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October 2, 2015

Manny Pacquiao is Asia Society’s 2015 Asia Game Changer

Manny Pacquiao
Photo credits: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Boxing legend and humanitarian Manny Pacquiao named 2015 Asia Game Changer of the Year; awardees will be honored at Asia Game Changer Awards Dinner and Celebration at the U.N. on October 13, 2015.

Asia Society today announced the 2015 Asia Game Changers, recognizing those making a transformative and positive difference for the future of Asia and the world. Manny Pacquiao will be honored as the 2015 Asia Game Changer of the Year, following in the footsteps of Alibaba CEO Jack Ma, who took the honor in 2014.
"The Asia Game Changer Awards address the lack of recognition for Asians who are transforming ideas into action and improving lives," said Asia Society President Josette Sheeran. "This year's honorees could not be more different from one another. They include a group of scientists, a comedian, a dancer, a fighter pilot and a boxer. What they share in common is that they all fight for a better today and inspire the world to do things differently."
While all honorees received widespread support, "one individual rose to the top of our list," said Sheeran. "Manny Pacquiao achieved his remarkable success after a childhood of extreme hunger and poverty. Today, Manny is a major humanitarian force, directing his philanthropy toward numerous causes, including education and the fight against human trafficking. He is a remarkable inspiration and demonstrates the power of giving back to transform people's lives."

Pacquiao and the other honorees will attend the Asia Game Changer Awards Dinner and Celebration at the United Nations on October 13, 2015. Pacquiao will also address the gathering. Among the Asia Society trustees presenting the awards will be Citi CEO, Global Consumer Banking Stephen Bird; renowned opera singer Renee Fleming; Pepsi Co Chairman and CEO Indra K. Nooyi; veteran broadcaster Charlie Rose; former Australian Prime Minister and President of the Asia Society Policy Institute Kevin Rudd; and Asia Society Co-Chairs Ronnie C. Chan and Henrietta H. Fore. The evening will also feature a special live performance by global music movement Playing For Change, recipient of the 2014 Asia Game Changer award.

Honorees are selected through a global survey of more than 1,000 thought leaders. The 2015 awardees are:

Asia Game Changer of the Year: Manny Pacquiao (The Philippines)

Humanitarian, world-famous boxing champion, and member of the Philippines House of Representatives For using his sport, and his star power, as sources for good

Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura (Japan)
2014 Nobel Laureates in Physics and inventors of a new energy-efficient light source — the blue LED For lighting our world in a groundbreaking and sustainable way

Chanda Kochhar (India)
CEO of ICICI Bank and the first woman to head an Indian bank
For breaking the glass ceiling, transforming an industry, and empowering the masses

Lei Jun (China)
Founder & CEO of Xiaomi, China's leading smartphone vendor For changing the game of communication in China and beyond

Li Cunxin (Australia/China)
Artistic Director of the Queensland Ballet, known as "Mao's Last Dancer" For his art, his courage, and his cultural diplomacy

Aasif Mandvi (United States/India)
Comedian, activist and powerful spokesperson for Muslims and Asian Americans For using comedy to challenge perceptions, and work for good

Mariam al-Mansouri (United Arab Emirates)
Fighter pilot, UAE Air Force and role model for women throughout the Arab world For battling stereotypes, and terror, from the air

Kiran Bir Sethi (India)
Founder, Design for Change and The Riverside School, and champion of youth volunteerism For empowering children to change the world

In 2014, in addition to Jack Ma and Playing for Change, other Asia Game Changers were Japanese architect Shigeru Ban; Pratham co-founder and CEO Madhav Chavan; My Shelter Foundation and Liter of Light founder Lilac Diaz; the charitable organization Fashion Girls for Humanity; former Indonesian Minister and disaster relief specialist Kuntoro Mangkusubroto; MOBY Group chairman Saad Mohseni; Acumen CEO Jacqueline Novogratz; Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy; groundbreaking neuroscientist Pawan Sinha; education activist Malala Yousafzai; and Chinese education reformer Zhang Minxuan.

More information about the 2015 awardees, including bios, and the October 13 event is available at

Members of the media should email for details.

Asia Society is pleased to have Citi as the underwriting partner for the 2015 Asia Game Changer Awards and Dinner and Philippine Airlines as its Asia Game Changer Award Sponsor for Game Changer of the Year.

Other Information: 
Asia Society Philippines aims to strengthen relationships, deepen understanding and bridge differences across the Philippines, Asia and the United States. It develops cross-sector programs that bring together peoples, leaders and institutions to promote understanding of Asia, across the fields of policy, business leadership, education and arts and culture. Part of a global network of 11 Asia Society centers in Asia and the United States, Asia Society Philippines is dedicated in helping to create a more collaborative and shared future for Asia, especially encouraging dialogue and fostering new partnerships.

Asia Society Philippines Trustees: Washington SyCip, Founding Chairman; Doris Magsaysay Ho, Chair; Jorge L. Araneta, Joselito D. Campos, Jr., Teresita Sy-Coson, Frederick Y. Dy, Jaime Enrique Y. Gonzalez, Oscar M. Lopez, Atty. Ricardo J. Romulo, Edward A. Tortorici, Luis J.L Virata, Fernando Zobel de Ayala.

About Asia Society
Asia Society is the leading educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among peoples, leaders and institutions of Asia and the United States in a global context. Across the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, the Society provides insight, generates ideas, and promotes collaboration to address present challenges and create a shared future.

Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit institution with headquarters in New York, centers in Hong Kong and Houston, and offices in Los Angeles, Manila, Mumbai, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, and Washington, DC.

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