Meet the New Class of Asia 21 Next Generation Fellows
New York; August 30, 2023 – The Asia Society today announced the new class of Asia 21 Next Generation Fellows: a group of 34 outstanding leaders from 25 countries, united in their commitment to keep our shared region peaceful and prosperous.
Selected through a highly competitive process, the new cohort brings together business and policy leaders, activists, artists, educators, journalists, scientists, and technology and social entrepreneurs seeking to connect with their peers, develop their leadership skills, and find solutions to the most pressing challenges facing Asia.
Among this year’s class of Asia 21 Fellows are: Ahmad Siyam Barakati, Deputy Director of Charmaghz, a Kabul-based nonprofit organization that runs the biggest chain of mobile libraries for children in Afghanistan and provides educational services to more than 2,500 children daily; Seamon Chan, Founding Partner at Palm Drive Capital, a venture capital firm invested in underserved entrepreneurs across five continents; Haya Fatima Iqbal, an Academy and two-time Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker; Krystle Reid Wijesuriya, Co-founder of Enable Lanka Foundation, which works to dignify and reframe the value of young persons with disabilities in society; and Sue-Lin Wong, The Economist’s South-East Asia correspondent.
The Asia 21 Fellows will convene in Seoul, South Korea from December 7-9, 2023, at the Asia 21 Next Generation Fellows Summit, presented in partnership with the Asia Society Korea Center.
“This year’s Asia 21 cohort is facing a region distinctly different from 17 years ago when the program was launched,” said Philipp Ivanov, Asia Society Chief Programming Officer and Asia Society Policy Institute Senior Fellow. “The region today is marked by fragmentation and geopolitical tensions, fragile and less connected economies, deteriorating climate, and rapid cultural, technological, and societal changes. But Asia continues to be peaceful, dynamic, innovative, and highly influential in its cultural power. And Asia 21 Fellows are the ones shaping 21st century Asia. What mindset and competencies are needed to lead in this ‘new’ Asia is the core question of the Asia 21 Fellowship. This year is the start of the new chapter in the Asia 21 history, as we embark on the renewal and expansion of this Initiative to meet these new challenges and help more leaders to connect, grow, and make an impact.”
The members of the 2023 Class are:
Lima Halima Ahmad (Afghanistan), Human Security Expert; Ph.D. Candidate, Fletcher School at Tufts University
Ahmad Siyam Barakati (Afghanistan), Deputy Director, Charmaghz
Seamon Chan (United States), Founding Partner, Palm Drive Capital
Hao Chen (China), Head of Sustainability, Asia Symbol (Guangdong)
Chen Qiufan (China), Speculative Fiction Writer
Soichiro Chiba (Japan), Founder and Chairman, Thousandleaf
Nomin Dashnyam (Mongolia), Partner, MahoneyLiotta LLP
Tsedon Dorji (Bhutan), Managing Director, BBS Channel 3
Zak Dychtwald (United States), Founder and CEO, Young China Group
Arnaud Favry (France), Director of Public & Governmental Affairs and Patient Value Strategy, bioMérieux
Sophia Hamblin Wang (Australia), Chief Operating Officer, MCi Carbon
Henning Heine (Germany), Vice President, Chief of Staff and Head of Business Operations and Corporate Development, Dedrone
Deborah Henry (Malaysia), Founder and Director, Fugee Organization
Haya Fatima Iqbal (Pakistan), Award-Winning Documentary Filmmaker
Wookie Kim (Korea), Legal Director, ACLU of Hawaiʻi
Ashutosh Kumar (India), Chief Executive Officer, Jagriti
Pratik Kunwar (Nepal), Founder, Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Neville Lai (Hong Kong, SAR), Independent International Affairs Strategist
Sinni Lim (Singapore), APAC Regional Strategy & Impact Director, International Justice Mission
Nyantha Lin (Myanmar), Principal, The Anagat Initiative
Jieh-Yung Lo (Australia), Director, Centre for Asian-Australian Leadership, Australian National University
Angga Dwi Martha (Indonesia), Programme Management Officer/Deputy Head of UN Youth Strategy Secretariat, Office of the UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth
Vincent Ni (United Kingdom), Asia Editor, National Public Radio
Evan Ramsey (United States), Founder & CEO, Yedi Technologies Inc.
Krystle Reid Wijesuriya (Sri Lanka), Co-founder, Enable Lanka Foundation
Jonas Ruegg (Switzerland), Senior Researcher; University of Zurich
Asli Samadova (Azerbaijan), Founder, Ta(r)dino 6 Art Platform
Thanasak Thumbuntu (Thailand), Dentist, Dental Division, Royal Thai Army Medical Department
Alice Wang (United States), Portfolio Manager, Quaero Capital
Sue-Lin Wong (Australia), South-East Asia correspondent, The Economist
Emily Y. Wu (Taiwan), Founder/Editor in Chief, Ghost Island Media
Joanna Yeo (Singapore), CEO and Founder, Arukah
Richard Yim (Cambodia), CEO, Quantum Engineering and Manufacturing
Michael Zhu (China), Founder, Accathon Capital
Established in 2006, the Asia 21 Next Generation Fellows program is a year-long, multi-disciplinary, leadership development program that brings together the next generation of the regional leaders to meet their peers, develop their leadership potential and find innovative solutions to the region’s policy, economic, environmental and societal challenges. Asia 21 is also a hub of innovation in policy, entrepreneurship, and social change, connecting the best minds with resources, opportunities and networks. Asia 21 community now has over 1000 alumni, many of whom occupy leadership positions in government, business, non-profit sector, media and academia around the world. Asia 21 alumni include Editor-in-Chief of Foreign Policy Ravi Agrawal; President of the Rockefeller Foundation Rajiv Shah; U.S. Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti; Managing Executive Officer of ITOCHU Corporation Mitsuru Claire Chino; Taiwan’s Representative to the United States Bi-khim Hsiao; Indonesia’s presidential nominee Anies Baswedan; Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of India Menaka Guruswamy; LGBTQ activist and co-representative of Tokyo Rainbow Pride Fumino Sugiyama; and Minister of the Environment, New South Wales, Australia James Griffin.
About Asia Society
Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit institution with major centers and public buildings in New York, Hong Kong, and Houston, and additional locations in Delhi, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Mumbai, Paris, San Francisco, Seattle, Seoul, Sydney, Tokyo, Washington, D.C., and Zurich.
Asia Society navigates shared futures for Asia and the world across policy, arts and culture, education, sustainability, business, and technology. Asia Society fosters insight, encourages engagement, elevates regional voices, informs and educates new audiences, addresses complex – and where necessary – contentious challenges, engages in creative problem-solving, and helps deliver real solutions for the benefit of all. As a global network of centers who share a common vision, we actively collaborate with our centers and partners across Asia and the world. The Asia Society also provides its members an opportunity to become part of our global network to help shape a prosperous, sustainable, and secure future for us all.