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YSEALI Professional Fellows 2024

What is it?

The YSEALI Professional Fellows Program is a professional development exchange program for the best and brightest community leaders from one of the 11 YSEALI member nations (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam), working in the fields of civic engagement, NGO management, economic empowerment, governance, legislative process, environmental and natural resources management. The YSEALI Professional Fellows Program provides participants with a 5 – 6 week-long fellowship at a U.S.-based non-profit organization, government office or legislative body. Fellows will work with community leaders to enhance their practical expertise, leadership skills and professional contacts to address issues in their home communities.

The YSEALI Professional Fellows Program is a two-way exchange program designed to promote mutual understanding, enhance leadership and professional skills, and build lasting and sustainable partnerships between emerging leaders in Southeast Asia and the United States. YSEALI Professional Fellows participate in a hybrid program, including virtual activities and a tentative in-person U.S.-based exchange. Applicants will select one of two possible program cycles in 2024.

The program is designed to promote mutual understanding, enhance Fellows’ leadership and professional skills, and build lasting and sustainable partnerships between emerging leaders in Southeast Asia and the United States. YSEALI PFP is administered under four Institute themes: Civic Engagement, Economic Empowerment, Governance and Society, and Sustainable Development and the Environment.

The program concludes in Washington to allow for engagement with policymakers and networking among YSEALI Professional Fellows from across ASEAN and Timor-Leste. A select group of Americans who worked with the YSEALI Professional Fellows will then travel overseas to further strengthen relationships, continue to collaborate on issue-based projects, and mentor other YSEALI members.


Who is eligible to apply?

Young professionals from YSEALI countries who are leading change and innovation in civil society, the public sector, or the private sector.  You must be a YSEALI member to apply for the Professional Fellows Program. Please join now at https://asean.usmission.gov/young-southeast-asian-leaders-initiative/ to get regular updates on upcoming Professional Fellows Programs and other opportunities.


What are the eligibility requirements?

Applicants must:

  • Be a citizen of, and currently residing in, one of the YSEALI member nations;
  • Mid-level professionals, ages 25-35, currently employed and with at least two years of professional experience at the time of application;
  • Have a track record of making an impact in their community, institution or company;
  • Be proficient in spoken and written English at the time of application;
  • Be highly interested in developing an individual project in their hometown, workplace or community;
  • Be self-directed and able to work effectively in a cross-cultural setting; and
  • Eligible to receive a United States J-1 visa.

What are the selection criteria?

  • Demonstrate a strong track record of leadership or positive impact in their community or workplace;
  • Demonstrate knowledge, or professional experience in one of the YSEALI themes: Civic Engagement, Sustainable Development and the Environment, Governance and Society or Economic Empowerment;
  • Demonstrate a commitment or interest to community service, volunteerism, or mentorship;
  • Indicate a serious interest in learning about the United States and ASEAN as a region;
  • Be willing to actively participate in a professional work environment to develop professional capacities and leadership skills;
  • Have a commitment to return to their home country to apply leadership skills and training to benefit their community, country, or the ASEAN region;

For further information, please visit https://www.ysealipfp.org/

How do I apply?

Starting Your Application 

The YSEALI PFP application can be accessed online in the YSEALI PFP 2024 Application portal. This portal is where you will complete and submit your application and it will allow you to directly upload supplemental materials and request recommendations. Instructions on how to use the form, save your changes, and submit your application are provided within the application. It is not necessary to complete your application in one sitting. You will be able to save your work and log out from the portal. You can then log in at any time thereafter until the application deadline.

Selecting Your Institute Theme and Program Cycle 

At the beginning of the application, you will be asked to rank the Institute themes in order of your preference. You will also be asked to indicate which of the two program cycles you would like to participate in. Dates of each cycle will be provided in the application.

Submitting Your Application 

To submit your online application, you must press the “Submit” button on the last page. If you do not press the “Submit” button, your application will be considered incomplete and will not be considered for selection. You will not be allowed to make any changes to your application after you submit it. You will receive a confirmation email once your form has been submitted. All applications must be submitted by the application deadline: August 1, 2023 (Closing at 10 am Eastern Time)