Obama launches Asia-Pacific leadership program in Hawaii

HONOLULU — The Obama Foundation is launching an Asia-Pacific leadership program with a series of workshops in Hawaii for 22 emerging leaders.

The leaders selected for the conference being held on the campus of the University of Hawaii at Manoa this week come from 16 countries and territories, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Thursday.


The workshops follow a pledge by President Barack Obama in 2015 to ensure Hawaii plays a role in his post-presidency work after Chicago was selected to house his presidential library and center.

“His overarching reason for wanting to do this program here is really emphasizing Hawaii is like a home to him. He has roots here. He has ties here. He thinks it’s a wonderful place,” said Bernadette Meehan, chief international officer of the Obama Foundation. “He thinks the community has a lot to offer, especially as the foundation was thinking about Asia-Pacific programming.”

The foundation launched a leadership program in Africa last year that brought 200 leaders together for an ongoing training initiative. The conference in Hawaii plans to develop a similar program for the region.

The leaders chosen for the program include two people from Hawaii, Marvin Kaleo Manuel and Leanne Kealoha Fox. Manuel is a planning manager at the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Fox works as an executive manager at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

The conference will include leadership training sessions, as well as a meeting with the former president to discuss ideas for the program.


“The president and Mrs. Obama really feel like one of the greatest things they can do as private citizens is taking the focus off of themselves and what they did during the administration and really using their spotlight to highlight the next generation of leaders coming up behind them,” Meehan said.

Obama will deliver remarks during a private event to conclude the conference Sunday.

  1. Big ideas January 5, 2019 8:33 am

    So…is he going to teach us all how to lead from behind (as in Syria)? Or…is he going to have Trump teach how to really lead from the front (neuter ISIS and get us the heck out of Syria)?

    1. CH-46 January 5, 2019 6:30 pm

      He will need to get permission and instructions from his puppeteers first.

  2. J_Maritime January 5, 2019 8:41 am

    Big Ideas, it doesn’t sound like you have any…

  3. sonneofmanisrael January 5, 2019 9:33 am

    If it’s Obama, it’s crap.

  4. ClutchCargo January 5, 2019 10:26 am

    Leadership lectures from the most inept pResident in recent history? Just what was he ever successful leading? Never held a real job, divided a nation.
    Such leadership.

    1. J_Maritime January 5, 2019 11:42 am

      I agree… his successes contain from 4 to 6 bankruptcies (depending on your source). And most recently he was duped into pulling out of an agreement to keep the government ‘open for business’ that his own re-puke-lick-can senators agreed to! As soon as he was criticized by lap dog talking heads on Faux News he withdrew his endorsement. Ya, that is real leader ship! WTF? Now thousands of government workers, the REAL patriots, are not getting paychecks… some of whom still have to go to work!.. Ya, way to go mr. rump.

      1. CH-46 January 6, 2019 7:49 am

        I am guessing he is talking about your messiah, the stuttering idiot, not the current president.

  5. Ken Conklin January 6, 2019 9:33 am

    Article says “The leaders chosen for the program include two people from Hawaii, Marvin Kaleo Manuel and Leanne Kealoha Fox. Manuel is a planning manager at the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Fox works as an executive manager at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.”

    Really? Obama chooses only 2 people from Hawaii as the best people for training as future Asia-Pacific leaders, and both of them are ethnic Hawaiians who are managers (i.e., entrenched bureaucrats) at the two state government agencies which are the core of a racial separatist empire. OHA says it has over $662 Million in assets which it devotes exclusively to “the betterment of Native Hawaiians”; and DHHL has over 200,000 acres of land where all the houses are required by law to be racially exclusionary, owned by someone who has at least 50% Hawaiian native blood. This is the racial divisiveness which passes for normal in Hawaii, whose political leaders complain about divisiveness in Washington. Go figure.

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