What is the APLP?


APLP Fellows, Generation 16 (2016-2017)

The vision of the Asia Pacific Leadership Program is to create a network of action, focused on building a peaceful, prosperous and just Asia Pacific community.  Each year, approximately 25 Fellows are selected to participate in the Asia Pacific Leadership Program and join a highly diverse, active community.  All APLP Fellows must have at least a 4 year Bachelor's degree, and 56% of each class will also have completed a Masters degree prior to entering the program.  In each class, participants join from approximately 20 different countries around the globe and from every type of academic and professional background. The average age of the APLP Fellows is 32, with approximately 5 to 8 years of professional work experience. 

As of August 2017, the Asia Pacific Leadership Program has 581 alumni located around the globe. Alumni stay in touch with each other through annual updates and regional reunion events.

Participant Outcomes

On completing the program, participants understand key trends which will affect the region in the future, what types of leadership these trends require, and how they fit within these shifting contexts as individuals and community leaders.

Who participates?

The 25 - 35 participants selected each year have strong leadership experience or exhibit high leadership potential. All participants have at least a Bachelor’s degree and most have a Master’s degree. APLP participants have come from 58 countries and have tremendous range of backgrounds (as examples:  science, business, development, politics, government, civil society, medicine, religious orders, art, finance, academia or research). The age of participants ranges from mid 20s to mid 40s with an average of 32 years old.  Most have at least five years of professional work experience.  There are no citizenship, age, or ethnicity restrictions.

What is the APLP Experience and its time commitment?

The APLP experience is first and foremost about change.

Problem solving and intercultural exercises on Molokai Island.

Coursework and discussions engage critical processes of change affecting the region now and in the future. By stepping out of specific individual areas of expertise (for example by discipline or country) and developing new analytic and leadership approaches participants come to have changed perspectives. New insights on regional processes are coupled with opportunities to test and develop one's leadership capacity through experiential work with diverse co-participants. 

The outcome of this process is an ability not only to cope with, or understand change, but to lead it.

Leaders who can successfully navigate change require creative vision and the capacity to chart and act upon that vision. The APLP experience is designed to yield just these sorts of outcomes. Embracing and leading change takes time. The APLP is designed as a nine month program in order to maximize the depth and breadth of learning. The program grows from building an introductory base in the early weeks to applied leadership activities in the spring term. Each phase of the program has a distinct purpose and connection to the whole. 

The APLP has been redesigned as a modular four-month blended program (mid-August to mid-December); all modules during this four-month period are required.  The second module of the program takes place online through virtual platforms (late-August to mid-October).  During module three, all participants are based at the East-West Center in Honolulu and live on campus from mid-October to mid-December.

Module One (August) - Asia

The APLP is an immersion program requiring full commitment from all participants.  During module one, all participants will meet in Asia for the launch of the program and to network with Leadership Program alumni.  Each year the location will differ and, in some cases, will coincide with the larger East-West Center bi-annual alumni conferences. 

Module Two (late-August to mid-October) - Online

Participants will engage during module two virtually from their home locations or any location in which internet access is available.  In teams, fellows deepen understanding of each others' diverse contexts, experiment with new leadership concepts and tools within home settings, and find out more about what's going on in the Indo-Asia Pacific region.  Full-time employment may continue during this period.

Module Three (mid-October to mid-December) - Hawaii + U.S. Mainland

During module three all participants will live on the East-West Center campus in Honolulu, Hawaii and engage full-time with the cohort, staff, and our network of community partners.  Due to the intense nature of the program it is not possible to take courses or to work outside the program due to the intensity of the schedule.  The cohort will spend approximately two weeks of this period in the U.S. Mainland exploring the American context and its links to the Indo-Asia Pacific.  The program will end in Honolulu, Hawaii in December.

Sample weekly syllabi from the 2016 APLP are available below:

You can also view past APLP curriculum to see how it evolves from year to year:

Who are the program staff?

There are six core program staff. This allows for a responsive and personalized approach to the program. Joining the program each year are world-class guests who deliver specific areas of program content and provide mentorship. Peer learning between participants is also a centerpiece of program design.

Financial Information

Visit our page on program costs and funding options for more information.


The APLP has become a signature program of the East-West Center. Its 581 alumni, who come from 58 countries, now occupy key positions within the United States and Asia Pacific region. Alumni stay in very close contact with the program and many are brought back to share their experiences and expertise with the current cohort.

The APLP provides the time, tools, contacts and knowledge needed to successfully navigate personal and regional change.

We judge our success on how participants come to envision trends in the Asia Pacific region and their place within these trends; how participants develop leadership capacity, plan for future success and carry out actions needed to achieve this success.