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APLP Staff

Ms. Gretchen Alther (Leadership Education Specialist) organizes the EWC’s Pacific Islands Women in Leadership (WIL) program, and leads the on-line learning phases of both the WIL and the Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) leadership programs. Prior to joining EWC, Ms. Alther designed and managed programs to support disaster relief, conflict zone aid, and resilience in marginalized communities in the US, Myanmar, Pakistan, Nepal, Guatemala, Gaza, Colombia, Haiti, and Afghanistan. Ms. Alther also facilitates sustainability leadership programs for the Earthwatch Institute and develops and teaches courses with Human Rights Education Associates. She earned a B.A. in Latin American Studies and Natural Resource Management from Texas A&M University, an M.A. in Sustainable International Development from the Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, and a postgraduate certificate from the EWC (APLP G12). Ms. Alther is fascinated with critical decision making and problem solving through appreciative and lateral thinking. She does her best thinking during long-distance runs.

Dr. Nicholas Barker, Ph.D., (Senior Leadership Education Specialist) teaches the APLP's Leadership Seminar and coordinates the East-West Center Leadership Certificate.  Dr. Barker’s leadership research interests include: indigenous models of leadership in the Asia-Pacific; diversity training; negotiation and conflict resolution; visioning, strategic planning, and coaching; transformational leadership; gender and leadership; effective communication; team building and group dynamics; power, influence and ethics; and facilitation and collaborative leadership. Trained as a cultural anthropologist at Cambridge University, England, his anthropological research examines the global and historical phenomenon of religious mortification, with particular focus on contemporary religious revivals in South and Southeast Asia, and the history of ideas about pain and the human body. Recent publications include articles in the Modern Encyclopedia of Asia; the Encyclopedia of Southeast Asian History; and the Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance. Recent projects include the BBC/Discovery television documentary, Beyond Endurance. Dr. Barker is an affiliate graduate faculty member in the Department of Anthropology and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. He has conducted long-term fieldwork in the Philippines and was formerly on the faculty of the Department of Anthropology at St. Andrews University, Scotland, as well as a Visiting Fellow at Nagoya University, Japan, and the University of the Philippines (Diliman).

Dr. Scott MacLeod, Ph.D., (Director, Leadership Program) was Director of the award-winning Asia-Pacific Management Cooperative Program in Vancouver Canada for eight years. He was nominated as the Canadian Internationalist of the Year and was the founding Chair of the McRae Institute for International Management, with activities in 19 countries in Asia and Latin America. He has received major research awards from the Ford Foundation, Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs. He has carried on fieldwork in Nepal, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. In his 20 years of working with Asia he has published on a wide scope of topics ranging from Malaysia's economic trajectory to Hong Kong's food system to Singapore's shift towards becoming an "Intelligent Island." Dr. MacLeod is currently completing Geographies of the Global Economy (Toronto: Oxford University Press). Other recent publications include Accessing Asia, (Ottawa: Foreign Affairs), and The Emergence of Extended Metropolitan Regions in ASEAN, in Y.M. Yeung and C.P. Lo (eds.) Emerging World Cities in Pacific Asia. (Tokyo: United Nations University Press). Ongoing research involves social network analysis and emergent economic systems.

Ms. Christina Monroe (Leadership Education Specialist) leads personal and professional development activities and the U.S. East Coast Field Study for the Asia Pacific Leadership Program.  She also coordinates the U.S. State Department-funded, Study of the U.S. Institute for Student Leaders on Global Environmental Issues, a five-week institute for 20 undergraduates from Southeast Asia and the Middle East in Hawaii and the U.S. mainland. She serves as co-Chair of the East-West Center’s Sustainability Task Force.  Prior to joining EWC, Ms. Monroe was a lecturer for the Chancellor's Leadership Program and Director of the Service Learning Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder from 1998 to 2002. She received a BA in sociology (Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of Tulsa and a MA in social sciences from the University of Amsterdam, where she conducted qualitative research on cultural and educational exchanges for her degree in ethnicity and nationalism. In 2004 she was a fellow in the Asia Pacific Leadership Program at the East-West Center.

Ms. Cheryl Tokita (Program Assistant) assists the Asia Pacific Leadership Program with the administration and logistical side of program-related activities.  In addition, she aids the Leadership Program with website maintenance, data visualization, and designing and updating marketing and program materials. Prior to joining the Leadership Program, Ms. Tokita was a Project Assistant with the East-West Center's Asia Pacific Higher Education Research Partnership (APHERP) and Asian Studies Development Program (ASDP) and an Education Program student assistant. She earned a dual-focus history and East Asian Language & Literature (EALL) B.A. in Asian Studies with a minor in Korean (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and a M.A. in Asian Studies from the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa.  Ms. Tokita’s Masters research was split between two elements of Korean popular culture: the penetration of Korean pop culture into the domestic-oriented Japanese music market, and the effectiveness of Korean national branding through the creation and longevity of soft power resources.