Asia Society Names 2018 Asia Game Changer Award Honorees
NEW YORK, August 23, 2018 – PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi has been selected as Asia Society’s Game Changer of the Year for 2018 in recognition of her pioneering business achievements, humanitarian record, and advocacy for women and girls around the world. She leads a slate of groundbreaking women, including a team of Afghan girls who have made waves at international robotics competitions and Mira Rai, a record-shattering runner from a small village in Nepal, who is also an inspiration for millions of girls and young women.
Asia Society, in partnership with Citi, has announced the recipients of its 2018 Asia Game Changer Awards, in recognition of individuals and institutions who have broken barriers, defined courage, worked miracles, and in turn inspired their fellow citizens of the world.
Nooyi, who this month announced she would be stepping down as CEO of PepsiCo, has driven one of the world’s most iconic global companies into the future, leading the way when it comes to delivering strong financial performance, while making more nutritious products and advancing women’s access and excellence in Asia and around the world.
The Indian-born Nooyi was PepsiCo’s first-ever female CEO, joining only a handful of women as leaders of Fortune 500 companies. During her 12-year tenure, she not only established initiatives to meet the changing demands of consumers, increased the company’s net revenue more than 80 percent, and saw share price nearly double; she also led efforts — such as Women With Purpose and Spark A Future — to empower millions of women and girls through education, entrepreneurship, and employment opportunities. Under Nooyi’s leadership, PepsiCo was consistently rated among the top workplaces for women. Nooyi also transformed PepsiCo into a more environmentally sustainable and health-conscious company.
“Indra Nooyi is truly a transformational leader,” said Asia Society President and CEO Josette Sheeran today. “In my United Nations work, I have witnessed firsthand her humanitarian leadership, as she steered Pepsi’s life-saving collaboration with the United Nations on food, nutrition, global water, climate, and women’s empowerment issues.”
Nooyi leads a group of other revolutionary women as Asia Society’s Game Changers at a time when their issues and voices are at the forefront of public discourse.
“It is a crucial moment to honor women from Asia who have battled the odds to shatter glass ceilings, opening pathways for a new generation of women to thrive and prosper,” said Sheeran. “In addition, we honor those who are devoting their own lives to improve and save the lives of others. Humanity owes them a debt of gratitude and we are so honored to recognize their works of passion and compassion. We are proud to be a part of their journey.”
The group of Game Changers includes: the Thai rescuers who saved a dozen teenage soccer players in a flooded cave; the Japanese first responders who risked their lives following the tsunami and nuclear disaster at Fukushima; the founder of the Syrian White Helmets, whose volunteers are among the few “first responders” remaining in that country; a global champion for “green cities” — Wang Shi of China; Dr. Munjed Al Muderis — a pioneering surgeon who has brought new hope for amputees; and the founders of Koolulam — a musical phenomenon that aims to bridge the most difficult ethnic and religious divides.
This year marks the fifth iteration of the Asia Game Changer Awards, and the fifth time that Asia Society and Citi have given prominence to Asia-Pacific individuals and organizations who are making indelibly positive differences in the lives of others.
"Citi is an institution that connects and seeks to improve the lives of millions of people across the world. This year's recipients of the Asia Game Changer Awards represent further examples of progress makers who make positive contributions in their communities,” said Francisco Aristeguieta, Chief Executive Officer of Citi Asia Pacific. “We are thrilled to partner with the Asia Society again in shining a light on these extraordinary Game Changers."
The awards will be presented at the 5th Annual Asia Game Changer Awards Dinner and Celebration in New York City on October 9, 2018 at Cipriani 25 Broadway in Lower Manhattan. The event will also feature the first-ever U.S. performance of Koolulam.
Previous recipients of the Asia Game Changer Awards include His Highness the Aga Khan, founder of the Aga Khan Development Network; Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba; Malala Yousafzai, education activist; the non-profit organization Sesame Workshop; champion for literacy Madhav Chavan; the global architecture icon I.M. Pei, and dozens more. Honorees are nominated and chosen by members of Asia Society’s global network.
The 2018 honorees are:
Indra Nooyi (Game Changer of the Year)
Champion for women, champion for sustainability, champion for wellness, and transformative leader of an iconic global company
The Afghan Girls Robotics Team
For overcoming obstacles and heartbreak — and emerging as champions for girls all over the world
Dr. Munjed Al Muderis
For courage that led to his freedom — and then groundbreaking work to give patients new hope
The Founders of Koolulam
For spreading unity through song in one of the world's most divided cities
The Heroes of Fukushima
For risking their lives to contain a nuclear disaster
For defying steep odds, shattering records, and inspiring — and helping — millions of girls
The Rescue Team at the Tham Luang Cave
For showing that faith, teamwork, and indomitable courage can work miracles
Raed Saleh and The Syrian White Helmets
For game-changing, life-saving heroism — in the world’s most unforgiving and desperate places
For championing the environment — from the cities of China to the farthest reaches of the planet
Complete bios of honorees and more information about the 2018 Asia Society Game Changers are available here. For press inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, Mumbai, Tokyo, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, 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.
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.