Asia Society Announces 2016 Asia Game Changers

Architect I.M. Pei to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award; Awardees Will Be Honored at Asia Game Changer Awards Dinner and Celebration at the U.N. on October 27, 2016

Asia Society today announced the 2016 Asia Game Changers, recognizing those making a transformative and positive difference for the future of Asia and the world.

This year’s nine honorees include a doctor who has restored sight to thousands of patients, a young activist who is bringing education to her fellow Syrian refugees, a pioneer in social impact investment in Asia, and two musicians who are using art to heal their war-torn nations. Iconic architect I.M. Pei, a mentor to scores of American and Chinese architects alike, will receive the first Asia Game Changer Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Six decades ago, John D. Rockefeller 3rd founded Asia Society as an institution that would build bridges between the U.S. and Asia,” said Asia Society President Josette Sheeran. “This year’s Game Changers could not be more different from one another — they include a 99-year architect and an 18-year old refugee, a Nepali doctor and an Australian robotics entrepreneur — but they continue Rockefeller’s legacy as bridge builders in their own right.”

Honorees are nominated and selected by members of the Asia Society’s global network.

The 2016 awardees are:

Asia Game Changer Lifetime Achievement Award: I.M. Pei (United States/China)
Global architecture icon
For changing the world, one building at a time

Muzoon Almellehan (Syria)
Champion for girls’ education
For bringing education and hope to young girls, amid the trauma of war

Marita Cheng (Australia)
Entrepreneur and advocate for women in technology
For engineering a better world, and ensuring that more of its engineers are women

Soo-Man Lee (South Korea)
Founder and producer of S.M. Entertainment and “K-Pop” pioneer
For turning one nation’s pop culture into a global phenomenon

Sanduk Ruit (Nepal)
Eye surgeon and co-founder of the Himalayan Cataract Project
For bringing the gifts of sight, and productive life, to those most in need

Ahmad Sarmast (Afghanistan/Australia)
Founder and director of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music
For restoring music — and empowering children — in a war-ravaged nation

Durreen Shahnaz (Bangladesh)
Founder of Impact Investment Exchange Asia
For “social-impact” investing that has changed the game for millions

Karim Wasfi (Iraq)
Renowned cellist and conductor of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra
For using music to heal, in the aftermath of terror

Zhang Yimou (China)
Acclaimed film director
For changing the landscape of film in China

The honorees will attend the Asia Game Changer Awards Dinner and Celebration at the United Nations on October 27, 2016.

Among the Asia Society trustees presenting the awards will be Citi Global Consumer Banking CEO Stephen Bird; PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra K. Nooyi; Composite Apps Head of Partnerships Charles Rockefeller; former Australian Prime Minister and President of the Asia Society Policy Institute Kevin Rudd; and Asia Society Co-Chairs Ronnie C. Chan andHenrietta H. Fore. Also presenting awards will be Princess Beatrice of York and ABC’s ‘Nightline’ co-anchor Juju Chang. The evening will also feature a video message from 2014 Asia Game Changer Malala Yousafzai and special performances by Asia Game ChangerKarim Wasfi and 13-year-old Indonesian jazz piano prodigy Joey Alexander.

Previous Asia Game Changers include architect Shigeru Ban; MOBY Group chairman Saad Mohseni; ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar; Alibaba founder Jack Ma; comedian and activist Aasif Mandvi; Acumen CEO Jacqueline Novogratz; Xiaomi founder and CEO Lei Jun; and award-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, among others.

More information about the 2016 and past awardees, including bios, and the October 27 event is available at AsiaSociety.org/GameChangers.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Asia Society Comms’s story.