Fish Family Foundation Awards EWC $50,000 to Support Women’s Entrepreneurship


HONOLULU (Feb. 7, 2020) – The East-West Center has been awarded a five-year grant totaling $50,000 from the Fish Family Foundation in support of the Center’s Changing Faces Women’s Leadership Seminar and #galswithLEI Forum, which collectively seek to enhance women’s leadership skills and entrepreneurial capacity; experientially explore innovative entrepreneurship; build a sense of self-efficacy; and expand national and regional networks.

As a result of the Fish Family Foundation’s funding, the Changing Faces Seminar will now be able to include female business or social entrepreneurs from Japan each year until 2024. The funding will also substantially increase the Center’s ability to include mainland and international speakers in the associated #galswithLEI Forum.

“With the special bond between Hawaii and Japan, it made very good sense for the Fish Family Foundation to partner with the East-West Center as the next step for the participants of our Japanese women’s leadership programs,” said foundation cofounder Atsuko Fish. “The Changing Faces Seminar is uniquely poised to create a global ecosystem of women entrepreneurs and innovators connecting the U.S. and Asia-Pacific. Participants from Japan are able to create more impactful changes when they return home, applying their globally expanded networks and deepened knowledge from Hawaii.” 

Changing faces and GalswithLEI participantsparticipantAbout the Changing Faces Women’s Leadership Seminar / #galswithLEI Forum

Launched in 2002, the Changing Faces Women’s Leadership Seminar is a 12-day professional training, dialogue, and travel program addressing the shared challenges confronting working women entrepreneurs in the U.S. and Asia Pacific. Alumnae of the seminar have gone on to be recognized among Forbes’ 30 Under 30 honorees and as Obama Foundation Asia Pacific Leadership Fellows in addition to numerous other national and regional awards.

In Hawaii, participants are matched with local women leaders in a host mentor program and, in return, act as mentors for a select group of high school students. In addition, Changing Faces women serve as panelists at the annual public #galswithLEI women’s Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Inspiration forum on Oahu.

About the Fish Family Foundation

Established in 1999 by Lawrence K. and Atsuko Fish, the private Fish Family Foundation is located in Boston, Massachusetts. Dedicated to improving the community, the foundation is guided by a commitment to diversity and cross-cultural understanding and exchange. The foundation’s trustees carry out its mission in a manner that supports unity, continuing education, community involvement and a consensus style approach to decision-making.