Alumni Couple Tomo and Aska Hamakawa Honored by the Dalai Lama for Their Non-Profit Work

Congratulations to husband-and-wife EWC alumni team Tomohiro and Asuka Hirabe Hamakawa, who both recently received Unsung Heroes of Compassion 2014 awards from His Holiness the Dalai Lama for their dedicated volunteer work.

Tomo DLAt an event in San Francisco in February, the Dalai Lama personally recognized 51 individuals from around the world who help those in need without expectation of reward. Asia Pacific Leadership Program alum Tomo, who holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard, helps  raise funds for the preservation of Tibetan culture through documentary film and photography and is a staff member at Kopernik, an Indonesian nonprofit that brings simple, innovative technologies to rural areas. He also served four years as a full-time staff with the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, which subsidizes low-cost and high-impact interventions that save children’s lives.

Aska DLAsuka, or “Aska,” a former EWC affiliate degree student in Pacific islands studies, has known since she was a teenager donating to UNICEF that she wanted to devote her life to helping those in need. In 2009, she assisted with relief and reconstruction  for victims of an earthquake and tsunami in Samoa, and she helped head relief efforts in the fishing village of Ishinomaki after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Currently, she serves as vice president of Tuvalu Overview, a NGO that promotes research and awareness of climate change in the island nation of Tuvalu.

Top Filipino Cop Joins EWC APLP Program

eric escosio noble

Eric Escosio Noble (Photo Credit: Hawai'i Filipino Chronicle)

Police Supt. Eric Escosio Noble is a Filipino policeman that has been recognized by various private and civic organizations for his exceptional contributions to the Philippines.

Eric Noble holds the rank of Police Superintendent in the Philippine National Police. Last year, Noble received two national awards: the Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award—the country’s highest award given to public servants—and the “Country’s Outstanding Policemen in Service” honor, presented by the Metrobank Foundation, the Rotary Club of New Manila East, and PSBank. Noble was lauded for his efforts to dismantle a corrupt system of “ghost cops” who were being paid for services that had not been rendered.

Also, he was recognized for his innovative projects addressing drug abuse prevention and youth leadership in Santa Barbara, Pangasinan. Noble has served as Civilian Police Officer with United Nations peacekeeping operations in Kosovo and Haiti. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Lyceum-Northwestern University in Dagupan City, and has bachelor’s degrees in law and science from Jose Rizal University in Mandaluyong City and the Philippine Military Academy at Fort Del Pilar in Baguio City, respectively.

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Student Testimony about Asia Pacific Leadership Program

Marvin Uehara was a participant of the 2009 – 2010 Asia Pacific Leadership Program (APLP) at the East-West Center.  He has experience and education in tourism and development. Marvin is part of the Generation Nine of the APLP (also known as G9), where 21 countries are being represented.

My APLP Experience

by Marvin Uehara

I arrived in Honolulu in June 2009. I came here expecting to live the diversity of the East-West Center (EWC), study leadership in the Asia Pacific Leadership Program (APLP), and enjoy the splendid nature of Hawaii. Over the last five months, I have had lifetime experiences.

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Senior EWC Fellow Fesharaki Endows Scholarship Fund

Source: East-West Center News

On March 9, 2010, EWC Senior Fellow and prominent energy market analyst Fereidun Fesharaki has established a fund to help Iranian and other participants attend the East-West Center’s Asia Pacific Leadership Program.

Under an agreement recently signed with the Center, Dr. Fesharaki has pledged to donate his full monthly take home EWC salary, which will exceed the $25,000 necessary to establish a scholarship fund. The Fesharaki Scholarship Fund will be used to fund awards of at least $1,000 each year for one or more students, with a preference for (but not limited to) Iranian students from Iran or elsewhere outside the United States. Awards will be granted based on financial need, leadership experience, educational achievement, and funding availability.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to have been able to develop my professional career in part through my association with the East-West Center,” Fesharaki said. “I want to contribute back and set an example for others to do so.”

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Fellowships for 2010-2011 Asia Pacific Leadership Program


The East-West Center is pleased to announce new fellowships for the Asia Pacific Leadership Program for 2010-11. Entering its tenth year, the Asia Pacific Leadership Program (APLP) is the center of excellence for leadership education in the Asia Pacific region and a signature program of the East-West Center. The APLP is a graduate certificate program combining the development of regional expertise with the enhancement of individual leadership capacity. Based at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, the program has created a network of dynamic leaders in 48 countries who are helping to build a peaceful, prosperous and just Asia Pacific community. All participants receive a fee-waiver valued at approximately $15,000. Continue reading

Reflections on China from APLP G9 Students

Marvin Uehara, Laisa Roi, and Samuel Gorohouna are current participants of the 2009 – 2010 Asia Pacific Leadership Program (APLP) at the East-West Center. Marvin, Laisa, and Samuel are part of the Generation Nine of the APLP (also known as G9), where 21 countries are being represented.

Reflections on China

by Marvin Uehara, Laisa Roi, and Samuel Gorohuana

A very common image in Beijing.

A very common image in Beijing.

We recently shared our impressions about China after spending four days in Beijing. We were all surprised by the number of skyscrapers, by the cutting-edge infrastructure, and by the vibrance of this economy. To us, China will definitely be the next world economic superpower.

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Marvin Uehara

Marvin Uehara is a current participant of the 2009 – 2010 Asia Pacific Leadership Program (APLP) at the East-West Center. He has experience and education in tourism and development. Marvin is part of the Generation Nine of the APLP (also known as G9), where 21 countries are being represented.


by Marvin Uehara

Halfway between Kyushu – Japan’s main island – and Taiwan, Okinawa is the most populated island of the Ryukyu Archipelago. There are around 1 million and 300 thousand people living in Okinawa and 700 thousand in Naha, the capital.

Okinawa’s history is peculiar. Due to its geography Okinawa became an important trade center for the Japanese, the Chinese, and many other South-East peoples. It was a kingdom until 1879, the year that marks the creation of Okinawa Prefecture by the Japanese. After the Second World War, Okinawa went under the United States administration for 27 years. In 1972, the Ryukyu Islands were returned to Japan. There is still, nevertheless, a large US military presence in Okinawa owing to its strategic position in the Asia-Pacific region.

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