15 Years of Global Impact: Asia Society Korea's Grand Gala
In a spectacular conclusion to a year-long celebration of its 15th anniversary, Asia Society Korea hosted an unforgettable year-end dinner on December 7th at SIGNIEL SEOUL. Over 170 distinguished guests, including 45 ambassadors and Asia 21 fellows from 25 countries, as well as foreign dignitaries, corporate members, board members, and global Asia Society members, gathered to partake in a truly global evening that reflected on the organization's achievements and looked ahead to the future.
The event commenced with a warm welcome from Asia Society Korea's Chairman and founder, Mr. Shin Dong Bin, who set the tone for an evening of camaraderie and reflection. Debra Eisenman, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Asia Society Global, delivered a heartfelt toast, emphasizing the organization's commitment to fostering dialogue and understanding in Asia. The program then featured remarks from Asia 21 alumni Natalie Ching Jorge, offering insights into the impact of Asia Society's programs on emerging leaders.
The highlight of the evening was the keynote address delivered by H.E. Philip S. Goldberg, the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Korea. Ambassador Goldberg spoke about the pivotal role of Asia Society Korea in promoting cultural exchange and strengthening international relations. The anniversary event also featured the Ambassador of the Year awards ceremony, where H.E. Michelle Winthrop, Ambassador of Ireland to the Republic of Korea, and H.E. Daniel Wolvén, Ambassador of Sweden to the Republic of Korea, were honored for their dedicated commitment to the Korea Center.
Chairman Shin Dong Bin also took a moment to acknowledge the exceptional contributions of Vice Chairman H. S. Cho of Hyosung Group, presenting him with a well-deserved appreciation award for his longstanding engagement with Asia Society Korea.
The evening reached an emotional crescendo with a captivating performance by the children of Beautiful Mind Charity, a non-profit that has earned a Special Consultative Status from the United Nations Economic and Social Council for their dedication to cultural diplomacy and music education for individuals with disabilities and underprivileged children. Introduced by board member Young Joon Kim, the young musicians displayed their talent through a piano quintet rendition of Vivaldi's Winter and a string ensemble performance of Karl Jenkins' Palladio.
The event, hosted by Executive Director Yvonne Kim, was a testament to Asia Society Korea's perseverance in leading international conversations and intellectual pursuits. As the night concluded, the air was filled not only with the stirring melodies of the Beautiful Mind Charity performance but also with a sense of accomplishment and unity. Despite the challenges faced globally, Asia Society Korea and its esteemed guests found solace in each other's company, reaffirming the organization's mission to be at the forefront of global dialogue and thought.
The annual year-end dinner at SIGNIEL SEOUL served as a reminder of the enduring impact of Asia Society Korea and its commitment to fostering understanding, dialogue, and cultural exchange in the Asia-Pacific region. Generous contributions from the Asia 21 Korea Chapter towards the Summit added an extra layer of significance, ensuring the evening resonates as a beacon of collaboration and shared purpose. As the organization looks ahead to a new year, the echoes of this celebratory night will undoubtedly resonate in the hearts of all those who attended.