Asia Society Announces 2015 Asia 21 Young Leaders

Asia 21 Class of 2015

NEW YORK, July 8, 2015 — Asia Society is pleased to announce the Asia 21 Young Leaders Class of 2015, the newest members of the region's preeminent network of young leaders from across the Asia Pacific, representing the private, public, and nonprofit sectors.

“The new class of Asia 21 Young Leaders is a remarkable group. We are excited to introduce these leaders of the Asia-Pacific region to the Asia 21 Network, where they will find mentors, potential collaborators, and, we hope, new friends,” said Asia Society President and CEO Josette Sheeran. “We welcome this passionate group to the Asia 21 family, and look forward to the contributions they make to the public good in the coming years.”

Now in its 10th year, the Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative has become a robust network of more than 800 young leaders from 30 nations. They are all in their own ways focused on shaping a brighter future for the Asia-Pacific region, and confronting the most vexing challenges facing the region today. Asia 21 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 31 young leaders who make up the Asia 21 Class of 2015 represent 22 countries and are divided almost evenly between men and women. Fifty percent work in the private sector, 44 percent in the nonprofit sector, and 6 percent in the public sector. Members of the Class of 2015 include Narayan Adhikari (Nepal), a social entrepreneur and champion of accountability in Nepal; Zubaida Bai (United States), founder of a for-profit social venture that develops low-cost technology for women in the developing world; Mishi Choudhary (India), a technology lawyer and online civil liberties activist; Duong Giap (Vietnam), founder of the first massive open online course (MOOC) platform in Vietnam; Yanjmaa Jutmaan (Mongolia), her country’s first female chancellor of a state university; Lisa Katayama (Japan), who is empowering social activists and entrepreneurs in Japan with leadership, design, and storytelling tools; Seung-yoon Lee (South Korea), the first East Asian president of the world-famous Oxford Union debating society; Henry Motte-Munoz (Philippines), co-founder of an anti-corruption NGO in the Philippines; Korvi Rakshand (Bangladesh), a pioneer in volunteerism who is striving to break the cycle of poverty through quality education for the unprivileged; and Xing Yuan (China), head of Advanced Digital Analytics of Global Digital Medicines at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. (A full list appears below.)

The new class joins a powerful network of Asia 21 alumni - proven leaders from across the region representing a variety of professional backgrounds, who will serve as mentors and potential collaborators. The Asia 21 network includes rising political figures – Senator Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV (Philippines); Minister of Culture and Primary and Secondary Education Anies Baswedan (Indonesia); Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (United States); Minister for Youth and Sports Khairy Jamaluddin (Malaysia) – prominent media personalities – NDTV journalist Barkha Dutt (India); Herald Corporation Chairman Ryan Hong (South Korea); Zebra Media Founder and CEO Scarlett Li (China); and Moby Group Chairman Saad Mohseni (Afghanistan) – award-winning journalists and filmmakers –Maziar Bahari (Iran); Nitin Das (India); Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (Pakistan) – and private sector leaders – Saratoga Investment Sedaya President Sandiaga Uno (Indonesia); Executive Director at YTL Singapore Pte Ltd. Ruth Yeoh (Malaysia); Inle Princess Resort Managing Director Yin Myo Su (Myanmar); and Head of Asia Capital Markets & Financing at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Soofian Zuberi (Pakistan), to name a few.

The 2015 Class and Asia 21 alumni will gather at a special 10th anniversary Asia 21 Summit in Hong Kong, December 1-4. The summit will celebrate the achievements of the first decade, explore innovative ways to leverage the Asia 21 network for greater impact, and form special Asia 21 Task Forces to address critical issues facing the region.

The members of the Class of 2015 are:

  • Narayan Adhikari (Nepal), South Asia Representative, Accountability Lab
  • Zubaida Bai (United States), Founder and Chief Executive, AYZH
  • Emily Chew (Australia), Vice-President, ESG Research MSCI
  • Ada Chirapaisarnkul (Thailand), Executive Director, GLab: Social Innovation Lab, School of Global Studies, Thammasat University
  • Mishi Choudhary (India), Executive Director of, Legal Director of Software Freedom Law Center
  • Manish Dahiya (India), Executive Director and Global Head of Energy Complex, Noble Group
  • Heather Franzese (United States), Executive Director, Good World Solutions
  • Duong Giap (Vietnam), Founder, GiapSchool
  • Rajeev Goyal (United States), Co-Founder and Co-Director, Kanchenjunga Koshi Tappu Biodiversity Education Land Trust (KTK-BELT)
  • Yanjmaa Jutmaan (Mongolia), Chancellor, Khovd University
  • Kristin Kagetsu (United States), Chief Executive Officer, Saathi
  • Lisa Katayama (Japan), Founding Program Manager for Director’s Fellows, MIT Media Lab
  • Seung-yoon Lee (South Korea), Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Byline
  • Solinn Lim (Cambodia), Deputy Regional Director, East Asia Region, Oxfam America
  • Nancy Margried (Indonesia), Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Batik Fractal (Piksel Indonesia Company)
  • Henry Motte-Munoz (Philippines), Co-Founder,; Founder,
  • Mohsin Mustafa (Pakistan), Strategy and Program Development, The Aman Foundation
  • Abdul Ghafar Nazari (Afghanistan), Manager of Training and Development Human Resources, Roshan Telecommunication Development Company
  • Vernie Oliveiro (Singapore), Senior Researcher, Civil Service College, Institute of Governance and Policy
  • Umanga Pandey (Nepal), Founder and Director, KG Nepal
  • Korvi Rakshand (Bangladesh), Founder, JAAGO Foundation
  • Matthew Romaine (Japan), Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Gengo, Inc.
  • Muhammad Sabir (Pakistan), Community worker and Founder, Slumabad
  • Sanjay Vijayakumar (India), Chairman, Startup Village; Chief Executive Officer, MobME Wireless Solutions
  • Chatrini Weeratunge (Sri Lanka), International Development Specialist
  • Aarti Wig (India), Co-Founder and Country Director, Yunus Social Business India
  • Shun Fu Anthony Wong (Hong Kong), Regional President, Global Brand Management, Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific
  • Chih Wei ‘Brian’ Yang (Taiwan), Head of APAC, ProSiebenSat1 Media AG
  • Xing Yuan (China), Head of Advanced Digital Analytics, Global Digital Medicines, Novartis Pharmaceuticals

For more information about the Asia 21 Young Leaders Class of 2015, click here.


For further details, please contact Kathryn Cárdenas at

Meet the 2015 Class

Click here to read bios, quotes and more related to our newest group of Asia 21 Young Leaders.