Asia-Pacific conference draws record turnout

Chiaki Tanuma, MPS '80
Chiaki Tanuma, MPS '80, a Cornell trustee and president of the Cornell Club of Japan and of the Cornell Hotel Society Japan, speaks at the Cornell Asia-Pacific Leadership Conference in Shanghai.

The sixth Cornell Asia-Pacific Leadership Conference, held April 19-21 in Shanghai, drew record-high attendance of nearly 100 Cornell alumni, parents, friends and faculty members. Representatives from 10 Cornell clubs – Bangladesh, Beijing, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Shanghai, Singapore, Taiwan and the United States – gathered at the historic Ruijin InterContinental and the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund to network and share best practices about volunteer leadership with Cornell.

The conference, sponsored by the Division of Alumni Affairs and Development, was held this year in conjunction with the Cornell International Summit, co-presented by the College of Architecture, Art and Planning (AAP), the School of Hotel Administration (SHA) and the Cornell Hotel Society Asia Pacific Regional Meeting.

Among the weekend’s featured talks were university updates from Dean Kent Kleinman (AAP), Dean Michael Johnson (SHA), Cornell trustee Chiaki Tanuma, M.P.S. ’80, and emeritus trustee and Presidential Councillor Martin Tang ’70. Jason Locke, director of undergraduate admissions, gave an overview of Cornell’s international recruitment efforts, and there was a discussion about alumni engagement by Mark Hansen ’79 and Bobby Tsai ’83, Cornell Alumni Association leaders from the region.

This year’s thematic program, “Cornell International Summit: Hospitality, Real Estate and the Built Environment,” was opened by Zhao Wen, vice mayor of Shanghai. She addressed Cornellians as well as local industry and government leaders on the important role Cornell and Cornellians play in regional development and prosperity.

In keeping with the university’s strategic emphasis on the region, the Asia-Pacific Leadership Conference has gradually expanded its reach each year since it began. The first event, spearheaded by alumni leaders in Hong Kong in 2007, drew approximately 20 of the region’s most committed volunteers. Subsequent events took place in Singapore (2008), Seoul (2010), Beijing (2011) and Hong Kong (2012). More than half of all Cornell alumni residing outside North America make their homes in the Asia-Pacific region.

Hongnan Ma ’01 is director of international programs in the Division of Alumni Affairs and Development.

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