Professor Nick Barker is director of the award-winning Leadership Programs at the East- West Center in Honolulu, Hawai’i, consisting of a suite of high-performance leadership initiatives commissioned by governments including the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan, international organizations such as the United Nations and the Asian Development Bank, and private donors including the Freeman Foundation.
Nick co-founded and directs the signature Asia Pacific Leadership Program, now in its 14th year, the Advanced Leadership Program and the Hawai’i Leadership Academy. The East-West Center is an education and research organization established by the U.S. Congress in 1960 to strengthen relations in Asia Pacific and United States. Professor Barker has worked at the Center since 1996.
Dr. Barker also works as a global leadership consultant and is Asia Director of TomorrowToday, an internationally renowned consultancy business specializing in leadership, global trends and the future, and the new world of work.
After working in brand management with Procter & Gamble in Europe and Asia, Nick trained as a cultural anthropologist. He has 18 years experience teaching at leading universities in the United Kingdom, Japan and the United States, and is currently affiliate faculty in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Hawai’i. Nick has conducted long-term field research in the Philippines since 1984, as featured in the BBC/Discovery documentary, Beyond Endurance. Dr. Barker holds an M.A. in social anthropology from St. Andrews University and a Ph.D. from Cambridge University. His current research is on adaptive leadership, crisis leadership and resilience.
Professor Barker has worked with leaders from over 75 countries in a wide range of industries. Recently, he has consulted for Goldman Sachs across East Asia, presented on leadership at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, advised the United Nations on leadership development, led an executive leadership retreat in South Africa, and been a keynote speaker at the Global Leadership Conference in Beijing. Nick presents regularly on global trends and leadership to senior leaders in Nestlé worldwide. Other recent clients include Petronas, Credit Suisse, Novartis, the Prime-Minister’s Office in United Arab Emirates, Mars, Oracle, Nokia, Emirates, GEA, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, Rio Tinto, Chinalco, QBE, EQUATE, Genpact, Cairn, SPAR and Boehringer-Ingelheim. His family manufacturing business in the UK, Kentmere Packaging, was founded in 1906.
Dr. Barker is Visiting Professor of Leadership in the International MBA Program at the University of Tsukuba in Tokyo, where he lives for part of the year. He works with traditional deep-ocean navigators in Hawaii and serves on the Board of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, which will sail around the world from 2014-2018 without scientific instruments. Nick also serves on the global board of ProSPER.Net at the United Nations, which promotes education for sustainable development.