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Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI)


What is YSEALI?

Launched in 2013, the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) is the 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.


We believe that young people are instrumental in plotting the course of Southeast Asia’s future. Approximately 65% of people in the ASEAN region are under the age of 35. Youth are innovative, creative, and eager to contribute their ideas and energy to improve not only their own lives, but the lives of others in their communities. Together, we can make a difference.


  1. Civic Engagement in ASEAN
  2. Education
  3. Economic Development
  4. Environment

YSEALI Opportunities

  • YSEALI Seeds for the Future awards funding for your public service projects.
  • YSEALI Generation Workshops provide hands-on training and peer networking to give you the necessary tools to take on leadership roles.
  • YSEALI Fellows invite students, young professionals, and mid-career community organizers to the United States to deepen their knowledge about regional issues and share their experiences.
  • YSEALI Social Media and youth-to-youth outreach campaigns link U.S. embassies, young leaders, and communities together to collaborate and respond collectively to shared ASEAN challenges.
  • Other Benefits include attending speaker programs, joining cultural performance events, interacting with top U.S. leaders.  Past YSEALI members have met U.S. ambassadors, the U.S. Secretary of State, and even the President of the United States

You need to be a YSEALI member to apply for YSEALI programs. Register to become a YSEALI member here.


If you have any questions about YSEALI, please email: YSEALI_Laos@state.gov.