U.S.-ASEAN Innovation Circle Grassroots Competition Winners Announcement Event



The “U.S.-ASEAN Innovation Circle” brings together 26 dynamic entrepreneurs, civil society leaders, and government representatives from the United States, ASEAN countries, Timor Leste, and the ASEAN Secretariat to collaboratively solve pressing regional challenges in four areas: women’s entrepreneurship, digital economy, socially responsible business, and start-up environments.

To learn more, visit the U.S.-ASEAN Innovation Circle Grassroots Competition webpage.



Dr. Jung H. Pak is a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs for Global China issues and Deputy Special Representative for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Prior to arriving at State, she was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, where she focused on Korean Peninsula issues, East Asia regional dynamics, and transnational threats. While at Brookings, she authored Becoming Kim Jong Un, which has been translated into multiple languages and draws from her deep knowledge and experience as an intelligence officer. Pak has held senior positions at the Central Intelligence Agency and served as the Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Korea at the National Intelligence Council. Before her career in national security, Dr. Pak taught U.S. history at Hunter College in New York City. She received her PhD from Columbia University and studied in South Korea as a Fulbright Scholar. Pak is a graduate of Colgate University, where she is Trustee Emerita and recipient of an honorary doctorate.




Josh Kallmer is Head of Global Public Policy and Government Relations at Zoom. He was most recently Executive Vice President for Policy at the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), leading efforts to influence policy development around the globe. Before joining ITI, he acted as counsel for Crowell & Moring LLP and Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Investment.







Elizabeth “Liz” Liu (Moderator) is a public diplomacy-coned Foreign Service Officer serving in the East Asia and Pacific Affairs Bureau’s Office of Multilateral Affairs as Senior ASEAN Affairs Officer. Liz previously served two tours in the Bureau of African Affairs as Special Coordinator for the Young African Leaders Initiative and Assistant Cultural Coordinator, and as a Press Officer in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. Her overseas assignments include Taiwan and the Philippines. Liz holds an MA in International Affairs at the University of California, San Diego, and a BA in Political Science from the University of Florida.




U.S.-ASEAN Innovation Circle Panelists

Dalin Nhean, U.S.-ASEAN Innovation Circle, Women’s Entrepreneurship (United States) 

Dalin Nhean is an international development professional, an independent consultant, an advocate for women’s economic empowerment, and an advisory board member. She is a Program Manager for the Economic Empowerment and Entrepreneurship department at Vital Voices Global Partnership in Washington DC, an NGO that invests in women leaders who are solving the world’s greatest challenges. In this position, she manages a highly competitive, global, one-year accelerator for women owners of small and medium-sized businesses and that are making a social impact. Dalin also serves as an advisory board member for SHE Investments LLC, a social enterprise that designs and delivers the first and only gender-focused and culturally tailored business incubator and accelerator programs for women in Cambodia.


Fizah Rashid, U.S.-ASEAN Innovation Circle, Women’s Entrepreneurship (Brunei Darussalam)

Fizah is an entrepreneur and innovator with a legal background experienced in various aspects of youth and community development for half a decade. She founded Big BWN Project, with its many national initiatives and campaigns in support of Brunei’s vision of ‘Wawasan 2035’ to create economic opportunities and to empower the local community, youth, entrepreneurs and women. Fizah has successfully initiated various impact driven community campaigns from environment awareness to supporting local small businesses to building sustainable communities. She has addressed various different panel discussions and talks, within the country and internationally. She is well known to be an effective communicator and motivator who identifies and leverages assets within the community to reach national goals.


Nasyitah Tan, U.S.-ASEAN Innovation Circle, Digital Economy (Malaysia)

Always act to make things better - this is the dictum Nasyitah often repeats to herself. She is Founder and Creative Director of social enterprise LOOMS, creator of sustainable textile material Fusartex, an educator and active contributor in community projects. She believes in the human potential to constantly improve and is also convinced that education and business-for-good are twin engines that can bring about desired, measurable social change. Nasyitah is driven by creativity, a respect for the environment, creation of opportunities for girls and women, a boundless sense of curiosity and quest for social and design innovation to bring about a more sustainable world.


Sovan Srun, U.S.-ASEAN Innovation Circle, Digital Economy (Cambodia)

Sovan is the co-founder and CEO of Edemy, established to give women access to education technology to increase female participation in the STEM fields. She created Edemy with an ambitious goal: to provide equal access to quality education for everyone. Of Edemy’s three education technology products, learning app Tesdopi is perhaps the most famous. Over 20,000 students across Cambodia use the app to diagnose their current level of understanding and close learning gaps in STEM subjects. The users spending the most time on the app are women. On bringing technological disruption to education, she is unwavering in her drive, “it’s important that we dedicate our resources to help level up the playing field, so that everyone can have a fair chance, have fair access to education.”


Khuntup Issara, U.S.-ASEAN Innovation Circle, Socially Responsible Business (Thailand)

In 2019 Khuntup joined Gobi Partners, a leading venture capital firm investing in emerging and underserved markets across Asia. He currently focuses on fundraising and investor relations activities in Southeast Asia. Prior to Gobi, he developed experience working at Foodpanda, Thanachart Securities, and Eleven and Law. Khuntup holds a Bachelor of Science focused in International Business from Brunel University, London. In his free time, he enjoys chess, tennis, and travelling.


Murali Prasad, U.S.-ASEAN Innovation Circle, Fostering Start-Up Environments (Malaysia)

Murali has over a decade of experience in building science and technology-backed startups in Malaysia. He is currently the CEO of SIZZLESCIENCE, providing commercialization strategies to multiple universities and research labs in Malaysia. He was a founding member of Angels in Science and UM Angels, Malaysia's first angel-investment circle for science- and tech-backed enterprises, and he promoted the establishment of other angel-investor circles in the country. Murali led in-country activities for GIST initiative, advising a Japanese VC fund focused on investing in high-tech startups in Southeast Asia. He is a board member of a Malaysian state-funded green-tech startup that aims to bring disruption to the 200-year-old rubber industry.