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20 Young Leaders to Watch in Burma

This year's Liberty and Leadership Forum includes a sitting member of the democratically elected Burmese Parliament; a Rohingya Muslim advocate for human rights in his community; a UN public information officer who volunteers to help lift children out of poverty; and a BBC journalist whose radio programming reaches millions of Burmese youth, all of whom are contributing to their country’s transition to democracy.

Article by Brittney Bain June 26, 2017 //   6 minute read

Today, the 2017 class of the Bush Institute’s Liberty and Leadership Forum will graduate from the program. The graduation will be broadcast live on bushcenter.org.

The Bush Institute’s Liberty and Leadership Forum equips young leaders with the knowledge and skills they need to lead in countries where transitions to democracy are occurring. It uses a curriculum focused on the principles of liberal democracy and economic freedom, lessons from other democratic transitions, and practical leadership skills. With the knowledge and skills they gain from the program, the men and women of 2017 Liberty and Leadership Forum class will have many of the tools they need to succeed.

Here are this year’s graduates – 20 Young Leaders to watch in Burma:

AUNG KYAW MOE - is the Director of the Center for Social Integrity, a nongovernmental organization in Burma that promotes diversity, pluralism, and inclusion by training the next generation of professional change-makers to advocate for sustainable development and human rights in their communities. He is also a logistics manager at Coca-Cola Myanmar.

CEU HMUNG – works at Educational Initiatives where he manages a youth education program. He’s also a principal adviser to the Cherry Foundation, where he writes political commentary for the organization’s quarterly, Journal of Federalism.

CHERRY WIN - an elected vice chairperson and project director with the Mon Youth Progressive Organization (MYPO), she has analyzed the needs of ethnic Mon youth since 2013.

EI EI PHYU - serves as a program coordinator for Eastern Burma Community Schooling (EBCS), a project that brings together multi-ethnic education leaders and teachers from across Eastern Burma to develop mutual understanding and cooperation on issues related to education, professional development, and language.

HSU MON AUNG - a media and communication coordinator for the Myanmar Multiparty Democracy Programme at the Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy, an organization that provides democracy assistance to transitioning societies. She is also a co-founder of the Public Alliance for Democracy Organization where she works to strengthen public engagement with regional parliaments

HTET HTET OO - a UN public information officer who volunteers to help lift children out of poverty.

KAP KHAN KHUAL – a program officer at the International Republican Institute (IRI) implementing workshops focused on democratic campaign techniques.

KHINE MYAT THUZAR - a program manager at Local Resource Center (LRC), which allows her to work with civil society organizations and change agents from across Myanmar.

MAY ZAW NAING - a medical doctor with the Su Taung Pyae Monastic School, where she provides for the healthcare needs of students. She is a committee member of the General Practitioners’ Society in Yangon and organizes workshops on trauma healing, stigmatized mental disorders, and medical ethics.  May Zaw Naing also delivers medical care to orphans and AIDS patients.

MYO HTET - a program director, researcher, and trainer with the Knowledge Propagation Society (KPS), which works to advance democracy, political awareness, and active citizenship in the country through a youth empowerment program, a digital information literacy youth program, and a USAID-supported HP Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs. He is also co-founder of a library in Mandalay that lends social science books to university students, sponsors events on political affairs, and provides families and children a place to read.

MYO MYINT AUNG - a project director with the Mekong Regional Program of PATH, a U.S.-based organization that supports health care systems through strategic partnerships.

NANG KHAM YING NONK - a national project coordinator for the International Labour Organization (ILO). She also works to advance greater economic and political engagement for women.

NAW NOE NOE SAN - a national communication officer at the International Development Law Organization (IDLO). She is also a free-lance trainer at the Institute for Peace and Social Justice where she educates farmers on property rights.

NAY LIN TUN - A healthcare advocate, he received a full scholarship from the National University of Singapore to attend their Masters in Public Policy program.

SAI HSENG MAO –a human rights instructor at the School for Shan State Nationalities Youth (SSSNY), where he advocates for community activism and academic development for underprivileged youth.

SAI ONE LENG KHAM - an elected representative to the Upper Parliament of Myanmar and a member of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy Party in Lashio.

SAW HTOO EH - a district coordinator with Free Burma Rangers since 2007 and serves as an advocate of social justice, the peace process, and cross-cultural collaboration.

SAW MOON LIGHT PAN PO - a program manager with the German political foundation Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), where he leads the organization’s Myanmar office.

SU MYAT MON - the lead producer for BBC Media Action, managing a team of five producers in the production of a weekly youth radio show called Lin Latt Kyal Sin (Bright Young Stars) that focuses on rural adolescents.

YE YE WIN – an executive committee member of the Ta’ang Women’s Organization, she seeks to establish a training organization for young women that encourages their political participation in Burmese society.