Kuala Lumpur, Nov. 19, 2009 – Raj Bhavsar of Houston, a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team that won the bronze medal, is among the more than 150 emerging leaders from some 30 countries in the Asia-Pacific region who are participating in the Asia Society’s fourth annual Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit in Kuala Lumpur Nov. 20-22, 2009.

Bhavsar joins other young leaders from various sectors, all under age 40, who will explore “The Changing Face of Leadership: Crisis and Opportunity” at the Summit.

The Asia Society’s Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit is part of a larger initiative designed to help emerging leaders from across the region to develop common approaches to meet its shared challenges. “Asia 21 seeks to build networks of trust across geographic boundaries and help next generation leaders to educate one another in the highest ideals of values-based leadership,” said Asia Society Executive Vice President Jamie Metzl, who spearheads the program. “We need new types of leaders from every country who can both understand the transnational nature of the challenges we face and work together to address them, and are thrilled that Bhavsar will be joining our network.”

Bhavsar, an Indian-American, was a member of the U.S. Men’s Olympic Team that caught the imagination and hearts of the United States when it won the bronze team medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Bhavsar was a member of the U.S. Men’s National Team for 10 years and represented the USA in numerous international competitions. His gymnastics accomplishments also include two World Championship silver medals and creating two (insert event) skills that bear his name. As an Olympic sports ambassador, he enjoys speaking to kids about the importance of exercising the body and mind.

In May 2009, Bhavsar received the South Asian Excellence Award in the field of sports. He recently traveled to India, where he worked with the India’s national gymnasts, and he is currently helping boost the awareness of Olympic-level sports in India. His charitable involvement includes The Children’s Miracle Network, The Make A Wish Foundation and Daya. He recently performed gymnastics with the Helen Keller Institute’s own dance troupe in India alongside Bollywood choreographer and philanthropist Shiamak Davar. Raj received his Business Administration degree from The Ohio State University, where he was an NCAA Champion and 10 time All American.

“As an athlete and advocate of sport and fitness, I have observed first-hand how sports bring a community together and spark the national pride that plays a pivotal role in a well balanced culture,” said Bhavsar. “I am excited to be a part of the Asia 21 Young Leaders Forum and sharing how sports provide a platform to address major issues that impact the human race. I hope to expand its interests through sports while continuing to build solid pillars of strength for the pan-Asian community. I look forward to a long and productive association with the Asia Society.”

The Asia 21 Summit is the pre-eminent gathering of Asia’s most dynamic and accomplished young leaders from the Asia-Pacific region.