Media gallery

Photo courtesy of U.S. Embassy in Manila

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2015
Manila, Philippines
November 12 – 19, 2015

On November 10, 2015, six students — Matthew Deininger (’18) from Pittsboro, NC (Mathematics, Economics and Political Science); Gray Johnson (’16) from Aiken, SC (Political Science); Jonathan Kubakundimana (’16) from Kigali, Republic of Rwanda (Political Science); Kelsey Orr (’17) from Winston-Salem, NC (Political Science and Asian Studies); Mallary Taylor (’16) from Greenville, SC (Political Science and Psychology); and Nathan Thompson (’16) from Arlington, VA (Economics and Political Science) along with Dr. Cleve Fraser, Department of Political Science, and Dr. Jason Jones, Department of Economics departed for an experience of a lifetime to Manila, Philippines where they served as citizen diplomats to the 2015 APEC CEO Summit.

Read the Op-Ed article written by Gray Johnson and Mallary Taylor; read an article penned by Erikah Haavie, contributing writer for Furman University, about the APEC experience in Manila. Also, the group presented at Furman Engaged 2016 in the spring; click here to view their presentation. For a special report on the APEC Voices of the Future 2015 in Manila, click here.

For the Program Schedule, click here. To follow the students on their blog, click here.

The trip began with a tour of the U.S. Embassy in Manila, which was arranged by a Furman alum and APEC alum Rachael Parrish, who is the Human Rights Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Manila. She also arranged for a meeting with the U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg and a lunch with Foreign Service officers.

The Voices of the Future students had access to every major and minor talk. They heard President Obama, Chinese President Jinping Xi, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Philippian President Benigno Aquino, Columbian President Juan Manuel Santos, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, Vietnam President Truong Sang, Taiwan President Ying-jeou Ma, CEO of Alibaba Group Jack Ma, CEO of Uber Travis Kalanick, and CEO of Teach for America Wendy Kopp. There were also numerous other business and news leaders that spoke as parts of a number of panels they attended. The students were able to catch some of these leaders in the hallways which lead to memorable conversations (particularly talking with Eurasia Group CEO Ian Bremmer).

For videos featuring the students, see below.

Jonathan Kubakundimana

Nathan Thompson

Kelsey Orr

Mallary Taylor