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Carnegie Council Appoints 10 Pacific Delegates for Fact-Finding Trip to the Philippines on Climate Change

April 19, 2018

L to R top row: Austin McKinney, Candace Burnham, Chetan Peddada; L to R middle row: Jaehyeon Park, Junko Asano, Layla Kilolu, Milan Chen; L to R bottom row: Mark Payumo, Ratchada Arpornsilp, Yoko Okura. CREDIT: Terence Hurley

In October 2018, Carnegie Council's Asia Dialogues program is leading a fact-finding trip to Manila to investigate the effects of climate change on Philippine politics and society.

With severe typhoons a regular occurrence, the Philippines has become the portrait of climate change victimhood. At COP21 in Paris, the country's representative told delegates: "For the Philippines, climate change means sorrowful catalogues of casualty and fatality; the countless voices of the homeless and the grieving, their very tears and screams carried to us by the winds and waves that blew their homes away." Many island nations like the Philippines are already being affected by rising sea levels, a specter of what lies ahead for low-lying cities such as Miami, Florida. How is the encroaching threat of climate change reshaping culture, politics, and even faith in these communities? How can the claim of economic prosperity be reconciled with the equally valid claim of sustainability and conservation? How can the way Filipinos are coping with extreme climate change-related weather and disasters inform the rest of the world about response and resilience?

Drawn from a variety of professional, regional, and academic backgrounds, the group of Pacific Delegates selected to join this trip are as follows:

Ratchada Arpornsilp (Thailand) is a Thai Fulbright Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow for 2017-2018 at the International Program, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in Cornell University.

Junko Asano (Hong Kong) is a Ph.D. candidate in international development at the University of Oxford and a senior research assistant in public international law at City University of Hong Kong.

Candace Burnham (U.S.) is an analyst with the New York State Police, assigned to the New York State Intelligence Center, a post-9/11 fusion center that links local, state, tribal, and federal partners to prevent major criminal threats.

Milan Chen (Taiwan) is a doctoral researcher under the chair of environmental and climate policy at School of Governance, Technical University of Munich, Germany.

Layla Kilolu (U.S.) is an East West Center degree fellow and graduate student in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, with an emphasis on disaster management and humanitarian assistance.

Austin McKinney (U.S.) is an MBA candidate at Harvard Business School, where he is a Tillman Scholar. He is also a captain in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and works with Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx).

Yoko Okura (Japan) Yoko Okura is the program and research manager, flood resilience, at Mercy Corps. Based in Jakarta, she manages the research and advocacy portfolios of Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Nepal for the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance.

Jaehyeon Park (Korea) is a Ph.D. student in urban planning at the Luskin School of Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles. 

Mark Payumo (U.S.) is co-founder of Strategic & Warfare Studies Group, an emerging research entity on Asia-Pacific security.

Chetan Peddada (U.S.) is a senior manager at Liberty Mutual, where he leads a team that builds machine-learning applications that are widely used throughout the organization.

The Carnegie Council's Asia Dialogues program gratefully acknowledges the support for its work from the Henry Luce Foundation.