Featured Alumni


Follow our "Featured Alumni" series on Facebook @EWCAlumni or by joining our LinkedIn East-West Center Alumni and Community group.


Eleanor MainekeEleanor Maineke (Pacific Islands Leadership Program (PIDP) '16)

From the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB) in Papua New Guinea, Eleanor is currently the Grants Officer at Abt Associate’s Bougainville Partnership in the Buka Office. She is committed to the betterment of her community and is constantly initiating positive, lasting projects. One such initiative is documenting traditional ways of mediating and reconciling conflicts in Bougainville’s Siwai, Buin & Kieta Cultures. For this, she and her team were recently awarded the Young Pacific Leaders Small Grant by the U.S. Department of State.

Eleanor shares the following about her EWC experience and lasting impacts:
I was happy to be given the opportunity to be part of EWC under PILP’s 4th Cohort in 2016. The experience enriched and exposed me to different cultures and practices in the Pacific and Taiwan. During my time at EWC I most valued learning about adaptive leadership. It made me realize the importance of making it safe to disagree and debate but not to disengage and opt out. This process involves learning, unlearning, and relearning in our professional and individual lives. Being a member of EWC reminds me that our world can be so large and ourselves so small, but our impact can be great wherever we are.



Tippi CogenTippi Cogen Tippi (Changing Faces Women’s Leadership Program, ’19)
Healing and Spiritual Growth Life Coach, and former Executive Director + Founder, Thrive Global of Hawaii

With a previous military career that spanned 20 years serving in both the U.S. Army & Air Force, Tippi, a now-retired, former Army Airborne Chaplain, chooses to focus her energy on healing and helping marginalized communities break generational poverty, through her first initiative called Thrive Global of Hawaii. A humanitarian travel non-profit, started in late 2015, that organizes volunteers to serve locally and abroad on sustainability projects in efforts that support clean water, eco-school builds, food shortages, environmental & community revitalization, mentorship, and more, and has partnered with major organizations like PACT Hawaii, Bikeshare Hawaii (Biki,) Target, Yelp, and Starbuck for success.

Due to the pandemic halting much of travel last year, Tippi took no time off in planning the organization's next pivot. Having studied Business Entrepreneurship at Hawaii Pacific University (also a Kaimuki Bulldog!!) and a Master's in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, Tippi intuitively knew it was time to decrease her bandwidth by ending Thrive's five-year humanitarian world tour to fully develop her Healing + Spiritual Growth Life Coaching brand which similarly to Thrive adopts the vision of ending generational poverty, but not just in a financial way.

With her one-on-one life coaching sessions and private retreats that focus on personal healing, spiritual growth, and value reprioritization, Tippi wanted to design a more evolved version of humanitarian support through self-healing and authentic community after isolation for her clients & former Traveltarians®. Her focus now provides guidance and education on self-healing for deep spiritual and personal growth, the catalyst and starting point for real community change and cycle breaking.

Tippi's passion for helping others, serving underrepresented populations, and desire to understanding the complex biopsychosocial nuances of poverty and oppression, has led her to begin a doctorate in Clinical Psychology in hopes of becoming a private-practice clinician, educator in the field of body trauma healing, and continue to heal, serve and travel the world.

Most valued learning from time at EWC: A lesson within a lesson—ride the wave or be swept out to sea. Super funny, yet applicable. https://www.linkedin.com/in/tiptheworld/



Dewardric L. McNeal

Dewardric L. McNeal (Asia Pacific Leadership Program '02)

Dewardric is a US-China policy expert formerly at the #Pentagon as an #Obama-appointee and the The Brookings Institution. As the Founder and Managing Director at Longview Global LLC, he is frequently tapped for public commentary, most recently on how #PresidentBiden could approach China trade and security policy on CNBC Squawk Box. Tune in to “The Point and the Pushback”, his new podcast where he interviewed EWC classmate Charles Babb (APLP '02) and has a two-episode #BlackHistoryMonth political arc.  Dewardric co-lead a training on Power & Influence at the East-West Center #2021PILPAlumniSummit in February 2021.