A virtual event

Leaders on the Frontlines:

Investing in the Future

Thursday, September 24, 2020, 6 pm PT

Leading through change

With lives and livelihoods disrupted, leaders are confronting extraordinary challenges in a time of uncertainty. Join us as we recognize exceptional leaders of today and tomorrow. This event features the Asia Foundation Development Fellows.

The Asia Foundation’s leadership awards, including the Chang-Lin Tien Distinguished Leadership Award, Lotus Leadership Award, and Visionary Leader Award honor prominent individuals from government, business, and philanthropy; inspiring changemakers in gender equality and women’s empowerment; and extraordinary leaders advancing Asia’s progress.

Chang-Lin Tien Distinguished Leadership Award

Ratan Tata

Ratan Tata is Chairman Emeritus of the Tata Group and Chairman of the Tata Trusts, one of India’s oldest, non-sectarian philanthropic organizations that work in several areas of community development. He is also Chairman of the Council of Management of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and serves on the board of trustees of Cornell University and the University of Southern California.

Lotus Leadership Award

Radhika Coomaraswamy

Radhika Coomaraswamy served as UN Under Secretary General and as Special Representative of the Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, and a member of the Constitutional Council.

Visionary Leader Award

Eleni Kounalakis

Eleni Kounalakis is the 50th lieutenant governor of California, and the first woman elected to the position. Previously she served as Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary, and as president of one of California’s most respected housing development firms.

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities and benefits, please contact Chief Philanthropy Officer Wendy Soone-Broder at 415-743-3366 or wendy.soone-broder@asiafoundation.org.


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On September 10, 2019 in San Francisco, The Asia Foundation presented 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, and the Honorable George P. Shultz, former U.S. Secretary of State, received a Lifetime Leadership Award. KQED’s Mina Kim served as the emcee for the evening’s program, “Leaders on the Frontlines: Mobilizing Changemakers for our Sustainable Future,” featuring the 2019 Asia Foundation Development Fellows.

On September 11, 2018 in San Francisco, The Asia Foundation honored His Excellency Ban Ki-moon for his significant leadership in international development; the legacy of Chang-Lin Tien; and the 2018 Asia Foundation Development Fellows. Award-winning broadcast journalist Sydnie Kohara emceed the evening’s program, “Leaders on the Frontlines: Asia’s Leaders of Today and Tomorrow” before an audience of political leaders, philanthropists, diplomats, and executives. A brand-new film was screened that highlighted the Fellows’ work across Asia. The evening was supported by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., Chevron, Alibaba, H&Q Asia Pacific, and MasterCard.