Asia Society Announces All-Female Asia Game Changer Awards

A group of inspiring and path-breaking women to be honored in New York City on October 24, 2019

2019 Game Changers

NEW YORK, September 11, 2019 – Asia Society today announced its 2019 Asia Game Changers, a group of inspiring and path-breaking women who are making a transformative impact in Asia and beyond. In partnership with Citi, Asia Society annually honors game-changing leaders from a broad geographic range and varied backgrounds; this year marks the first time that all of the honorees are women.

“Our 2019 Asia Game Changers are women who have truly championed gender equality while making enormous contributions to society and social structures within their home countries,” says Asia Society President and CEO Josette Sheeran. “They are inspiring agents of change who are building a better world – for women and for everyone – by changing the rules, changing the game, and challenging all of us to follow their lead.”

Asia Society’s 2019 honorees include Japan’s Yuriko Koike, the country’s first female defense minister and first female governor of Tokyo, who has paved the way for other women leaders in her country; Chhaya Sharma, who led the investigation and prosecution of several high-profile crimes in India, and transformed police work and the roles of policewomen; China’s Jane Jie Sun, the dynamic and trailblazing leader of Ctrip, a 25-billion-dollar travel company where more than half of the employees are women; and Faiza Saeed, the Presiding Partner of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, the first woman to lead the prestigious law firm, which celebrates its bicentennial this year.

Asia Society is also honoring Sana Mir, recognized as one of the world’s greatest cricket players and former captain of Pakistan’s national team, who has championed women’s participation in this male-dominated sport; Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi of the United Arab Emirates, a pioneer in the art world who has tirelessly promoted greater cultural understanding and exchange in the Middle East and around the world; and the Kung Fu Nuns of the Drukpa Lineage, of India and Nepal, who have harnessed their mastery of martial arts to smash patriarchal structures and empower girls and young women in the Himalayas and beyond.

Now in its sixth year and made possible with support from founding partner Citi, the Asia Game Changer Awards Dinner and Celebration will be held in New York City on October 24, 2019 at Cipriani 25 Broadway in Lower Manhattan.

“We are excited to be partnering with the Asia Society again this year as they spotlight the first-ever all female Asia Game Changer Awards honorees and their courageous stories,” said Ida Liu, Head of Citi Private Bank, North America. “We believe that diversity of all kinds helps drive strong business results and we are committed to investing in and supporting female talent in our firm and across the industry to help ensure more equitable representation of women in leadership positions.”

Among the awards presenters that evening will be figure skating champions and siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani; 2018 Asia Game Changer of the Year Indra Nooyi, former chairperson and CEO of PepsiCo and a Trustee of Asia Society; as well as 2017 Asia Game Changer awardee Jean Liu, who revolutionized transportation in China.

The evening will also feature a performance by the renowned Young People’s Chorus of New York City, and a “Taiko and Tap” rhythm showcase by Japan’s award-winning tap dancer Kazunori Kumagai and the innovative multi-instrumentalist and composer Kaoru Watanabe, as well as a special demonstration by the Kung Fu Nuns.

Complete bios of this year’s honorees, as well as more information about the 2019 Asia Game Changer Awards are available here. For press inquiries, please email

The Asia Game Changer Awards, established by Asia Society in 2014 with founding partner Citi, are designed to fill a vital gap in recognition and celebration of those making a positive contribution to the future of Asia and the world. Former Asia Game Changers include Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, internet entrepreneur Jack Ma, actor and activist Dev Patel, His Highness the Aga Khan, and other inspirational figures spanning the realms of policy, business, science, arts and culture, education, and technology.

About Asia Society

Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works to address a range of challenges facing Asia and the rest of the world. Asia Society has cultural centers and public buildings in New York, Hong Kong, and Houston, and offices in Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Mumbai, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Tokyo, Washington, D.C., and Zurich. Across the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, Asia Society provides insight, generates ideas, and promotes collaboration between Asia and the world.

About Citi

Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management. Citi is the founding partner of Asia Society’s Asia Game Changer Awards.