In this first session of our Positive Outliers Series, we discuss the importance of developing capable public leaders and effective governance.
Listen to the conversation with HE Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia; Yawa Hansen-Quo, Executive Director, Emerging Public Leaders, and Wu Wei Neng, Executive Director, Chandler Institute of Governance.
The discussion highlighted the importance of civil service training for government and its future leaders. #PositiveOutliers21
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the first democratically elected woman president in Africa, leading Liberia from 2006-2018. A promoter of freedom, peace, justice, women’s empowerment and democratic rule, she led Liberia through reconciliation and recovery following the nation’s decade-long civil war, as well as the Ebola Crisis.
In 2011, she won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in bringing women into the peacekeeping process and has garnered further acclaim for her achievements fostering economic, social, and political change. Recognized as a global leader for women’s empowerment, President Sirleaf has an unwavering commitment to improving the lives of Africans.
Founding the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development brings together her past accomplishments with a platform for the future.
Yawa Hansen-Quao is a visionary leader whose career intersects with the values and goals of Emerging Public Leaders. As Executive Director, she works to strengthen Emerging Public Leaders’ organizational development and expand their network of country-led programs. Prior to joining Emerging Public Leaders, she spent nearly a decade nurturing female leadership and social entrepreneurship in Africa through the Leading Ladies Network (LLN), a nonprofit she founded in Ghana.
In May 2012, at the World Economic Forum on Africa, Yawa was recognized as one of Africa’s Rising Leaders and in 2016 was awarded an Eisenhower Fellowship in honor of her pioneering work nurturing emerging women leaders.
In addition to being a founder, speaker, and author, Yawa served for three years on the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community; and is a current member of the Board of Directors of Ashesi University; a leading liberal arts university in Ghana. She previously served as a leadership consultant to UN Women helping to develop leadership curricula to enhance the capacity of women leaders in East and Southern Africa. Additionally, Yawa served for two years as a member of the Advisory Board of the Women's Institute for Global Leadership at Benedictine University.
Wu Wei Neng is the Executive Director of the Chandler Institute of Governance, an international non-profit organisation based in Singapore.
The Chandler Institute supports government leaders and public officers through training, research, advisory services and resourcing. In this capacity, he develops the Institute’s strategic priorities and direction, and oversees research, programmes and partnerships with governments and partners worldwide.
Wei Neng has worked extensively in the areas of public policy, research and analysis for the past 15 years. He currently holds adjunct appointments with the Centre for Liveable Cities, Ministry of National Development, and the Singapore Civil Service College under the Prime Minister’s Office.
Prior to this, he worked in public policy design and implementation in the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Defence, and in training and development work at the Civil Service College. He dealt with major strategic and policy initiatives such as the US-Singapore Strategic Framework Agreement; bilateral defence agreements with various countries; energy policy negotiations at the bilateral and ASEAN levels; and bilateral climate change negotiations. He was lead national negotiator for climate finance and investment issues at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
Matthew Bishop is a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution. In 2018, with John McArthur, he co-founded “17 Rooms,” a Brookings Institution and Rockefeller initiative to convene global leaders and promote collaboration to accelerate progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He is also a founder and board member of the Social Progress Imperative, which publishes the Social Progress Index, and a co-founder of the #givingtuesday campaign. Previously, Matthew was managing director of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, where he built and led a global institute focused on assembling global leaders to find solutions for some of the world's biggest challenges. This followed a 25-year career as a writer, editor, and conference curator at The Economist.
Matthew’s research focuses on the SDGs and systems change, particularly how the private sector can use its influence and capital to further social progress. His book Philanthrocapitalism: How Giving Can Save the World (2008), written with Michael Green, offers a road map toward a new understanding of philanthropy, one in which entrepreneurs and innovators play a critical role in solving the most challenging issues facing the world. Other works include the 2011 book The Road from Ruin, also co-authored with Green, which puts forth an agenda to reform capitalism in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, and Economics A to Z, the official Economist introduction to economics.
Matthew holds a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University and was on the faculty of London Business School. He was also honored by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader.