Asia Society Holds First India-Pakistan Regional Young Leaders Initiative

July 20-22, New Delhi—The inaugural class of fellows met for the Asia Society’s India-Pakistan Regional Young Leaders Forum.  This group of 12 select young leaders from India, Pakistan, and the U.S., representing diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise discussed an agenda focused on leadership, public service, and the India-Pakistan relationship.  With an eye toward broadening the dialogue on India-Pakistan relations through a focus on next generation leaders, the fellows will now:

  • Work on a cross-border public service project, as part of the community-building process;
  • Actively communicate via a specially dedicated section of the Asia 21 Young Leaders social networking site;
  • Develop a broad media outreach strategy on the challenges of leadership for India and Pakistan that also highlights the profiles and work of the young leaders; and
  • Be connected to Asia 21 sector groups which link leaders from across Asia within particular sectors (media, government, business, arts, etc.)
  • Participate in the Asia Society’s Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit, December 7-9 in Dhaka.

The India-Pakistan Regional Young Leaders Initiative (IPRYLI) seeks to help nurture a community of next generation leaders in India and Pakistan committed to coming together across borders and boundaries to address issues facing these two countries.  The Jinnah Institute, a non-profit public policy organization is our local partner in Pakistan, and Asia Society’s India Center, based in Mumbai, is our local partner in India.

“The Asia Society believes that making a long-term investment in the development of a regional next generation leadership network can help lay a foundation for the kind of long-term change that can ultimately help stabilize the region,” said Dr. MichaelG.Kulma, Executive Director of Global Leadership Initiatives at the Asia Society in New York. “To help nurture a community of next generation Indian and Pakistani leaders committed to coming together across borders and boundaries to address the region’s biggest challenges, Asia Society established the India-Pakistan Regional Young Leaders Initiative. “

The IPRYLI will be closely associated with the Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative, the Asia Pacific region’s leading next generation leadership initiative.  Asia Society launched the Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative in 2006 to develop next generation leaders across the Asia-Pacific region. In seven years, Asia 21 has become the leading next generation network in the Asia-Pacific, with over seven hundred active members from 30 countries and economies and across all sectors (see  Established withsupport from Founding International Sponsor, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the Asia 21 Initiative annually convenes a pre-eminent gathering of Asia’s most dynamic young leaders from the Asia-Pacific region, from every sector including business, government, media, culture and civil society.  To date, the network counts more than 700 of the most accomplished young leaders in the Asia-Pacific among its members, including businessmen, documentary filmmakers, environmental activists, human rights advocates, members of parliament, military personnel, performance artists, and social entrepreneurs.



The Asia Society is an international organization dedicated to strengthening relationships and deepening understanding among the peoples of Asia and the United States.  It seeks to enhance dialogue, encourage creative expression, and generate new ideas across the fields of policy, business, education, arts, and culture. Founded in 1956, the Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational institution with offices in Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Mumbai, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, and Washington, DC. For more information, contact the Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10021.

For more information about the Asia Society’s Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative, including details about previous conferences and Fellows, please visit




Inaugural Class of Fellows

Ahmad Rafay Alam, Advocate, High Courts, Lahore

Ziad Bashir, Director, Gul Ahmed Textile Mills

Zafar Iqbal Choudhary, Journalist & Policy Analyst

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Academy Award and Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker     

Sarath Babu Elumalai, Founder & CEO, FOODKING

Menaka Guruswamy, Advocate, Supreme Court of India

Abid Hussain Imam, Assistant Professor of Law & Policy, Lahore University of Management Sciences

Sehar Iqbal, Chairperson, Nasheman Welfare Society

Munizae Jahangir, Associate Executive Producer & Special Correspondent, Express News

Mekhala Krishnamurthy, Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Center for the Advanced Study of India, University of Pennsylvania

Sabeen Mahmud, Founder and Director, PeaceNiche



Advisory Committee Members

Vishakha N. Desai, President, Asia Society

Haseeb A. Drabu, Former Chairman and Chief Executive, Jammu & Kashmir Bank

Jamshyd N. Godrej, Chairman & Managing Director, Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd.

Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan Director, Human Rights Watch

Ayesha Jalal, Mary Richardson Professor of History and Director, Center for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies, Tufts University

Ali Jameel, Chief Executive Officer, TPL Holdings

Najeeb Jung, Vice-Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia

Radha Kumar, Director, Peace & Conflict Program, Delhi Policy Group

Baijayant “Jay” Panda, Member of Parliament, India

Moeed Yusuf, South Asia Adviser, United States Institute of Peace

Frank G. Wisner, Foreign Affairs Advisor, Patton Boggs LLC


For media inquiries, kindly contact:

Alex Ortolani, Senior Media & Content Officer, Asia Society