The First Indonesian to Receive McCain Institute Fellowship is a Freeporter!
10 January 2020
I will be excited to have Ledy return to Freeport Indonesia to share her experience with our workforce and continue her development into one of our great future leaders.
Ledyani Simarmata, PT Freeport Indonesia’s Superintendent-Media Relations Engagement, is the first Indonesian to participate in the prestigious McCain Institute’s Next Generation Leaders program. Based in Washington, D.C., the program trains leaders from around the world to return home ready to make a difference.
Simarmata’s fellowship is focusing on expanding engagement and partnerships between PTFI and its external stakeholders in the country’s complex mining sector. During the nine-month program, she is working with Arizona State University’s Decision Theater Network to develop her Leadership Action Plan. The plan will include strategies to use data science and information technology to benefit the mining sector, its community and Indonesia.
“My goal is to investigate how we can utilize data, analytics, machine learning and visualization to increase understanding and have better-informed policy conversations,” Simarmata said. “There are many challenges in the mining sector. My objective is to help achieve cooperation among the stakeholders by creating mutual and fact-based understanding of various perspectives.”
McCain Institute and Simarmata’s Inspiration
Inspired by the leadership of the late U.S. Senator John McCain and his family’s history of public service, the McCain Institute for International Leadership offers programs across a range of critical areas: leadership development, human rights, rule of law, international security and the fight against human trafficking, according to the Institute’s website. In particular, Sen. McCain’s legacy piqued Simarmata’s interest.
“I was a television journalist before joining the mining industry. I remember the media coverage in Indonesia on the 2008 U.S. presidential election, including stories about Sen. McCain. To me, he was an inspirational leader and a statesman,” Simarmata said.
She is enrolled in the program with seven other participants from Guatemala, Ghana, India, Lesotho, Lithuania, Myanmar and the Philippines. She is impressed by her program peers and by the men and women who have previously completed the fellowship.
“The program’s alumni are extraordinary individuals in their fields. Each is already contributing to the betterment of their countries,” she said.
The program aligns with Simarmata’s personal and professional aspirations. She graduated with a Master of Science in Information Systems from Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester, where she was a recipient of the highly regarded British Chevening Awards scholarship.
Leadership in Action
Inside the round, red brick building located on the Arizona State University campus halfway around the world, Simarmata joins some of the world’s best data and social scientists. Using super computing capabilities and advanced software, Arizona State University’s Decision Theater visualizes data and information to facilitate better, more informed decision-making to solve the world’s complex problems.
The interweaving of social science and technology has created the perfect partner for Simarmata as she seeks to improve policy conversations in the mining sector.
“No doubt this could be difficult, but the tool I am learning about offers many opportunities to create mutual understanding and to see the consequences of decisions before they are actually made,” she said. “It yields a visualized, multi-disciplined analysis that shows how changes in one variable have ripple effects elsewhere in the problem.”
Jon J. Miller, ASU Decision Theater Network Director, is thrilled to have Simarmata join the team.
“Everyone brings a different set of experiences and perspectives,” Miller said. “We are looking forward to learning more and determining how we can help her best make a positive contribution upon her return.”
The late Sen. McCain and Freeport-McMoRan agreed on the benefits of responsible mining to both local communities and the national and global economies. Sen. McCain also had acknowledged the company’s role in improving local communities, especially in Arizona, with several awards. Simarmata’s participation in the program mirrors these shared values and is highly supported by the company.
Rob Schroeder, PTFI Executive Vice President-Chief Financial Officer, could not be more proud of Simarmata’s selection for the program.
“To say this opportunity is prestigious is an understatement, as eight participants were selected out of nearly 1,000 applicants,” Schroeder said. “I will be excited to have Ledy return to Freeport Indonesia to share her experience with our workforce and continue her development into one of our great future leaders.”
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