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Alan Miller

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa alumnus Alan Miller is one of two recipients of this year’s East-West Center (EWC) Distinguished Alumni Award. The award recognizes outstanding accomplishments, including significant contributions to the promotion of better relations and understanding among the peoples of Asia, the Pacific and the United States; significant career achievement; and continuing support for the goals and objectives of EWC.

Miller earned his master’s degree in political science and was an aspiring young journalist at the EWC in the late 1970s. The highlight of his experience was his field study doing an internship at the Tokyo bureau of the Washington Post.

“I got to shadow the Post’s East Asian bureau chief, complete a project on the American press in Japan and write two stories that were published in the paper. Heady stuff for a 23-year-old,” Miller told the several hundred alumni assembled in-person and online for an awards luncheon on the first day of the 2022 EWC/EWCA International Conference in Honolulu.

Following his time at EWC, Miller went on to a three-decade, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism career. In 2008, he founded the News Literacy Project, a groundbreaking national nonprofit that creates tools and programs for educators and the public about how to determine what news and other information to trust.

“My time at the [East-West] Center was one of the most consequential and enriching experiences of my life,” Miller said in a video address, after a bout of COVID-19 prevented him from attending the event in person. “Since embarking on my second career with the News Literacy Project, it’s been gratifying to make connections with my Center experience as well…In the end, it is the close friendships forged at the Center that have been the most meaningful.”

The other recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award was leadership coach and mentor Gandolgor Purevjav from Mongolia.

“It is such an honor to be able to recognize our East-West Center sister from Mongolia and our brother from D.C., that’s how we think of ourselves at the East-West Center ʻohana,” said EWC President Suzanne Vares-Lum. “Investments in our emerging leaders who make a difference is central to the East-West Center’s continuing mission to create better relations and understanding between the peoples of the United States, Asia and the Pacific.”

A version of this story is posted on the East-West Center website.

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