The Asia 21 Young Leaders Forum revolves around the Asia 21 Fellows, a core network of leaders among leaders from diverse professional backgrounds, who are tasked to serve one-year terms.
Jumaatun Azmi | Arnel Paciano Casanova | Steve Woo-Sung Chung | Nitin Das | Enkhchimeg Davaanyam | Ming Fan | Tamao Gunn | Natalie Christine Jorge | Gen Kanai | Danny Levinson | Pardis Mahdavi | Wes Moore | Fawad Ahmad Muslim | Rashneh Pardiwala | Truc Pham-Dinh | Priti Radhakrishnan | Hendra Sutandinata | Hsu-Ming Teo | Ting Hway Wong | Danwen Xing | Keiko Yamamoto
Hsu-Ming Teo is a lecturer in the Department of Modern History at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She has published in the area of cultural history and is currently completing a book on Orientalism in western women's popular culture. In 1999, she won The Australian Vogel Literary Award for her first novel Love and Vertigo (2000), which was also short-listed for several other literary awards. It has been translated into German, Italian, Chinese, and Thai. Her second novel, Behind the Moon (2005), was shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards in 2006. She is working on her third novel. From 2003-2005, Ms. Teo was a committee member of International PEN, Sydney Centre. She worked on the New South Wales Premier's History and Literature Committee in 2004, and was a judge of the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards in 2007. Since 2007, she has served as a member of the Hong Kong-based Man Asian Literary Prize advisory panel, and she is a representative of the Chinese Australian Forum in Sydney.
Ming Fan is an award-winning TV producer for News Probe, the only in-depth investigative reporting program at China Central TV Station (CCTV). Her work "The Unnatural Death of a Cat" investigated one of the most infamous incidents in China's powerful Internet culture, and received the 2006 Special Jury Award from the China Documentary Association. Another piece, "In the Name of Life," was the first show to cover the real life of homosexuals in China, and won the 2006 Chinese Academic Award for best TV documentary. She has also won numerous Golden Awards at CCTV (the highest awards given by the station) for her investigation into sensitive news issues and scandals, including high-ranking corruption, child suicide, medical malpractice, environmental pollution, and social injustice. She served on the executive committee of the Chinese Youth League of CCTV from 2005 to 2007. From September 2007 to July 2008, she studied under the auspices of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University. She also participated in the Tallberg Forum in Sweden in June 2008.
Xing Danwen is a freelance artist in Beijing, China. She was born in Xi'an, China. As a teenager, she had already taken a 4-year professional study in painting at the primary art school affiliated with the Xi'an Academy of Fine Art. From 1989-1992, she continued painting and did her BFA at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. In the late '80s, she started photography, becoming one of a few artists in the late '80s and '90s in China who explored the boundaries of photography and used photography as an art form. In 1998, she went to New York with a grant and fellowship from the Asian Cultural Council. From 1998-2001, she did her MFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Xing Danwen exhibits domestically and internationally, including at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Pompidou Center, International Center for Photography, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1st Yokohama Triennale, and Sydney Biennale 2004. Her artistic practice is both rich and varied and her subjects include: dislocation between cultural status, conflicts between globalization and traditions, problematic environmental issues created by development, and the urban drama between desire and reality. Fiction, truth, and illusion often play an important role in her works.
Nitin Das is the Director of Filmkaar Productions and is an independent filmmaker based in Mumbai, India. He is currently making a feature-length children's film in the slums of Mumbai that combines community development, education, and the creative arts in an unusual way. Mr. Das has a degree in marketing from one of India's leading business schools, and was working as a brand manager for India's largest selling newsmagazine before he turned to filmmaking. He also completed a filmmaking course in New York. On returning to India, he set up a film production house to make "extraordinary films with ordinary people." The United Nations Environment Programme recently selected one of his films on global warming for their campaign, “Plant for the Planet: Billion TreeCampaign.” Mr. Das won a special award from the British Council for creative entrepreneurship in the social sector. His next venture is to connect exceptional filmmakers from around the world with social entrepreneurs working in fragile ecosystems to create a collection of entertaining films called "Tales from Enchanted Lands."
Rashneh Pardiwala is an ecologist and the Founder and Director of the Centre for Environmental Research and Education (CERE), a young non-profit organization that works to promotes environmental sustainability through formal education, public awareness, corporate partnerships and legal advocacy. In a period of five years since establishment, CERE has successfully completed many rural and urban research and development projects, been consultants to different government departments, helped integrate environmental education into mainstream curriculum, published 25 titles and conducted teacher training workshops across India. In 2005, Dr. Pardiwala was recognized as a social entrepreneur for change and was awarded the ASHOKA Fellowship.
Hendra Sutandinata is the Founder & CEO of MVCommerce, a company formed in 2002 to help eradicate poverty by increasing the competitiveness of micro-enterprises through improved access to financial services. MVCommerce operates the secure transactioninfrastructure that enables banks and co-operatives to break free fromexisting economic and technology limitations and serve the working poor using their mobile phones and wireless terminals. Hendra started his career with the PC industry pioneer Tandon Corporation in California; managed North American & Asia Product Marketing before returning to Indonesia in 1992 to become President of Zeuscom. The company became the country's first PC manufacturer to build computers for global brands; when the Asian crisis hit it shifted focus and successfully completed technology management projects for five banks, including the strategic planning for the region's largest systems migration from the merger of nine banks. Hendra received Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Electrical Engineering from Loyola Marymount University, and an MBA from the University of Southern California.
Pardis Mahdavi is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Pomona College. She received her Ph.D at Columbia University in the departments of Socio-medical Sciences and Anthropology, focusing on gender and sexuality in the Middle East within a medical-anthropological context. Her research interests include sexuality, human rights, transnational feminism, and public health in the context of changing global and political structures. Professor Mahdavi is also a consultant to the International Women's Health Coalition and the United Nations Fund for Population Advancement. She has published in the Encyclopedia of Women in Islamic Cultures; Culture, Health and Sexuality; Anthropology News; and the Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World Review. Her book Passionate Uprisings: Iran's Sexual Revolution was published this fall with Stanford University Press.
Tamao Gunn has been an investment banker at Merrill Lynch since 1998. For the last 10 years, she has worked in the investment banking division covering Japanese financial institutions including Japanese mega-banks. Prior to joining Merrill Lynch, she was an attorney in New York for Skadden Arps and Milbank Tweed, mainly focusing on corporate finance and project finance that originated in emerging markets. She has truly enjoyed investment banking work at Merrill Lynch as it has provided her with the opportunity to work on business origination in addition to transaction execution. In particular, the recent financial turmoil and the drastic change in the financial landscape globally via consolidation has been very interesting for her as a banker, and has given her the opportunity to reassess the importance of global financial stability and the role that Japanese financial institutions could play in this event. She holds an LLB from Keio University and Sydney University and was admitted as an attorney in the state of New York and the state of New South Wales in Australia.
Gen Kanai is Director of Asia Business Development for Mozilla, a California-based not-for-profit organization that develops, manages, and freely distributes the popular Mozilla Firefox web browser. Mr. Kanai is also Director of Marketing for Mozilla Japan. Prior to joining Mozilla, he was on the team responsible for the launch of Technorati Japan, a weblog search engine. In 2003, he co-produced the First International Moblogging Conference, the first worldwide conference on the topic of mobile weblogs and personal publishing from mobile phones with over 150 attendees from England, Italy, the U.S., and Japan. Mr. Kanai has also worked for Sony Marketing of Japan, Sony Electronics Inc., and Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., on various Internet-related businesses in both the U.S. and Japan. He is a fellow of the U.S.-Japan Foundation’s “US-Japan Leadership Program.” He received a B.A. in Geography from Dartmouth College in 1996. He is proud to be born and raised in New York City and currently resides in Tokyo.
Keiko Yamamoto is a journalist who joined NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) in 1995 after receiving her M.A. in International Development from Nagoya University, Japan. She has covered educational and social issues including decreasing birthrates, gender inequality, and economic disparities in Japan. Ms. Yamamoto founded a female journalist's association in 2001 wishing to create a professional network among female journalists in Japan. There are now two chapters, one in Tokyo and one in Nagoya, with a current membership of over 250. Today, the network has worked to introduce and foster such new concepts to Japanese society as the work-life balance, diversity, and supporting non-profit organizations through the positive use of media.
Steve Woo-Sung Chung
Steve Woo-Sung Chung is the Chief Strategy Officer for CD Networks,Inc., a publicly-traded company on Korea's KOSDAQ providing Internet content delivery network (CDN) services, which is Asia's #1 provider. He is responsible for corporate strategy, M&A, and the company's global businesses in US, Europe, Japan, and China. Previously, Mr. Chung was a venture capitalist for Blue Run Ventures in Silicon Valley, a $1 billion venture capital fund initiated by Nokia. Prior to that, he was the COO for Pan Media Corporation in Beijing and analyst for Goldman Sachs in NY. He received his A.B. from Harvard and his MBA from Stanford.
Jumaatun Azmi is the Founder and Managing Director of KasehDia Sdn Bhd,a niche communication and consultancy firm focused on the application of Islamic concepts. Under Ms. Azmi's leadership, the company has created world-renowned events and publications and consulted the government on Halal matters. KasehDia Consultancy was involved in the drafting of the Halal Chapter of Malaysia's 3rd Industrial Master Plan after being appointed as consultant by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry in 2006. It also developed the initial framework of the Halal Industry Development Corporation for the Malaysian Prime Minister's Office. Ms. Azmi is the Editor of The Halal Journal, a trade publication on the Halal industry currently distributed in over 35 countries. She also founded the award-winning Halal Food Guide series, which to date has covered eight countries. Ms. Azmi's other accomplishments in the related industry include the creation of The World Halal Forum, Halal Journal TV, Halal Journal Award, Halal Restaurant Awards and the Halal Journal Workshop Series. Due to her prolific and cutting-edge work, Ms. Azmi has been featured in various international mainstream media including the Wall Street Journal Asia, the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, and Bloomberg. She holds a degree in Communications (Honors) from the University of Hartford, Connecticut, USA.
Enkhchimeg Davaanyam is a CEO of Petrovis LLC, the largest petroleum import and distribution company operating in Mongolia. Before taking this position in January of 2008, she worked as Head of Investment and Planning Division of ERDENES MGL SHC, a state-owned company which holds and manages licenses of the largest strategic mining deposits of the country. She has also worked as the USA, Canada, and South America desk officer responsible for trade and economy affairs at the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Mongolia. Enkhchimeg graduated from the Graduate School of Business at the University of Colorado with a dual degree Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Finance. She continued her study and work experience in the Unites States as a Research Assistant in the Graduate School of Business at the University of Colorado, as an investment analyst at a hedge fund and also as an investment analyst at Citigroup Insurance investment in Hartford, CT. Ms. Davaanyam has a bachelor’s degree in Japanese Studies from theUniversity of Foreign Languages in Ulaan baatar, as well as a diploma in Japanese Studies from the Tokyo University of Foreign Languages in Japan. Enkhchimeg is fluent in Japanese, English, and Russian. She is Level II Candidate in process for CFA Chartered Financial Analyst degree.
Arnel Paciano Casanova is the Executive Director of the Asia Society Philippine Foundation, Inc. Prior to that, he was General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, where he worked on some of the biggest public infrastructure and real estate property development projects in the Philippines. As a peace-negotiator, he was one of the youngest recipients of the Philippine Legion of Honor Medal for his work in drafting the General Peace Agreement between the government and the military rebels and the rebels' disarmament and reintegration. He was likewise involved in the initial stages of negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). He is a graduate of the University of the Philippines College of Law, serving as the College Representative to the University Student Council. As a Mason Fellow and a World Bank Scholar, he graduated from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government with a Masters degree in Public Administration. He pursues his passion in social entrepreneurship in the Philippines and Asia as one of the founders of AvantChange, a social enterprise, established at the Harvard Kennedy School, by being a visiting lecturer at the Ateneo De Manila University School of Government, teaching a course on Social Entrepreneurship. As a governance advocate, he is also a member of the core group of Kaya Natin! Movement, a citizen’s movement in the Philippines advocating ethical and effective leadership.
Natalie Christine Jorge
Natalie Christine "Ching" Virata Jorge is the Vice President and Director for Programs and Research at the Bato Balani Foundation, Inc.,a non-profit foundation engaged in the management and implementation of educational development programs in the Philippines. Committed to social and youth development, Ms. Jorge is also the Chair/Lead Convenor for Young Public Servants (YPS), a youth organization that aims to harness a new generation of young leaders who support and advocate democratic citizenship and good governance. She is also the Chairperson of the Research Committee of the League of Corporate Foundations (LCF), the leading proponent of corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs in the Philippines and the founder of Project LIA (Love in Action), an advocacy campaign in support of Orphanages and Day Care Centers. Ms. Jorge's commitment to development work includes original research, consulting, and volunteer activities with various academic institutions and NGOs. She has undertaken lead roles in development and research programs on CSR, Policy Development, and Education. She has over a decade of experience in social development, including work with the Philippine National Museum Foundation, the Policy Center and the Center for Corporate Social Responsibility of the Asian Institute of Management. Ms. Jorge has also published a number of articles and research on Education, Youth Development, Governance, and Corporate Social Responsibility.
Ting Hway Wong
Ting Hway Wong is training to be a general surgeon at the Singapore General Hospital. Previously, she was a volunteer with Doctors without Borders and helps co-ordinate the Doctors without Borders Peer Support Network in Singapore. She was the first Singaporean to work as a medical delegate with the International Committee of the Red Cross. Back home in Singapore, she has served as volunteer committee chairman and council member of HCA Hospice Care, the largest home care hospice organization in Singapore. Fluent in several languages, including English, Chinese, Spanish, Frenc,h and Portuguese, she also speaks basic Malay, Arabic, and Nepali. Nine years after receiving her medical degree from Cambridge University, she decided to pursue a Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, with an interest in injury epidemiology and health policy. When not walking around the hospital, she tries to find time to belly-dance and write poetry.
Danny Levinson is the CEO and Founder of BDL Media Ltd, a multimilliondollar digital direct marketing, publishing, and advertising business started in China five years ago. He has been working in China for over 11 years and at BDL Media he helps runs the company's divisions,including CharityInChina.org – a service that links NGOs to companies and individuals who can provide necessary funding and volunteer hours; and ChinaCSR.com, a daily Chinese news website that covers corporate social responsibility in China. He is currently the Chairman of the I.T. Committee at the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. He has presented at various conferences and forums, including Harvard China Review, Internet Society of China, Kenan-Flagler Business School, CEIBS, and Merrill Lynch Asia Rising Stars. Originally from the United States, he graduated from the College of William and Mary in the U.S. with a BA in English literature, and also studied both Japanese and Chinese, starting in high school.
Wes Moore is an investment banker for Citigroup. A Former White House Fellow, Mr. Moore served as Special Assistant to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. As a paratrooper and Captain in the United States Army Reserves, he served a combat tour of duty in Afghanistan and spearheaded the American strategic support plan for the Afghan Reconciliation Program that unites former insurgents with the new Afghan Government. He completed an MLitt in International Relations from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. Wes graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University in 2001 with a degree ininternational relations, and currently serves on its Board of Trustees. He is authoring a book entitled Elevate: American Journeys into Manhood (Random House), for a highly anticipated 2009 release.
Priti Radhakrishnan is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of Initiatives For Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK), a team of lawyers and scientists working with governments, scientists, procurers, and suppliers to strengthen patent systems. The team conducts pharmaceutical patent analysis to encourage innovation in new medicines while also assuring broad access to the best and latest treatments. Her recent accomplishments include working with the Clinton FoundationHIV/AIDS Initiative and the World Health Organization on issues ofintellectual property and access to treatment. In 2008, Ms.Radhakrishnan was awarded the Echoing Green Fellowship for social entrepreneurs and was named a Pop!Tech Social Innovation Fellow. Along with her Co-Director at I-MAK, she has worked on issues impacting several countries, including India, the Philippines, Malaysia, China, Brazil, Nigeria, and Mexico. Prior to founding I-MAK, she served as the Senior Project Officer of the Lawyers Collective HIV/AIDS Unit in India. She obtained her law degree from the New York University (NYU) School of Law and has worked as a health attorney in the U.S., Switzerland, and India. Her work as a public health advocate has merited recognition: she recently coordinated the efforts of TEAM VINAY – a movement that registered 25,000 new bone marrow donors in the South Asian American community, which received the National Marrow Donor Program's Lieutenant General Frank E. Peterson Jr. award for innovation and commitment to minority recruitment and retention of bone marrow donors.
Truc Pham-dinh is the Head of the Department of Power Machines and Equipment for the Faculty of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Vietnam National University. After living and studying in Australia and the UK for 10 years, Dr. Pham-dinh went back to Vietnam with a PhD degree in Electrical Engineering. He now teaches at Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City and was the youngest Head-of-Department at a Vietnamese university when appointed in 2006. Dr. Pham-dinh is an energetic leader, educator, and scientist. He has facilitated international collaborative relationships between Universities as well as multinational industries, such as the collaboration with Emerson Network Power (USA), for an on-campus engineering design center, the first of its kind in Vietnam. He established the National Committee for Vietnam's Open Courseware, a project for modernization of higher education in Vietnam, funded by the Vietnam Education Foundation USA (www.vef.gov). He also pioneered an international project to develop a research and education center for sustainable energy in the Indochina region.