Professional Development Overview


Professional Development Program Overview

The Professional Development Program conducts all of the East-West Center’s short to medium-term capacity-building, leadership training, professional exchanges, career development, and high-level dialogue activities. With its roots in the 50-year-old Jefferson Fellowship journalism exchange program, the Professional Development Program has expanded its reach and impact exponentially by continuously developing and implementing dynamic, cutting-edge programs that not only provide our diverse participants with life-long experiential learning and networking opportunities, but also amplify the Center’s long-term goal of improving understanding and relations among the United States and the countries of the Asia Pacific region.


Leadership Programs

In 2000, the Center launched a suite of leadership development programs for emerging and established leaders from across the region to build the knowledge, relationships, and capacity to address critical issues of common concern. Our leadership programs bring together diverse groups of professionals for transformative personal and professional development. With 17 years of experience delivering high-impact leadership training to young and emerging leaders across Asia and the Pacific, the Center’s multidisciplinary leadership development team draws from a deep well of experience and passion for designing and delivering programs that combine high-level content and experiential learning with an emphasis on practical application.


Seminars & Journalism Programs

East-West Seminars offers short-term dialogue, field study, travel and exchange opportunities for working professionals in politics, government, civil society, business and the media who are in positions to affect policy, shape public opinion, and influence change in their countries and communities. Programs provide opportunities for leading professionals from the United States and Asia Pacific to exchange views, build networks, develop leadership skills, and deepen knowledge of regional issues. Through dialogue and study tours with colleagues, and discussions with government officials, business executives and community leaders, our journalism fellowships and exchanges promote understanding of the complexities of the Asia Pacific region. Our dialogue programs provide senior and emerging political and business leaders from a variety of sectors with opportunities to focus on issues of regional concern through policy-oriented and capacity-building seminars


Asian Studies Development Program

The Asian Studies Development Program (ASDP) was launched in 1991 as a national initiative for enhancing undergraduate teaching and learning about Asian cultures and societies, and it is unique in designing higher education programs that meet the needs of institutional teams as well as individual faculty members. ASDP promotes learning about, learning from, and learning with Asian cultures and peoples through multidisciplinary summer residential institutes, field seminars in Asia, multiday workshops and an annual national conference.  Since its inception, more than 1,500 professors from the U.S., Asia, Latin America and Europe have participated in ASDP programs.


Experiential Professional Development

Hawaii and the EWC campus can be ideal locations to receive professional training or attend graduate school. They offer a popular, peaceful escape from career and family demands along with a chance to reassess and re-evaluate one’s path. However, for some leaving their research, business, or organization is not feasible or desirable. For others with young families or a preference for learning in their native language international relocation is not ideal. Such preferences and priorities along with aspirations for greater impact than virtual programs alone can achieve have inspired EWC Specialists to develop a new field we refer to as experiential professional development. Our non-residential fellowships and research internships all leverage experiential learning methods that complement traditional residential fellowships and scholarships, enable young professionals and researchers to advance their career while still embedded in their business, organization, or university, and offer personal and professional growth opportunities while fellows continue to serve their families and communities in the Americas and Asia. 


Pacific Islands Programs

The East-West Center has a long history working with, and on behalf of, the Pacific Islands region and is well-placed to capitalize on the renewed focus on the region. Building on this long engagement with the region, over the past 4 years, the Professional Development Program has been developing programs specifically focused on the Pacific Islands. These include the Pacific Islands Tourism Professional Fellows Program, the Professional Fellows Program for Young Economic Empowerment Leaders, and several Pacific Media Initiatives


The Partnership for Human Rights

Previously known as the Asian International Justice Initiative (AIJI) and now operating out of the Professional Development Program, the collaboration between the East-West Center and the Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford University is now known as the Partnership for Human Rights.  The Partnership develops capacities and partnerships related to international justice, human rights and the rule of law in the Asia Pacific region, with a specific focus on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).