U.S. Convenes 150 Young Southeast Asian Leaders at the 10th Anniversary YSEALI Summit

BALI -Today in Bali, the U.S. State Department and 150 alumni of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) kicked off “YSEALI Summit 2023: A Decade of Impact,” in celebration of Indonesia’s ASEAN chair year and YSEALI’s 10th anniversary.  The U.S. Mission to Indonesia is hosting young leaders from ASEAN member states and Timor-Leste from December 3 to 8 for workshops, site visits, and skills-building exercises, as part of the U.S. commitment to developing young leaders and deepening connections between the United States and ASEAN.

Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Elizabeth M. Allen provided opening remarks, welcoming the delegates and outlining the U.S. vision for the future of YSEALI.“Your voices and your actions are pivotal to realizing our shared vision for a free, open, prosperous Indo-Pacific,” said Under Secretary Allen. “Our investment in your success is reflected in our commitment to educational and cultural exchanges, including the fact that last year, we committed to doubling the YSEALI program and will see YSEALI fellowships expand starting in 2025. We cannot wait to welcome over 900 young people from the region each year to participate in a YSEALI exchange program in the United States.”The Summit convenes alumni for a series of interactive informational sessions, masterclasses, group exercises, project-based learning experiences, networking and community dialogues, site visits, and cultural activities.  Delegates will discuss impactful leadership, harnessing social media, the potential of artificial intelligence as a vehicle for public good, taking action through private-public partnerships, and the intersection of community and political action.

Up to 50 summit participants will receive an award of up to 700 USD to support their professional development as leaders, and 20 YSEALI project teams will be awarded seed funding of 5,000 USD to implement initiatives to create positive change in their communities and beyond.

Founded in 2013, YSEALI is the U.S. government’s signature program to provide skills training to youth in Southeast Asia.  YSEALI concentrates on four cornerstone issues—Civic Engagement, Economic Empowerment and Social Entrepreneurship, Education, and Environmental Issues—and equips the next generation of leaders to create impactful change in their communities and beyond.

Since 2013, YSEALI’s digital network has grown to include nearly 160,000 youth change-makers.  Six thousand network members are also direct alumni of YSEALI exchange programs, regional workshops, the YSEALI Academy, and YSEALI Seeds for the Future grant competitions.  YSEALI members represent the breadth and diversity of ASEAN, and they exemplify the YSEALI motto: “Never too young to lead.”