The 13th class is made up of 39 leaders under the age of 40 from 31 countries across the Asia Pacific region. This year’s list includes activists, artists, educators, journalists, scientists and social entrepreneurs.
At the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, Van has worked to secure the freedom of victims of human trafficking and provide them with legal advocacy.
He was honoured by the Ministry of Public Security as “Hero of the Year” in 2015 for his contributions to rescuing more than 400 trafficked children and women in police operations across northern provinces.
Van was also the first to win the Trust Women Anti Trafficking Hero Award from the Thomson Reuters Foundation the same year.
The 2019 class will meet on November 15-17 in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, at the annual Asia 39 Young Leaders Summit. The summit – the first to be held in the US – will carry the theme “Technology & Humanity: Roadmaps for the Future.” Since the first Asia summit, held in Seoul in 2006, the initiative has connected people from the region and facilitated collaboration in tackling common challenges.
Besides Van, this year’s Asia 39 Young Leaders include Megha Rajagopalan, a 2018 Human Rights Press Awardee and an international correspondent for BuzzFeed News; Farhad Wajdi, who helped build a school in a refugee camp in Pakistan at the age of 14 and later founded a non-profit organization that challenges gender inequality in Afghanistan; and Shahab Shabibi, an Iranian based in the Philippines, who provides financial and management support to new enterprisers.
Founded in 1956, Asia Society is a non-partisan, non-profit organisation that works to address a range of challenges facing Asia and the world.
Across the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, it provides insight, generates ideas and promotes collaboration between Asia and the world.