East-West Center Honors Distinguished Alumni

The East-West Center and EWC Alumni Association will recognize six outstanding alumni and two alumni chapters for their exceptional accomplishments and service at the EWC/EWCA International Conference in Beijing, Sept. 1-3 at Peking University.

Recipients of the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award are:
Senen Bacani, former Philippines Secretary of Agriculture under President Corazon Aquino and current Chairman and President of La Frutera, Inc., the Philippines’ largest banana exporter.  Bacani established his successful company in the autonomous region of Mindanao helping to bring jobs to the war-torn region. He envisioned La Frutera as a model of how Muslims and Christians can work together.

Amanda Ellis, New Zealand’s Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade in charge of international development. Ellis formerly served as Lead Specialist for Gender and Development for the World Bank, where she played a vital role in economically empowering women in an impressive number of the world’s developing countries.

Outstanding Volunteer Award recipients include:
Lyn Flanigan, former executive director of the Hawaii State Bar Association, is receiving the award for her years of service as President and Board Member (2004-2012) of the EWCA Executive Board.  She also co-chaired the EWCA 50th Anniversary Conference in 2010 and served on the EWC Board of Governors (1992 – 2001) during which time she greatly strengthened EWC alumni relations.

Dr. Larry Foster, professor and former Dean of the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Richardson School of Law, is receiving the award for his service as president of the East-West Center Alumni Association; as an Ex-Officio member of East-West Center Board of Governors; and as member of the Planning Committee for the EWC Association’s Biennial Alumni Conference in Bali, Indonesia.

Nasti Reksodiputro, who serves as the Communications liaison for the EWCA – Jakarta Chapter and was one of the co-chairs of the organizing committee for the EWC/EWCA International Conference in Bali in 2008, founded Yayasan Pustaka Kelana (the Wandering Books Foundation), dedicated to increasing children’s access to books, fostering literacy, and spreading the joy of reading in her country.

EWC Association Presidential Recognition Award:

The newly established East-West Center Association Presidential Recognition Award will be given by outgoing EWCA President Ricardo Trimillos to tireless volunteer (and 1962-64 alumna) Itsuko Suzuki, who served for 30 years as a medical social worker for the Hawai`i State Department of Health. Suzuki established the East-West Center Association’s Mentoring Program 10 years ago and has been the key force behind the program’s success. In addition to her leadership of the Mentoring Program, which has involved hundreds of EWC students and professionals from the Honolulu community, she has served on the EWCA – Hawaii Chapter Board for many years.

Outstanding Alumni Chapters:

This award recognizes outstanding EWCA Chapters which have provided significant contributions to the goals and programs of EWCA and support of the mission of the East-West Center. The 2012 EWCA Outstanding Chapter Awards will be given to EWCA alumni chapters in:

Okinawa, Japan – The Okinawa chapter has demonstrated ongoing strong support to the students of the EWC through the chapter’s EWCA Okinawa Alumni Scholarship Foundation. The chapter also recently published a book of EWC alumni essays titled: “Bridge of Rainbows Linking East & West.”

Brisbane, Australia – The Brisbane chapter engaged in extensive community outreach activities including volunteer work with the Australian Red Cross in support of relief and recovery efforts for the people affected by the devastating floods in Queensland. The chapter has also collaborated with the EWC alumni chapter in Nepal by financially supporting the educational goals of two economically disadvantaged Nepalese students.

The EWC/EWCA 2012 International Conference will be held Sept. 1-3 at Peking University in Beijing. International scholars, officials, educators and business leaders ­­– most of them alumni of the East-West Center ­– are expected to attend the conference on the theme of “Community Building and Leadership in Asia Pacific.”

The conference is jointly presented by the East-West Center, an internationally recognized education and research institution headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii, and the East-West Center Association, the organization that represents the Center’s more than 60,000 alumni throughout Asia, the Pacific and the U.S.

For more information or to register online, visit: EastWestCenter.org/beijing2012

Or call: +1 808-944-7506.