The biggest questions of our time call for community-centered and action-oriented leadership that is policy-aware and regionally and globally competent. Defining and resolving our common dilemmas requires inclusion and collaboration. The Indo-Pacific Leadership Lab, jointly launched by the East-West Center and the Japan Foundation, is for rising leaders from diverse sectors, including academia, civil society, non-profit, business, and government, who want to deepen their leadership practice and increase their impact. The Lab is for those who are ready to listen sincerely, question profoundly, and learn from real-world experience and practice.

Each year, leaders in the Lab will focus on a specific complex and interconnected social issue. Alongside fifteen other rising leaders from across the Indo-Pacific, leaders will join a year-long program that includes three one-week, in-person seminars held in Honolulu, Hawai‘i; Suva, Fiji; and Tokyo, Japan. Together, leaders will critically examine current responses to the issue and explore community approaches and their connections to local and regional policy. They will identify critical gaps and explore and test responses in their home communities, with guidance from community leaders, topic experts, and leadership mentors.

Leaders who complete the 2025 Lab will be better equipped to support communities in articulating their adaptation goals and the vulnerability analyses they are rooted in, and in crafting transformative climate change action. Leaders will chronicle their experiences of testing community adaptation plans and build capacities and connections for inclusive, community-led climate change adaptation.

Eligibility Criteria

  • 5-10 years of deep work or research experience in an area with clear connections to climate change mitigation, adaption planning, natural resources or environmental governance, or related area
  • A citizen and resident of one of the following countries:
    • Japan
    • United States of America
    • Pacific Islands: American Samoa, Australia, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Republic of Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Republic of Palau, Papua New Guinea, Independent State of Samoa, Solomon Islands, Kingdom of Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu
    • South Asia: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan
    • Southeast Asia: Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
  • Verbal fluency in English, with strong written English skills
  • Demonstrable writing experience, including grants, Op-eds, articles in newspapers or magazines, blogs, and/or academic writing, etc.
  • A current passport with validity through March 2026
  • Able to commit to one week of travel in December 2024, April and September 2025, plus monthly virtual connections in between travel (estimated at about 4 hours/month)