pacific forum History of Pacific Forum

Next Gen

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 their network, 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 work to develop their own perspectives. The Young Leaders network now includes more than 1,000 current members from 56 countries.

  • To facilitate the professional growth of young professionals in international affairs
  • To generate a greater exchange of views between young and senior professionals
  • To promote cross-cultural interaction and cooperation among young professionals
  • To enrich dialogues with generational perspectives for the benefit of all attendees
Once selected, Young Leaders will have access to the 15-20 conferences and events that Pacific Forum organizes each year. Pacific Forum staff select Young Leaders to participate based on their potential to contribute substantively to a given 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 post-event paper, which provides Young Leaders the chance to collaborate with their peers and/or senior experts to publish in outlets including the Southeast Asia Globe as well as Pacific Forum’s PacNetIssues & Insights, and Young Leaders Blog.

Ideal Candidates

  • Have completed their undergraduate education in a relevant field of study
  • Have several years of experience related to Indo-Pacific geopolitics and security policy
  • Have completed or are completing their graduate education (master’s or doctoral)
  • Are between the ages of 25-35 (flexible on the low-end based on experience level)
  • Demonstrate an aptitude for international diplomacy and an interest in Indo-Pacific affairs
  • Wish to learn more about the foreign policymaking process and gain leadership skills
  • Possess strong communication, collaborative, research, and analytical skills
To apply for the fall intake, please fill out the online application form by October 31, 11:59pm HST. (The form must be completed in one go and progress cannot be saved for later if you close the form.)’

For application instructions and more information about the program, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.