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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. 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 Indo-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 includes more than 1,000 Young Leaders from 56 countries.

The Young Leaders program has four primary objectives:

  • To foster education in the practical aspects and complexities of policymaking
  • 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 15-20 conferences and events that Pacific Forum organizes each year. Pacific Forum staff selects Young Leaders to participate based on their potential to contribute substantively to the discussion and their demonstrated ability to serve as an ambassador for themselves, the program, and Pacific Forum. Attendance often requires advance preparation and the completion of a conference project afterward, providing Young Leaders the chance to collaborate with their peers and senior experts on research and publish in outlets including Southeast Asia Globe and Pacific Forum’s PacNet, Issues & Insights, and Young Leaders Blog.

Ideal Candidates

Those best suited for the Young Leaders Program:

  • Have completed their undergraduate education and
    • Have several years of experience in Indo-Pacific security issues, or
    • Has completed or is completing their graduate education (master’s or doctoral)
  • Are ideally 25-35 years of age (flexible based on experience level)
  • Demonstrate an aptitude for international diplomacy, and an interest in Indo-Pacific security issues
  • Wish to learn more about the foreign policymaking process and gain leadership skills,
  • Possess strong communication and teamwork skills

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