Asia Pacific Leadership Program (APLP), Generation 2, 2002 - 2003
Place of Origin/Nationality: American
Current City: Charlottesville, VA
B.A., International Relations and Chinese, University of Michigan
Ph.D., Asian Languages and Cultures with Media and Technology Concentration, UCLA
English, Bislama, Basic French
Prior to joining the APLP, Aynne was a management consultant for the global automotive and engineered products industries with Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. She lived in Michigan. Before APLP, she had never even visited Hawai‘i or practiced yoga.
After completing the APLP Fellowship, Aynne was first a media professional in China, then did her Ph.D. at UCLA. She is now the Fellow in Chinese Media at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University and a professor of media studies at the University of Virginia. Aynne teaches yoga regularly and has conducted classes everywhere from Los Angeles to Bali to Shanghai to the Trans-Siberian Railroad (ill-advised, but very fun).
What three things do you do differently after your time at the EWC?
A. Living and working with people from all over the Asia-Pacific region has fundamentally changed the way that I related to the world.
B. Being in the amazing natural environment of Hawai'i cemented my lifelong commitment to environmental protection.
C. The values of APLP cemented the importance of doing something personally meaningful with my life - and of encouraging the people around me to do the same.
What impact did APLP have on your career?
The personal action plan visioning process helped me to have the courage to follow my interest in examining the globalization of media in China, which was very much in its infancy in 2003 when I finished APLP. APLP gave me the courage to apply to and accept a fellowship in media production at the Beijing Film Academy, as well as the skills to keep dreaming differently until I found the right fit. I am now a Fellow in Chinese Media at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University and a professor of media studies at the University of Virginia. My current project is completing my first book, Shot in Shanghai, on media production between China and the US.
How do you remain connected to your classmates?
I remain connected to my classmates via social media, life events (weddings, in particular), and international travel. Last year, my classmates and I had a virtual reunion on Google+ on two occasions, across 16 time zones. I have attended APLP weddings in Honolulu, Los Angeles, and Thimphu, Bhutan. I have also visited classmates in countless Chinese and US cities, as well as in Bali, Bangkok, Vancouver and Seoul.
What issues are you most passionate about in your daily life?
I am most passionate about global environmental issues, particularly air and water pollution, and technology. Fortunately, I have been able to incorporate both of these areas into my current career as a professor.
How have you come to see leadership?
I see leadership as the ability to know when to lead, when to follow, and when to have vision. I think that all leaders need to be able to assess when and what they need to do in order to achieve their goals. Sometimes, it is more helpful to be a "first follower" than another leader. Other times, it is essential to define a vision that others can pick up and run with. One of my most valuable lessons from APLP was learning that effective leaders not only know how to do all of these things, but know how to effectively choose when each skill is needed.