Bonnie Ohri is the Project Director at the NGO OneSky and Board of Director of WiFA, arrived in Hong Kong in 2019. Previously, in Washington DC, Bonnie’s public service career focused on managing domestic and international health programs for marginalized communities. Prior to moving to the health field, she worked on the regulatory side of the financial services industry as well for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce representing banking industry clients. During her 2021 WIFA Spotlight series, she discusses how she stays energised, words of advice to her younger self, her mantra going forward, and much more.
- Tell us a little bit about yourself
I have had an extensive career in public service focused on designing, implementing, and managing domestic and international health programs for marginalized communities. Prior to moving into the health field, I worked on the regulatory side of the financial services industry as well for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce representing banking industry clients. After leaving the U.S. and moving to Hong Kong with my husband, I used this change to re-assess, restart, and re-energise myself by pivoting my career in a different and new direction to explore opportunities in the non-profit sector. Since arriving here, I have worked as an advisor to the MindHK on mental health issues surrounding the protests in Hong Kong; joined the NGO OneSky as a Project Director; and became the Executive Director and current Board member of Women in Finance, Asia. I am grateful to all the new friends who helped me on this journey to redirect my career!
2. How do you stay on top of your professional game? Any tips on how to keep your competitive edge?
Change is the only constant in life. So, don’t stay comfortable when you reach a plateau in your professional game – be creative, use resources online and your network to pursue new knowledge and technology. And when the next big opportunity comes along, you’re not only qualified, you’re the ideal candidate. Be generous with your time and network, and it will be there for you when you need it. Embrace a culture of communication and open engagement. And most importantly, include regular exercise, attention to nutrition, and a good night’s sleep in your daily routine to ensure a long-lasting career, instead of burning out fast.
3. Think back to when you were starting out your career. What advice would you give your younger self?
Be a lifelong learner — no matter what stage you are in your career, be curious, ask questions, and push the boundaries. Embrace technology and innovation even if they make you feel uncomfortable at first. And lastly, never give up on connecting and building relationships—that is what ultimately moves you forward not only in your career, but in your life.
4. What will be your 2021 mantra to keep you motivated, either professional or personally?
Change will happen, and if you are open-minded and flexible, you will be a part of it.