Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative

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Last month, I embarked on a new journey in my policy activities by being selected as one of the Asia 21 Young Leaders of the Asia Society for the 2017-18 academic year. I first learned of the opportunity from a fellow colleague and friend from my years in Boston – who studied public health at Harvard and is now operating a private firm in Tokyo, Japan. I am very much grateful to him for informing me about the program. Incidentally, a Chinese colleague – who is one of his cohorts from the MPH program at Harvard with whom I have lost touch due to China’s Great Fire Wall – also got selected as one of this year’s cohorts, and I look forward to reuniting with her through the program.

At one glance of the program, I knew that I had to apply to advance my agenda in bringing together the two regions of my interest – Middle East and Northeast Asia – by getting involved in the Asia21 network. From the second year of my postdoctoral fellowship, I have been working on trans-regional energy transactions between the two regions, and am envisioning my second book project based on the topic. As much as the Asia 21 network encompasses the Asian region as a whole – Northeast, Southeast, South, Central, and West Asia (Middle East) – the program was very attractive to me as a researcher.

We are launching our first online meeting next week, and will work towards policy agenda setting through online discussions until we meet at the Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit in Melbourne, Australia. This year, we work under the theme, ‘World Disrupted: Asia’s Future’, and will tackle issues that I am very much interested in, such as geopolitical realignment, mobility (immigration), and technological change. Looking forward.

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