pacific forum History of Pacific Forum

Issues & Insights Vol. 10 – No. 04

In 2004, Pacific Forum founded the Young Leaders program because it had become apparent to us that a generational transition was underway in the Asia Pacific region and many of the assumptions that guided thinking about regional relations were being re-examined. The YL program has tried to hone in on the seeming divergence of views. In the meantime, it has become one of Pacific Forum’s most important initiatives: after 6 years, we have over 350 alumni from over 25 countries. In addition to providing a platform for this group’s views, it has offered them unparalleled access to decision makers, unique insights into how the track two and the foreign policy decision making process work, and, perhaps most significantly, has offered this group a chance to begin the process of community building. If confidence, trust, and respect are the cornerstones of effective foreign policy, then the Young Leaders program is laying a foundation for the future.