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Our Story

Greetings

Gil Alterovitz GAC Chair

Recently, Asia has shown tremendous growth in economic development and political spheres. There has been great interest in learning about and truly understanding the many opportunities and challenges in Asia.

Today, Center for Asia Leadership stands as a group of non-profit international organizations that aims to address social needs and problems in Asia through research, development, training, and publications, all focused on social and public leadership, innovation, and educational practices. We do this by sharing what the members of the Center have garnered from some of the world’s leading institutions like Harvard, MIT and Stanford.

Ultimately, our passion is leadership. We believe that everyone is on a life-long leadership journey. The 42,000 individuals, across 83 cities in 31 countries primarily in Asia, who have joined our programs, are proof of this. We are truly grateful for the opportunity to help cultivate the leaders of today, and impact the emerging leaders of tomorrow.

Truly, the work of leadership is not just both thrilling and challenging, it’s life-changing. Join us as we continue mastering the mindsets and mechanisms of effective and innovative leadership, generating bold new ideas, and making them happen. We look forward to welcoming you in person.

Gil Alterovitz
Chair, Global Advisory Council, Center for Asia Leadership Initiatives
Associate Professor
Director of Biomedical Cybernetics Laboratory,
Harvard Medical School

Samuel Kim Founding President

Welcome to the Center for Asia Leadership!

It was with a blind leap of faith, a lot of daring, and hope for the future that myself and a group of friends from Harvard started the Center for Asia Initiatives in 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. We began with organizing “treks,” study tours that brought graduate students to meet and learn from key figures and decision-makers in government, business, and social enterprises in countries all over Asia. The irresistible combination of high adventure, first-hand interviews, direct observations, and the novel sights and sounds of unfamiliar places made for a unique beyond-the-classroom learning experience.

Today, our Center does more than treks. We also stand committed to helping individuals and organizations in Asia who are wholeheartedly working to address the core challenges of our times, be it business, social, and policy matters. Through our works of research, training, and publications, we feel that we have a unique opportunity and responsibility to foster sustainable growth and forge a better future for all.

It is our desire that individuals reach their full potential as strong, positive leaders—people who will commit their heads, hands, and hearts to advancing the social good.

Samuel Kim
Founding President, Center for Asia Leadership Initiatives
MPA, Harvard University

Facts In Brief

The Center for Asia Leadership Initiatives is a group of non-profit international organizations established in 2014 with the purpose of addressing social, business, and policy challenges in Asia through research, training, coaching, consulting, and publications, in the areas of leadership and its practice.

The idea for the Center was sparked by the hope of connecting the vast educational resources at various world-leading institutions like Harvard and Stanford with individuals, organizations and governmental bodies in Asia who are working with great efforts to address the core challenges of our times.

Date Established: April 23, 2014
Offices: Boston, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Tokyo, and Manila
Key Initiatives: Asia Leadership Trek, Asia Leadership Institute, Acumen Publishing
Websites: asialeadership.org, alf.asialeadership.org, online.asialeadership.org
Publications: 13 Hardcopies & 20 Case Studies

Regional Footprint

The Center for Asia Leadership Initiatives (CALI) is a group of non-profit international organizations established in 2014 with the purpose of addressing business, social, and policy challenges in Asia through research, development, training, and publications. The idea of the Center was sparked by the hope of connecting the vast educational resources at world-leading institutions with individuals and organizations in Asia who are working to address the core challenges of our times.

The Center currently runs under the guidance of 15 dedicated and social-minded stewards from 9 countries, working out of offices in Boston, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Tokyo, and Manila. Among many other accomplishments, the Center has produced ten books: the 5-volume Rethinking Asia series; Finding the Leaders in Us: New Goals for the Future; Redefining Success: Learning to Lead for Change; Next Generation Leadership: Empower Youth to Shape the Future of Asia; Leaders in Development: Enhancing Your Leadership Effectiveness in a Changing World; Leadership That Triumphs: Moment of Greatness in the Work of Leadership; and many additional articles, opinion pieces, and editorials.

The Center established its first representative regional headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The KL office functions as the hub for strategy and management, recruitment and talent development for the Asia Leadership Institute; supplementary research under the Acumen Case Center; and operations for its Southeast Asia programming. The office is strategically located in KL Eco City, nearby the Kuala Lumpur City Centre.

Milestones and Achievements

2012

President and Co-founder Samuel Kim, leads the Korea Leadership Trek and the Southeast Asia Leadership Trek at the Harvard Kennedy School garnering support from Hanwha Corporation, SK Telecom, and the Hyundai Heavy Industries.

2013

Founding members define business philosophies, and plan more than 30 programs and three white papers that would lay the groundwork for the creation of the Center for Asia Leadership Initiatives (CALI) in Boston, U.S.

2014

CALI is established as a non-profit research organization (501c) in Boston and launches three major initiatives: Asia Leadership Trek (ALT), Asia Leadership Institute (ALI), and Acumen Publishing (AP).

2015

ALI organizes more than 30 conferences and 14 leadership programs, involving over 90 scholars from the Harvard community and more than 8,000 participants from 14 countries in Asia.

CALI establishes an independently-run regional headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and formalizes support and collaboration with the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation.

2016

AP publishes 3 new publications (February).

ALI organizes over 20 conferences and 8 leadership programs, involving over 80 scholars from the Harvard community and over 3,500 participants from 19 countries in Asia.

2017

AP publishes 3 new publications (May).

CALI co-organizes the 7th Asia Leadership Conference with the Chosun Media (July)/

ALI organizes 16 conferences, 40 leadership programs, involving over 87 scholars and more than 5,000 participants from 21 cities in 14 countries.

2018

AP publishes 2 new publications (May).

CALI co-organizes the 8th Asia Leadership Conference with the Chosun Media (May).

ALI organizes the 1st Asia Leadership Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (May).

ALT organizes the 10th Asia Leadership Trek (January) and the Eurasia Leadership Trek 2018 (June).

ALI organizes 9 conferences, 38 leadership programs, involving 63 scholars and more than 9000 participants from 23 cities in 16 countries.

ALI organizes the first program in Kuching, Malaysia (July).

2019

AP publishes 2 new publications (April).

CALI co-organizes the 9th Asia Leadership Conference with the Chosun Media (May).

ALI organizes the 2nd Asia Leadership Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Kuching, Malaysia (May).

ALI organizes 7 conferences, 12 leadership programs, involving 21 scholars and more than 7000 participants from 21 cities in 14 countries.

AP publishes 2 new publications (November).

ALI organizes the first program in Kuching, Malaysia (July).

2020

AP publishes 2 new publications (February & July).

ALI organizes 1 conference, 7 leadership programs, involving 30 scholars from the Harvard community and over 10,000 participants from 40 countries in Asia.

ALI launches Covid-19 20-week, 20-speaker, 20-themes Adaptive Leader Webinar Series.

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