2022 Lotus Leadership Awards

Thursday, April 7th, 2022

On Wednesday April 6th, 2022 The Asia Foundation hosted the 10th Lotus Leadership Awards in New York City. This year’s awards honored Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code and the Marshall Plan for Moms, for working to close the gender gap in STEM for women and girls; the G-Star RAW Denim Foundation, for advancing women’s entrepreneurship and economic empowerment; and Kampuchea Action to Promote Education for strengthening girls’ education and leadership in Cambodia.

Lotus Leadership Awards: Beyond a Sustainable Supply Chain

Wednesday, March 30th, 2022

The adventurous Dutch fashion company G-Star, known for its sustainable denim, is also a force for development in Asia through its GSRD Foundation. GSRD will be honored April 6 with an Asia Foundation Lotus Leadership Award.

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

Wednesday, March 30th, 2022

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… Read more

Virtual Event: The Power of Networks

Monday, March 7th, 2022

As we emerge from two years of disconnectedness, eager now to engage more actively with family, friends, colleagues, and broader communities, we ask: How do we continue to show up for ourselves and our people? What connections have kept us stronger together? The Asia Foundation has built robust networks across Asia, demonstrating the power of networks to bring about transformative change. Working with partners like Zendesk, the Foundation is harnessing diverse networks to empower women and promote gender equality. Featuring Jane Sloane, Senior Director, Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality Program, The Asia Foundation Prelini Udayan-Chiechi, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing, Zendesk

2021 Lotus Leadership Awards

Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

On April 28, 2021, we honored Eileen Fisher for her pioneering leadership in women’s economic empowerment and sustainability and Women In Need (WIN), a nonprofit partner working to end gender-based violence in Sri Lanka.

Journey to Cambodia: Women and Girls Leading Change

Monday, April 26th, 2021

Visit Cambodia to hear from two young women, Phally Sim, a scholarship recipient, and Reaksmey Chhorpon Long, a tech entrepreneur. They share their experience of sustaining education during the pandemic and the crucial role of technology in helping women sustain livelihoods. Meloney Lindberg, The Asia Foundation’s Country Representative in Cambodia, and Jane Sloane, Senior Director of the Women’s Empowerment Programs, share how Young Lotus Members have made an impact in supporting girls’ education, women’s access to technology, and women’s entrepreneurship. This panel is joined by Young Lotus Circle Founder and Lotus Circle Advisor Lin Jamison as moderator.

Sustainable Fashion Pioneer Eileen Fisher and Sri Lanka’s Women In Need to be Honored at 2021 Lotus Leadership Awards

Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

San Francisco, April 20, 2021 — The 2021 Lotus Leadership Awards will honor Eileen Fisher for her pioneering leadership in women’s economic empowerment and sustainability, and Women In Need (WIN), a nonprofit partner working to end gender-based violence in Sri Lanka. The celebration will take place virtually on Wednesday, April 28th and features appearances by ABC “Nightline’s” Juju Chang and “Law and Order: SVU” actor Mariska Hargitay. The Asia Foundation salutes longtime partner Women In Need, an organization that in the last decade has supported 500,000 women and girls throughout Sri Lanka in living their lives free of violence, and Eileen Fisher, who has defined her business through her commitment to collaboration, sustainability, and advancing women’s empowerment and leadership. “Both Eileen Fisher and Women In Need share an extraordinary view of improving society through their work. They are making lasting change, improving lives, expanding opportunities for women and helping societies flourish. These are the very characteristics that define The Asia Foundation and we are thrilled to honor them both,” remark Lotus Leadership Awards co-chairs Winnie C. Feng and Lin Jamison. Proceeds from the Lotus Leadership Awards will go to the Foundation’s Women’s Empowerment Fund, providing vital support to projects that advance gender equality and address women’s rights and security, promote women’s economic empowerment and girls’ education, and amplify women’s voice and leadership in Asia and the Pacific. Eileen Fisher notes her affiliation with the Lotus Circle as particularly fitting: “A circular model means there’s a future that’s different from the one in the forecast right now. A future where we make and consume the right things, not everything. And it means doing business in a way that improves the lives of the people who make our clothes.”  EILEEN FISHER Inc. recycles resources by working with farmers who regenerate landscapes and adopting a manufacturing process that eliminates waste, a unique perspective in a time of disposable fashion, one of the most destructive industries in the world.  When the pandemic and lockdowns hit Sri Lanka, Women In Need (WIN) conducted a rapid assessment of women’s needs. WIN quickly established telephone counseling, legal… Read more

Asia Foundation Mourns Death of Lotus Leadership Award Honoree Vartan Gregorian

Monday, April 19th, 2021

April 19, 2021 — The Asia Foundation was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Dr. Vartan Gregorian, whom the Foundation honored in 2016 with a Lotus Leadership Award in his role as president of Carnegie Corporation of New York. Dr. Gregorian accepted the award, which recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations for their contributions towards women’s and girls’ empowerment in Asia, on behalf of Carnegie’s partnership with The Asia Foundation to improve access to university and advanced level education to Afghan women. Upon receiving The Lotus Leadership Award, Gregorian said: “The Asia Foundation and I go back to when I was a graduate student at Stanford University. Today, your president, David Arnold, is leading a vibrant, mission-driven organization that works well with other organizations on important global issues. In Afghanistan, I know you are respected for approaching pressing challenges in partnership with the Afghan government and citizens, focusing closely on governance and education to address economic and social needs. In my view, together we are empowering inspiring, self-reliant individuals and institutions –through knowledge – so that they are able to tackle the complex development challenges of their country and their region.” A fearless and transformative leader in the fields of education and philanthropy, Gregorian led Brown University, was provost at the University of Pennsylvania, taught at the University of Texas, UCLA, and San Francisco State College, and led the Carnegie Corporation, but perhaps his most prominent achievement was reviving the New York Public Library. Deeply passionate about books, Gregorian was a champion of The Asia Foundation’s long-running Books for Asia program which provides textbooks and educational materials to schools, universities, research institutes, and public libraries in 18 developing countries throughout Asia. He spoke at a Books for Asia event, “The Power of a Book,” in New York, saying: “To read is to be human. As a young boy in Iran, books provided me salvation and imagination. Without books and access to stories, I wouldn’t be here today. I am eternally grateful to The Asia Foundation for taking the power of books around Asia.” Vartan Gregorian’s lifetime of service and… Read more

Vogue Paris Spotlights Lana Condor’s Vietnam Girls Scholarship

Wednesday, February 17th, 2021

February 17, 2021 — Vogue Paris features The Asia Foundation in a profile of actor and Lotus Leadership Award honoree Lana Condor. Since 2017, the Foundation has worked with Condor to support female scholars in her birth town of Can Tho, Vietnam. “I feel proud to use my voice and continue to tell people that the Asian-American experience is not one experience alone,” Lana told Teen Vogue in 2020. “It’s something that I don’t plan on ever stopping. Making TV and movies is awesome, but if you have a purpose behind it, it’s even better.”   Lana has also organised a scholarship through non-profit The Asia Foundation and worked with Michelle Obama for her Girls’ Opportunity Alliance to improve education for young people in Vietnam and Malaysia.

Rapid Response Fund Buoys Mongolian Women Entrepreneurs Hit Hard by Covid

Wednesday, February 17th, 2021

An emergency fund for women entrepreneurs is helping Mongolian small businesswomen survive the pandemic and prepare for a prosperous future.