Two Maui Residents Named New Obama Foundation Asia-Pacific Leaders

November 28, 2019, 8:22 AM HST · Updated November 27, 11:33 PM
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Obama Foundation’s inaugural Asia Pacific Leaders program selects two Maui residents: Breanna Rose (left) and Alec Wagner (right). PC: courtesy photos.

Eight emerging leaders from Hawai‘i, including two from Maui were selected as part of the inaugural cohort of Obama Foundation Leaders: Asia-Pacific.

The Maui leaders include:

  • Breanna Rose, Director of Operations and Partnerships at Hawai‘i Green Growth Local2030 Hub, an organization that brings together diverse stakeholders to develop and scale local solutions to global sustainability challenges. She believes collaborative networks can unlock the vast possibilities of human potential to tackle complex issues. Breanna is passionate about creating spaces that provide opportunities for people to express their highest selves.
  • Alec Wagner is Director at Purple Prize, Purple Mai‘a Foundation, an organization that aims to empower the next generation of culturally-grounded technology makers and place-based entrepreneurs. He believes that entrepreneurs connections to place is their competitive advantage. Alec is passionate about creating spaces and opportunities for values-driven innovators to succeed.

Other Hawai‘i leaders include:

  • Troy J.H. Andrade, Law Professor and Director, Ulu Lehua Scholars Program, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa;
  • L. Kealoha Fox, Native Hawaiian Liaison, AlohaCare;
  • Kaiwipunikauikawekiu Lipe, Native Hawaiian Affairs Program Officer, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa;
  • Kaleo Manuel, Deputy Director, State of Hawai‘i Commission on Water Resource Management;
  • Benjamin Eduardo Treviño, Sustainability Planner, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation; and
  • Vehia Wheeler, Consultant, Sustainable Oceania Solutions.

The eight will be part of a cohort of 200 emerging civic leaders from 33 nations and territories in the region who will convene in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from December 10-14. The 200 Leaders represent public, private, and non-profit sectors, and they work on a variety of issues, ranging from education to environment to entrepreneurship.

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The Hawai‘i leaders represent a unique cross-section of experience, while creating solutions for some of Hawai‘i’s most pressing issues of indigenous justice, sustainability, women’s rights, urban infrastructure, economic access, healthcare and climate change.

The Leaders: Asia-Pacific gathering will serve as the kick-off event for a year-long leadership program and is designed to further inspire, empower, and connect the emerging leaders to change the world.

While in Malaysia, the Leaders will be joined by prominent speakers and thought leaders who will discuss topics such as progress and opportunity in the Asia-Pacific region, values-based leadership, and the intersection of purpose and entrepreneurship during a series of plenary sessions.

The five-day convening in December will also consist of skill-building workshops, leadership development training, and opportunities for Leaders to connect with one another. Leaders will have a chance to apply their skills and knowledge to various real-world scenarios while using creative, values-driven approaches to problem-solving. Additionally, to underscore the important relationship between service and leadership, Leaders will participate in a community service project.

Each Leader’s journey of growth will continue remotely for a year after the gathering, through webinars and a virtual speaker series, as well as support, amplification, and other opportunities from the Foundation.

The Asia-Pacific program follows the Obama Foundation’s inaugural international Leaders program launched in Africa in 2018 and represents the Foundation’s commitment to the region, along with the belief that these emerging leaders, through the extraordinary work they do in their own communities, have the potential to positively affect change across the globe.

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