, Malaysia’s Deputy Minister of Women, Family, and Community Development;
- Tan Sri Dr. Tony Fernandes, Malaysian entrepreneur and co-founder of AirAsia;
- Oyun Sanjaasuren, Director of External Affairs at the Green Climate Fund;
- Tim Brown, co-founder of Allbirds;
- Arthur Huang, Taiwanese entrepreneur and founder of Miniwiz;
- Helianti Hilman, Indonesian entrepreneur and founder of JAVARA;
- Aaron Maniam, member of the Singapore Administrative Service; and
- Pat Dwyer, Director and founder of The Purpose Business.
The five-day convening in December will also consist of skill-building workshops, leadership development training, and opportunities for Leaders to connect with one another. Leaders will have a chance to apply their skills and knowledge to various real-world scenarios while using creative, values-driven approaches to problem-solving. Additionally, to underscore the important relationship between service and leadership, Leaders will participate in a community service project.
Although the gathering is closed to the general public, the plenary sessions will be made available via livestream at www.obama.org.
Each Leader’s journey of growth will continue remotely for a year after the gathering, through webinars and a virtual speaker series, as well as support, amplification, and other opportunities from the Foundation.
The Asia-Pacific program follows the Obama Foundation’s inaugural international Leaders program launched in Africa in 2018 and represents the Foundation’s commitment to the region, along with the belief that these emerging leaders, through the extraordinary work they do in their own communities, have the potential to positively affect change across the globe.
Meet the inaugural Leaders: Asia-Pacific cohort and learn more about the program here.