The East-West Center’s Pacific Islands Leadership Program with Taiwan (PILP) is an innovative center for leadership development in the Pacific region. It links advanced interdisciplinary analysis of emerging issues in the Pacific with experiential leadership learning. The goal is to build a network of leaders dedicated to shaping the future prosperity of the Pacific region. Launched in 2013, the program recently graduated its seventh cohort, who now form part of a vibrant community of 157 alumni from 15 countries spanning the Pacific.

PILP serves as a lever for advancement—some participants earn scholarships to continue in higher education or to start new businesses or non-profit organizations, while others accelerate their careers across a wide array of sectors, including government ministries and the United Nations. A deeper understanding of regional and global issues—combined with reflection on personal priorities, professional growth, and plans for the future—helps participants increase their impact in their communities, countries, and the region as a whole.

During the 10-week program, divided between Honolulu and Taiwan, PILP participants:

  • Develop advanced regional knowledge and pan-Pacific perspectives by analyzing shared challenges and generating collaborative solutions
  • Enhance individual leadership capacity by learning and applying leadership theories
  • Clarify career and life goals and develop personal action plans for the future
  • Deepen emotional intelligence and the ability to thrive in a volatile, uncertain world
  • Connect the Pacific to Asia by experiencing the best of Taiwan
  • Join a dynamic leadership network and community of action spanning the Pacific region

PILP is designed for early- to mid-career professionals from:

  • Cook Islands
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Fiji
  • French Polynesia
  • Kiribati
  • Nauru
  • Niue
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Republic of the Marshall ISlands
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu

Hosted by the East-West Center, PILP is funded by a grant from the Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (IDIA) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Republic of China (Taiwan)

Featured Alumni

“PILP has been a life changing experience for me. It gave me a sense of direction and exposed me to different types of leadership skills and industrial sectors that I never imagined experiencing in life. We were led to look out from our own homes, villages, islands and countries, to look far beyond these thresholds to our region and the world.”

Naiany Karu, Director, Civil Aviation Authority, Vanuatu

“PILP gave me the courage to do things that I always wanted to do but never had the courage or confidence to do. The program also gave me the opportunity to identify my own strengths and weaknesses as a leader and to learn how to utilize my strengths for the benefit of others.”

Cathy Hite, Principal Officer, Legal Aid, Solomon Islands; after PILP, Ms Hite became an Asian Development Bank Scholar (Law) and Obama Leader Fellow.