“Being brought aboard to help found the Southeast Asian Islands Society is an incredible experience and valuable opportunity,” says Oden. “I look forward to working with community leaders throughout Southeast Asia to help inspire and empower more in their communities to participate in foreign affairs and cultural relations.”
“In the last few years, Southeast Asia has re-emerged as a potential area of concern for international peace and security,” says Keiko Ono, Executive Director of Regional Societies at the Islands Society. “It is also one of the most diverse cultural regions in the world. It is therefore critical that we more fully engage islanders across the region as partners in foreign affairs and cultural relations. That is the mission of the Southeast Asian Islands Society. And, we are confident that Rebecca Oden will do an outstanding job in laying the foundation for the new society.”
Over the next few months, Oden will be responsible for drafting a strategic plan and messaging framework for the Southeast Asian Islands Society. She will also be recruiting ambassadors, business leaders, nonprofit leaders, and senior academics from the region to serve on its Board of Advisers. And, she will launching online communities that will provide Southeast Asian islanders with new platforms to engage in foreign affairs and overseas exchanges.
“In the past, I have had the opportunity to live in indigenous communities throughout the Philippines and interact with thousands of native islanders,” adds Oden. “Based on these experiences, I feel strongly that there is a clear need to provide for Southeast Asian islanders, especially among women and next generation leaders, with more opportunities to share their cultures and their ideas. I therefore look forward to implementing programs that will provide Southeast Asian islanders with platforms to share their unique cultures and ideas with the world.”
About the Islands Society
The Islands Society is a “Top-Rated” American 501(c)(3) nonprofit working to respect, inspire, and empower islanders around the world. These projects are currently organized around two main themes: community projects and next generation leaders. The community projects center on ten issue areas, including charity, conservation, democracy, disaster relief, education, equality, health, innovation, security, and sustainability. Meanwhile, the next generation leader projects support artists, athletes, chefs, incubators, musicians, policymakers, storytellers, and technologists. The Islands Society is based on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
Southeast Asian Islands Society
The Southeast Asian Islands Society is one of eiught constituent societies of the Islands Society. Its primary mission will be to develop and implement programs that enable individuals and sub-national organizations from island communities in archipelagic Southeast Asia to more fully participate in international relations. Specifically, the society develops and implements programs that provide women, ethnic minorities, and the next generation of leaders from island communities across Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand with the knowledge, networks, platforms, and exposure required to realize their full potential as artists, athletes, chefs, designers, educators, musicians, nurses, scholars, policymakers, scientists, technologists, etc.
About Rebecca Oden
Rebecca is the Community Engagement Manager of the Southeast Asian Islands Society. She is currently a Social Strategist with NUVI where she works with hundreds of marketing agencies throughout the world. Prior to this, she was an award-winning journalist for her work throughout New York City and Utah. Prior to receiving her BFA from Brigham Young University, she studied at La Universidad de Alcala in Madrid, Spain.
Image Credit: eric molina (Flickr CC)