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150 Young Leaders from Asia Pacific and the US to Attend the Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (November 16, 2009) / — Raj Bhavsar is an Indian-American artistic gymnast and bronze medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, who is now an Olympic sports ambassador working to raise sports awareness in India. Sabrina Singh is an astronaut trainer at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, teaching Japanese, Russian, European and American astronauts how to use their spacesuits and live sustainably on limited resources in space. Ka Hsaw Wa, a member of the Burmese Karen ethnic nationality, is a former student activist-turned-environmental advocate, and a 2009 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for emergent leadership. Holly Chang is a former plant engineer who left her corporate career to become a Red Cross disaster-relief volunteer and later established her own NPO to help channel philanthropic capital and volunteer expertise to build high-performing, trust-worthy organizations.

Raj, Sabrina, Ka Hsaw Wa and Holly are among the 150 young leaders from the Asia-Pacific and the US, all under the age of 40, who will be brought together by the Asia Society for the fourth annual Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit, to be held for the first time in Kuala Lumpur from November 20-22, 2009. The three-day event will revolve around the theme "The Changing Face of Leadership: Crisis and Opportunity," and will have Malaysian Prime Minister, YAB Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, as Keynote Speaker.

The Asia Society recognizes that in today's rapidly changing world, the people, leaders and institutions of the Asia-Pacific and the US must develop common approaches to meet the region's shared challenges. The Asia 21 Summit seeks to build networks of trust across geographic boundaries and help next generation leaders to educate one another in the highest ideals of values-based leadership. "To make this possible, we need new types of leaders from every country who can both understand the transnational nature of the challenges we face and work together to address them," said Asia Society Executive Vice President Jamie Metzl, who spearheads the program.

One of the signature components of the Asia 21 Summit is the joint Public Service Projects, developed collaboratively by the delegates with the ultimate goal of implementing it in their own communities. These projects create innovative solutions to lingering and newly-discovered social issues, and have wide-reaching impact that transcends borders and cultures.

In its continuing pursuit of excellence and creating trailblazing paths, Asia 21 Summit this year is being positioned as the first conference in Malaysia to be a "Sustainable Summit," where the organizers, sponsors and delegates take extra care to make environmentally-friendly and energy-saving steps such as the use of public transport, and sourcing largely local and recycled products for its requirements.

Established by the Asia Society with support from Founding International Sponsor, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the Asia 21 Summit is today considered a pre-eminent gathering of Asia's most dynamic young leaders from every country in the Asia-Pacific region and the US, who come from every sector including business, government, media, culture and civil society. To date, the networks counts more than 500 of the most accomplished, brilliant young minds among its members, including businessmen, documentary filmmakers, environmental activists, human rights advocates, members of parliament, military personnel, performance artists, and social entrepreneurs.

This year's main corporate sponsors include Sime Darby and YTL Corporation Berhad, with special support from JW Marriott, AirAsia, Maxis, ASTRO and Powertek. Main partners are ISIS, PwC and Zain & Co.

For more information about Asia Society's Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative, including details about previous conferences and Fellows, please visit Asia Society is the leading global organization working to strengthen relationships and promote understanding among the people, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the United States. It seeks to enhance dialogue, encourage creative expression, and generate new ideas across the fields of policy, business, education, arts, and culture. Founded in 1956, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational institution with offices in Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Mumbai, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, and Washington, DC. For more information, contact the Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10021.

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