Lotus Leadership Awards

The Lotus Leadership Awards recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that have made major contributions to the well-being of women and their communities in Asia. The Awards are hosted annually by The Asia Foundation’s Lotus Circle, a group of committed individuals, foundations, and corporations who are advancing the rights and opportunities of women in Asia through their support of The Asia Foundation’s Women’s Empowerment Program. The events draw hundreds of guests, including diplomats, business leaders, young professionals, members of the media, and the philanthropic community. Event proceeds fund innovative projects to empower disadvantaged women and girls in 18 Asia-Pacific countries. Learn more about the Lotus Circle.

Past awardees:
Dr. Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize-winning economist; The Henry Luce Foundation; H.E. Rula Ghani, First Lady of Afghanistan; Carnegie Corporation of New York; Sheryl WuDunn, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author; Dr. Ranjana Kumari, Director of the Centre for Social Research; Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate and founder of the Grameen Bank; Nani Zulminarni, Founder of Women-Headed Household Empowerment in Indonesia; The Estée Lauder Companies; The Honorable Sapana Pradhan Malla, advocate of Nepal’s Supreme Court; Mr. Chong-Moon Lee, noted philanthropist; Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, Executive Director of the Afghan Institute for Learning; National Geographic Society; Dr. David Ho of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center

These events are made possible with the generous support of our Lotus Circle Advisors.

Lotus Leadership Awards Gala, New York

April 3, 2019

Mandarin Oriental New York City

6:30 pm reception
7:30 pm dinner


Christiane Amanpour

Award-winning journalist, CNN and PBS



Social enterprise using data and technology to make Asian cities safer


Gayle Tzemach Lemmon 

Council on Foreign Relations


Janet Montag
Hee-Jung Moon

For more information and sponsorship opportunities please contact Nikita Desai at nikita.desai@asiafoundation.org

Lotus Leadership Awards Dinner, San Francisco

On February 21, 2018


Mina Kim

KQED Forum Friday host and PM Anchor



Akie Abe

Spouse of the Prime Minister of Japan, honored for her commitment to advancing women’s empowerment in Japan and Asia, notably in Myanmar


Colorful Girls

Grassroots organization, recognized for empowering adolescent girls and supporting their contributions to public life in Myanmar