Two Filipinas Among Asia 21 Young Leaders Class of 2017

NEW YORK, August 24, 2017 — Asia Society announced today the members of the 2017 class of Asia 21, the Asia-Pacific’s foremost network of young leaders. Thirty remarkable professionals from 21 countries, representing the next generation of leaders in government, business, arts, media and the nonprofit sector, were selected.

Asia 21, now in its 12th year, has grown into a network of more than 800 young leaders from 40 nations, working together to shape a brighter future for the Asia-Pacific region. Young leaders are selected through a highly competitive process based on outstanding achievement, commitment to public service, and a proven ability to make the world a better place.

The Philippines has one of the larger pools of young leaders, numbering 69 in total, coming from fields ranging from healthcare to the military, based in and out of the capital city.

Two inductees from the Philippines were included in the 2017 class: Cherrie Atilano, the founder and CEO of Agrea Agricultural Systems International, Inc., an agro-social enterprise that aims to uplift farming and fishing families in order to alleviate the effects of climate change and establish food security in the Philippines, and Eleanor Rosa Pinugu, the founder of Mano Amiga Academy, a sustainable non-profit school designed to provide high-quality education and development services to low-income communities. Both women have already been recognized nationally with a host of awards, including an Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneur award for Atilano in 2017, and an Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service for Pinugu.

Other inductees from across the region include Melissa Jardine, a former Australian police officer examining how law enforcement in Asia responds to drug use, economic crimes, and terrorism; Sana Mir, a cricket star challenging attitudes about women’s participation in Pakistan’s male-dominated world of sport; “Krating” Poonpol, a venture fund manager ushering in a startup revolution in Thailand and across Southeast Asia; and Sim Chi Yin, a Singaporean photographer and filmmaker capturing how industrialization and urbanization are reshaping the landscape, and the people of Asia.

“Asia 21 really brings to life Asia Society’s mission to build bridges of understanding across the Asia-Pacific region, across different sectors and between Asia and the world,” said Asia Society President and CEO Josette Sheeran. “Our goal is not just to recognize the amazing work these young leaders are doing, but to connect them to one another so that they can take on some of the biggest challenges facing the Asia-Pacific region today.”

The members of the 2017 class are:

  • Cherrie Atilano (Philippines), founder, president, and CEO, Agrea Agricultural Systems International, Inc.
  • Jieun Baek (U.S.), PhD candidate studying early dissenters in authoritarian countries, Oxford University
  • Battushig Batbold (Mongolia), chairman of the board, Altai Holding LLC
  • Serey Chea (Cambodia), director general, National Bank of Cambodia
  • Robin Chiang (Taiwan/ Australia), venture partner, Welkin Capital Management
  • Kushal Gurung (Nepal), founder and CEO, WindPower Nepal
  • Asuka Hamakawa (Japan), executive director and co-founder, Earth Company
  • Sayed Zafar Hashemi (Afghanistan), political counselor, Embassy of Afghanistan, Washington, DC
  • Melissa Jardine (Australia), board director, Global Law Enforcement & Public Health Association
  • Shougat Khan (Bangladesh), founder and chairperson, H.A. Foundation
  • Raheel Khursheed (India), head of news partnerships for India and Southeast Asia, Twitter
  • Sasibai Kimis (Malaysia), managing partner, Earth Heir
  • Tenzing Lamsang (Bhutan), founder, CEO and editor-in-chief, The Bhutanese Newspaper
  • Chenhui Liu (China), co-founder and COO, Apricot Forest
  • Henry Makeham (Australia), associate, Linklaters LLP
  • Sana Mir (Pakistan), captain, Pakistan national women’s cricket team
  • “Allen” Ali Mohammadi (Iran), CEO and co-founder, Hippogriff AB
  • June Park (South Korea), postdoctoral fellow specializing in U.S. foreign economic policymaking in Northeast Asia, National University of Singapore
  • Cheryl Perera (Canada), founder and president, OneChild
  • Eleanor Rosa Pinugu (Philippines), founder, Mano Amiga Academy
  • Ruangroj “Krating” Poonpol (Thailand), managing partner, 500 TukTuks
  • Shameer Rasooldeen (Sri Lanka), host, “Face the Nation”
  • Santitarn Sathirathai (Thailand), head of emerging Asia economics research, Credit Suisse
  • Jhuma Sen (India), assistant professor, Jindal Global Law School
  • Sim Chi Yin (Singapore), photographer and filmmaker
  • Mark Switkowski (Australia), executive director, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Victorian State Government, Australia
  • Yeganeh Torbati (U.S.), journalist, Reuters
  • Guan Wang (China), news anchor and chief political reporter, CGTN
  • Eugene Yi (U.S.), co-founder, Cortico
  • Zhao Zhong (China), founder and board director, Green Camel Bell 

This year’s Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit, presented in partnership with the Victorian Government, will convene in Melbourne, Australia from November 29 – December 1. Under the theme World Disrupted: Asia’s Future, members of the 2017 class and Asia 21 alumni will draw upon their combined expertise to generate creative, multidisciplinary approaches to shared challenges. They will share best practices in leadership and explore opportunities for collaboration to effect positive impact and change across the Asia-Pacific.

Asia 21 alumni are proven leaders representing a variety of professional backgrounds and serve as mentors and potential collaborators. They include CNN India bureau chief Ravi Agrawal; Siam Commercial Bank Executive Vice President Sutapa Amornvivat; Teach for the Philippines founder Clarissa Delgado; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; Herald Corporation Chairman Ryan Hong; Moby Group Chairman Saad Mohseni; Academy Award-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy; Rockefeller Foundation President Rajiv Shah; Afghan Ambassador to Australia Wahidullah Waissi; YTL Singapore Executive Director Ruth Yeoh; and Bank of America Merrill Lynch Head of Global Equities Distribution Soofian Zuberi.