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2022 Lotus Leadership Awards to Honor Reshma Saujani and G-Star RAW Denim Foundation for Expanding Opportunities for Women and Girls

New York City, March 30, 2022 — The Asia Foundation will host the 2022 Lotus Leadership Awards on April 6 at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City. The tenth Lotus Leadership Awards honors Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani, G-Star RAW Denim Foundation (GSRD), and the Kampuchea Action to Promote Education (KAPE) from Cambodia. The gala will also feature an appearance from NBC’s “Late Night” host Seth Meyers and remarks from Afghan activist and 2012 Lotus Leadership honoree Dr. Sakena Yacoobi.

The Asia Foundation and Lotus Circle are committed to expanding women’s and girls’ opportunities and advancing gender equality. They recognize the critical and life-changing work of these three Leadership Award honorees who have opened opportunities to young women that, in turn, will create a more inclusive and better world.

Reshma Saujani’s visionary leadership and commitment to gender equality and girls’ opportunities in STEM through her nonprofit Girls Who Code has empowered young women to see themselves as brave and resilient changemakers in the tech industry.

G-Star RAW Denim is a Dutch denim brand known for its pioneering, no-limits approach to fashion and sustainability. Fifteen years ago, they quietly created the GSRD Foundation, striving for empowerment and economic independence for young adults through education and entrepreneurship programs. Now a long-time partner of The Asia Foundation, GSRD invests directly in the communities across Vietnam, Bangladesh, and China where their denim is produced. The GSRD Foundation has a commitment to sharing profits with the countries where they manufacture, while also advancing women’s entrepreneurship and economic empowerment. This year, the 15th anniversary of GSRD Foundation, they are challenging other international companies to look at their sphere of influence beyond their supply chains.

Kampuchea Action to Promote Education (KAPE) is Cambodia’s most prominent education NGO and believes quality education for young girls is not simply an opportunity but a right. A longtime partner of The Asia Foundation, KAPE is bridging the gap in girls’ education in Cambodia by supporting them through their schooling and into employment.

“When women and girls gain access to the tools, networks, and resources they need, there is no limit to what they can achieve,” remark Lotus Leadership Awards co-chairs Cheng-Ling Chen, Laurette Hartigan, Missie Rennie, and Deshi Singh. “This years’ Lotus Leadership honorees share an extraordinary view of expanding opportunities to the maximum for women and girls. They are making lasting change, improving lives, and helping societies flourish. These are the very characteristics that define The Asia Foundation, and The Lotus Circle is thrilled to honor and collaborate with them,”

Funding from the Lotus Circle—a community of philanthropists committed to advancing women’s rights and opportunities in Asia—allows The Asia Foundation to seed and sustain innovative projects designed to advance women’s empowerment and gender equality in the region, including the Lotus Leadership Rapid Response Fund to address urgent needs. Proceeds from this evening will support work that makes a lasting impact on women’s and girls’ lives in Asia.

The Asia Foundation thanks our generous supporters: Premier sponsor Bank of America and Golden Benefactor Kirkland & Ellis.

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 focuses on good governance, women’s empowerment and gender equality, inclusive economic growth, environment and climate action, and regional and international relations.

Register for the 2022 Lotus Leadership Awards and learn more about the Lotus Circle.

Read more about the Foundation’s work.

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Related locations: New York
Related programs: Lotus Circle, Women's Empowerment and Gender Equality

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Media contact

Eelynn Sim, Director, Strategy and Programs
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