ASU hosts 2018 Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative fellows


Heather Beshears

Arizona State University recently welcomed 41 emerging leaders from Southeast Asia as part of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative fellowship sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

The academic fellows are undergraduate or recently graduated students between the ages of 18 and 26, coming from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Laos, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

ASU hosts two academic fellowships. The Civic Engagement Institute, housed under the College of Public Service and Community Solutions, will explore social innovation, sustainable and inclusive practices to consider when developing a project or business, as well as effective networking, leadership and communication strategies. The Social Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Institute, housed under the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, will shadow successful community organizers, learn tools for effective communication and leadership, explore the key elements of human-centered design, and even develop their own entrepreneurial ideas and business models.

The five-week institutes, which run through April 28, will primarily be held at ASU’s Tempe and Downtown Phoenix campuses. The institutes include academic residency, leadership development, an educational study tour, local community service activities, homestay experiences and opportunities to engage with ASU students.

The programs conclude in Washington, D.C., to allow for engagement with policymakers, governmental representatives, businesses and think tanks.

Launched in 2013, the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative 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, the initiative 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. The initiative focuses on critical topics identified by youth in the region: civic engagement, sustainable development, education and economic growth.

More information: Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative.