A Shared Mission of Helping Others

Mar 16, 2018

Maya Soetoro-Ng, Stanley Ann Dunham’s Daughter

Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng, the daughter of Stanley Ann Dunham, shares her mother’s passion for education and peacebuilding, and her half-brother Barack Obama’s gift for words.

Born in Jakarta, Indonesia, young Maya was home-schooled by her mother and traveled with her to small villages throughout Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. She watched her mother learn every detail about the work of traditional craftspeople and help create sustainable livings for them through micro-financing. “My mother was very determined to be remembered for a life of service and thought that service was really the true measure of a life.”

Dr. Soetoro-Ng holds a Ph.D in Comparative Education and has worked at the Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution and at the University of Hawaii’s College of Education for many years. She teaches Peace Education and Leadership for Social Change, launched a nonprofit organization and national curriculum called “Ceeds of Peace,” and has worked with youth around the country to promote community service and civic engagement.

Currently an advisor to the Obama Foundation for the Asia Pacific region, Maya continues to dedicate herself to helping others and fostering community around the world. Part of her job is to select emerging leaders who are committed to working in and on behalf of communities in Asia and the Pacific. She says, “Incorporating the unique insight of these young leaders, we intend to surround them with mentors, organizational supports, advocates and philanthropists and we hope that our program will allow for deep friendship and multi-stakeholder collaboration as the leaders transform conflicts and tackle problems all across the Pacific.”