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Dr. Oyun Sanjaasuren and Secretary George Shultz Honored at SF Dinner for Environmental Leadership

San Francisco, August 22, 2019 — On September 10 in San Francisco, The Asia Foundation will present Dr. Oyun Sanjaasuren, former President of the United Nations Environment Assembly, with the Chang-Lin Tien Distinguished Leadership Award in recognition of her extraordinary leadership and advocacy for civil and social rights, including water security. The Honorable George P. Shultz, former U.S. Secretary of State, will be honored with a Lifetime Leadership Award. KQED’s Mina Kim will serve as the emcee for the evening’s program, “Leaders on the Frontlines: Mobilizing Changemakers for our Sustainable Future.” Headquartered in San Francisco, The Asia Foundation is a leading international NGO committed to helping Asian leaders meet today’s most pressing challenges.

Leaders from the philanthropic, business, and diplomatic sectors are expected to attend the award dinner featuring special remarks by the honorees on the importance of emerging leaders in transforming their communities and the world. The Asia Foundation has long been recognized for its ability to convene changemakers—individuals, organizations, and policymakers—who are shaping Asia’s future.

A geochemist by training, Dr. Oyun was the first President of the UN Environment Assembly, as well as Mongolia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Environment and Green Development. She is the director of external affairs at the Green Climate Fund and founder of the Zorig Foundation, named in honor of her late brother. 

An elder statesman, Secretary Shultz has had an illustrious career in government, academia, and business. He held four different federal cabinet posts in the Nixon and Reagan Administrations; taught at three leading universities in the U.S.; and for eight years, was president of a major engineering and construction company. In recent years, Secretary Shultz has advocated for major policies to address climate change.

The annual celebration of exceptional leadership – both legacy and rising – will also showcase Asia’s next-generation leaders represented by the 2019 cohort of Asia Foundation Development Fellows. Twelve emerging leaders are selected each year to join a vibrant community of changemakers working on the frontlines to address the region’s most pressing development challenges. The 2019 class, six women and six men, were selected from over 900 applicants and come from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.

The Chang-Lin Tien Distinguished Leadership Award recognizes prominent Asian leaders for a lifetime of achievement in government, business, and academia. The Award is named in honor of the late Dr. Chang-Lin Tien, former grantee and chair of The Asia Foundation’s Board of Trustees, and chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley, who is widely respected for his accomplishments in science, higher education, and U.S.-Asia relations.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.

Read more about the Foundation’s work.

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Media contact

Eelynn Sim, Director, Strategy and Programs
[email protected]

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