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Young Leaders Program

The Young Leaders Program serves as a catalyst for training young professionals in international policy affairs at an early juncture in their careers.

The Young Leaders Program was established in 2004 to enhance cross-cultural opportunities for young scholars and foreign policy professionals to improve their policy analysis skills at an early juncture in their careers. Participation in the program affords Young Leaders an unparalleled opportunity to build networks, observe the foreign-policy making process, and voice their generation’s viewpoints within elite circles of policy specialists. They also gain a deeper understanding of serious conflicts and issues in the Asia-Pacific region, learn how experts and leaders deal with these problems, and develop their own perspectives. Our network of Young Leaders who specialize in political and international affairs in Asia continues to grow and now includes more than 1,200 Young Leaders from 60 countries.

The Young Leaders program has four primary objectives:

  • To foster education in the practical aspects and complexities of policy-making
  • To generate a greater exchange of views between young and seasoned professionals
  • To promote cross-cultural interaction and cooperation among younger professionals
  • To enrich dialogues with generational perspectives for the benefit of all attendees

Program Description

Once selected, Young Leaders will have access to the 15+ conferences and events that Pacific Forum organizes each year. There is no obligation to attend programs, but we encourage Young Leaders to connect with one another and senior experts through event opportunities and PacNav, our online community platform. In addition, Young Leaders will have the chance to collaborate on research and publish with their peers and senior experts to Pacific Forum’s distribution list of more than 8,000 key policymakers and thought-leaders around the world. Conference applications will open up usually 2-3 months in advance. Once Young Leaders are interested to attend a meeting, they fill out a short application. Pacific Forum assembles a group of Young Leaders to participate in a particular meeting based on their potential to contribute substantively to the discussion and their demonstrated ability to serve as an ambassador for themselves and our Pacific Forum Young Leaders brand. Attendance at a meeting often requires advance preparation and a group conference project afterward.

Eligibility Requirements

The person best suited to participate in the Young Leaders program is at the beginning stages of their career. They have received a bachelor’s degree and has several years of relevant professional experience in Asia Pacific security issues, or has completed or is in the process of completing a master’s or PhD degree in similar areas. The ideal age range is from 25-35, but there is flexibility based on the applicant’s level of experience. We are looking for individuals who demonstrate an aptitude for international diplomacy; an interest in Asia-Pacific security issues; a desire to learn and gain leadership experience; and strong communication and teamwork skills.

For more information, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.