Nick Barker

Nick Barker

Dr. Nick Barker designs and directs leadership programs at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. This consists of a suite of award-winning leadership initiatives commissioned by governments including the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan, by international organizations such as the United Nations and the Asian Development Bank, and by private donors including the Freeman Foundation.  

Nick is Founding Director of the Leadership Program at the East-West Center, including the flagship Asia Pacific Leadership Program, now in its 20th year. The East-West Center was 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.

Nick also works as a global leadership consultant in the private sector. He is Asia Pacific Director of TomorrowToday Global, an internationally renowned consultancy specializing in leadership, global trends and the future world of work.  

Professor Barker has worked with corporate leaders from over 75 countries in a wide range of industries.

He has consulted for Goldman Sachs across East Asia, presented on leadership at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, and advised the United Nations on leadership development. Nick has also been a regular presenter on global trends and leadership to senior leaders in Nestlé worldwide. 

Other recent clients include HSBC, Boeing, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Credit Suisse, Novartis, Caterpillar, Booz Allen Hamilton, Petronas, The Prime-Minister’s Office in United Arab Emirates, Mars, Oracle, Nokia, Emirates, Dubai Port World, GEA, BUPA, Dnata, Boehringer-Ingelheim, DSM, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, Dubai Airports, Rio Tinto, Chinalco, SES, Olayan, EQUATE, Genpact, QBE, Cairn, SCG, and SPAR Group. 

Founding Director, Leadership Program, East-West Center, Asia Pacific

Global trends and futures (disruptive innovation)

Adaptive and agile leadership

Corporate anthropology

Crisis leadership, resilience and hope

Recent books:

Crisis Leadership and Resilience (2018)

Entrepreneurial Leadership (2019)

After working in brand management with Procter & Gamble in the UK, Europe and Asia, Nick trained as a cultural anthropologist.

He has 25 years’ experience teaching at leading universities in the United Kingdom, United States, Japan and Malaysia, and is affiliate faculty in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Hawaii. 

Nick has conducted long-term field research in Southeast Asia, as featured in the BBC/Discovery documentary, ‘Beyond Endurance’

He holds an M.A. in social anthropology from St. Andrews University and a Ph.D. from Cambridge University.

Dr. Barker currently holds the Professorial Chair of Leadership at Universiti Tun Abdul Razak in Malaysia.  Prior to this, he was Visiting Professor of Leadership in the International MBA Program at the University of Tsukuba in Tokyo.  

Nick works with traditional deep-ocean navigators in Hawaii and serves on the Education Board of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, which sailed around the world from 2014-2017 without scientific instruments.  

He also served on the global board of ProSPER.Net at the United Nations, which promotes education for sustainable development, and has advised the Obama Foundation for Obama Leaders.

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