Malaysian Social Entrepreneur, Kelvin Tan Represents APAC In Panel With President Obama In Athens, Greece

Kelvin Tan, Chief Executive Officer of Project ID, a student development and soft-skills based social enterprise based in Malaysia and over 100 other changemakers from across Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe met with President Obama last week as part of the Obama Foundation’s Obama Leaders Convening in Athens, Greece.

The five-day convening brought together changemakers from the 2023 Obama Foundation Leaders program – a leadership development programme founded on and inspired by the values and legacy of President and Mrs. Obama.

Kelvin, who represented Malaysia along with other Obama Foundation Leaders programme participants, known as “Obama Leaders,” exchanged ideas with President Obama, telling him the challenges they face and learning about opportunities to advance their work.

President Obama believes in the promise and potential of the next generation of leaders and is committed to equipping them with the tools and support they need to keep tackling some of the biggest challenges of our time.

During the Convening’s closing session, President Obama was joined onstage by his sister, Maya Soetoro. The two engaged in conversation about what they hope the next generation of changemakers will accomplish. President Obama was also joined in conversation by Kelvin Tan of Malaysia and three other Obama Leaders to share their key learnings throughout the programme.

The closing session marked the end of the 2023 Obama Leaders program experience with the Obama Foundation. The participants are now members of the Obama Foundation Leadership Network, a global community of program alumni

Earlier in February, the Obama Foundation Leaders programme announced Kelvin among 105 emerging leaders selected to join the programme’s 2023 cohort this year.

The programme trains participants around the world in leadership development and civic engagement to help build their skills and scale their work across public, private, and non-profit sectors.

Kelvin was among 35 Leaders participating in the Asia-Pacific programme. This year’s Asia-Pacific cohort represented 22 nations and territories across the region.

He got his start as a public-school teacher through Teach For Malaysia and went on to co-found and manage Project ID for more than a decade. He has also been recognised as an Acumen Fellow and as a Tatler Gen.T Honouree.

He most recently founded Edflow, a digital learning platform to support high-school students by providing a space for them to share and access learning resources.

As part of the six-month, non-residential programme, these dedicated changemakers convened virtually each week for interactive sessions designed to help them drive change by honing their leadership skills, building deep relationships with their peers, and engaging with thought leaders and members of the Obama Foundation community.

They also participated in various virtual experiences and special events, including one-on-one conversations with experienced mentors in the Foundation’s global network.

President Obama’s familial ties to the region, his time in Indonesia as a young man, and his upbringing in Hawai’i have informed his values and his faith in the passion of this generation of changemakers across the Asia Pacific region. Launched in 2019, the program is creating a network of leaders who drive positive, innovative change in their communities throughout the continent and across the globe.

The 2023 cohort of Asia-Pacific Leaders worked across a broad range of issues and focus areas, including the climate crisis, indigenous rights, education, and more.

The Obama Foundation Leaders program is designed to further inspire, empower, and connect emerging leaders from Africa, Asia Pacific, and Europe to change their respective communities and the world. To learn more, visit

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