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ASIAN LEADERS TALK: 'The world needs people who will devote themselves to the common good' says Ramon Magsaysay Awardee Angkhana Neelapaijit

Mar 04, 2022
10 min read

2019 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee ANGKHANA NEELAPAIJIT is a champion of justice for the marginalized in Southern Thailand. Through the Asian Leaders Talk, we asked her quick take on transformative leadership and Greatness of Spirit.

RMAF: How do you define transformative leadership?

NEELAPAIJIT: A transformative leader is the leader who accepts all changes that happen with a strong mind and courage. The leader should have courage to make decisions and be ready to solve problems that arise with resilience, patience and accountability.

RMAF: How did you overcome some of your biggest challenges?

NEELAPAIJIT: My biggest challenge is the courage to face my fears especially when working in situations of conflict and violence. To make peace requires courage, sacrifice and empathy to all human beings. To overcome this challenge, I ought to have a strong heart and mind to dedicate myself to continue my work to protect the rights of those who are vulnerable since I have to ensure the safety not only for myself, but also for the people I work with.

RMAF: What was the best advice you have been given?

NEELAPAIJIT: The best advice is not to give up, whether in success or failure, keep on the struggle.

RMAF: What differentiates a great leader from a good leader?

NEELAPAIJIT: Great leaders are those who dedicate themselves to others and are not afraid of changes. They are the creator of the history of change. While good leaders may not be able to make any change or dare to make decisions in a risky situation.

RMAF: What does the world need more of today?

NEELAPAIJIT: The world today needs people who have the courage to make decisions, accept all changes with honesty and devote themselves to the common good. Forgive others for their mistakes and be responsible for any errors that occur, listen and accept the participation of all parties and leave no one behind.


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Angkhana Neelapaijit receiving the medallion during the 61st Ramon Magsaysay Awards Presentation Ceremonies held August 31, 2019. In photo are Ma. Leonor Robredo, Vice President of the Philippines (center) and Amb. Jose L. Cuisia Jr., Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation Chairman (right).