U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris Engages Young Southeast Asian Leaders in Jakarta

JAKARTA – Vice President Kamala Harris met with young leaders from ASEAN Member States and Timor-Leste at the Young Southeast Asian Leaders (YSEALI) Matters Forum in Jakarta on September 6, 2023, in a demonstration of U.S. commitment to young leaders and the future of the ASEAN region, and to champion the importance of youth in advancing ASEAN’s central role in leading the Indo-Pacific.

Building off Indonesia’s ASEAN chair year theme, “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth,” the U.S. Missions to Indonesia and ASEAN hosted the youth leaders at the YSEALI Matters: Leading with Impact Forum in Jakarta from September 5 to 8, 2023.  The forum brought together 37 YSEALI alumni for a two-day program on the sidelines of the U.S.-ASEAN Summit where U.S. and Southeast Asian experts and officials led sessions and offered their expertise.  Discussions focused on impactful leadership, the potential of artificial intelligence as a vehicle for public good, taking action through public-private partnerships, and the intersection of community and political action.  They also discussed the importance of incorporating Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access principles in community engagement.  Vice President Harris shared her appreciation for YSEALI’s impact and leadership on issues facing the region before heading into the start of her Summit engagements.

The Forum is part of the U.S. government’s programing celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the YSEALI program and the broad impact and network it created across the region.  Through a variety of programs and engagements, YSEALI seeks to build the leadership capabilities of youth in the region, strengthen ties between the United States and Southeast Asia, and nurture a community of leaders who work across borders to solve shared issues.  YSEALI is open to young people ages 18-35 from all ASEAN member countries and Timor-Leste.  Responding to priorities from youth in Southeast Asia, YSEALI programs focus on four themes: Civic Engagement; Economic Empowerment and Social Entrepreneurship; Education; and Environmental Issues.  It includes a growing network of 6,000 alumni and 150,000 members.

Link to Fact Sheet:  Deepening the United States-ASEAN People-to-People Relationship: Investing in education, cultural exchange, and the next generation of leaders