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The 2017 class of Asia 21 Young Leaders.— Photo courtesy: asiasociety.org
The 2017 class of Asia 21 Young Leaders.— Photo courtesy: asiasociety.org

Sana Mir, captain of the Pakistan women cricket team, is among 30 remarkable professionals named “Asia 21 Young Leaders” by Asia Society, a non-profit organisation that focuses on educating the world about Asia.

Mir was selected for the 2017 class of Asia 21, Asia-Pacific's foremost network of young leaders, with Asia Society noting that the cricket star had challenged attitudes about women's participation in Pakistan's male-dominated world of sport.

Mir will travel to Melbourne, Australia in December for the Asia 21 annual summit, where she will meet members of the 2017 class from 20 other countries as well as Asia 21 alumni. The summit's goal is to explore opportunities for collaboration to create positive impact and change across the Asia-Pacific region.

“To me, leadership is service,” Mir was quoted as saying. “It not only empowers individuals to be the change they wish to see, but also gives them a unique opportunity to positively impact the lives of others. I believe an able leader is one who can nurture and give others the confidence to come into their own. A leader is one who has the will and capacity to give back to society selflessly.”

Other members of this year's class include Melissa Jardine, a former Australian police officer examining how law enforcement in Asia responds to drug use, economic crimes, and terrorism; Chenhui Liu, co-founder of a mobile health startup transforming China's healthcare system; “Krating” Poonpol, a venture fund manager ushering in a startup revolution in Thailand and across Southeast Asia; Shameer Rasooldeen, a news host giving voice to Sri Lanka's marginalised and silenced voices; and Sim Chi Yin, a Singaporean photographer and filmmaker capturing how industrialisation and urbanisation are reshaping the landscape, and the people of Asia.

“Asia 21 really brings to life Asia Society's mission to build bridges of understanding across the Asia-Pacific region, across different sectors and between Asia and the world,” Asia Society President and CEO Josette Sheeran said in a statement.

“Our goal is not just to recognise the amazing work these young leaders are doing, but to connect them to one another so that they can take on some of the biggest challenges facing the Asia-Pacific region today.”

Now in its 12th year, the Asia 21 Young Leaders initiative has grown into a network of more than 800 young leaders from 40 nations, working together to shape a brighter future for the Asia-Pacific region.

A number of Pakistanis have been named Asia 21 Young Leaders in the past. They include The History Project founder Qasim Aslam, Mishermayl Productions Creative Director Madiha Gul, filmmaker Adnan Malik, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Aman Foundation's Mohsin Mustafa and Slumabad Founder Muhammad Sabir.