Launched in 2013, the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) is U.S. government’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia. Through a variety of programs and engagements, including U.S. educational and cultural exchanges, regional exchanges, and seed funding, YSEALI seeks to build the leadership capabilities of youth in the region, strengthen ties between the United States and Southeast Asia, and nurture an ASEAN community. YSEALI focuses on critical topics identified by youth in the region: civic engagement, environment and natural resources management, and entrepreneurship and economic development.
Approximately 65% of people in the ASEAN region are under the age of 35. YSEALI is an effort to harness the extraordinary potential of youth in the region to address critical challenges and expand opportunities.
The YSEALI community consists of bright young leaders, 18–35 years old, from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Laos, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam who are making a difference in their communities, countries, and the region.