Washington, DC - Participants in the U.S. Department of State’s Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) exchange visitor program will gather at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on October 12, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. to celebrate the 40th anniversary of U.S.-ASEAN relations and the 50th anniversary of ASEAN. Walter Douglas, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, will preside at the event with Alyson Grunder, Senior Bureau Official of the Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Other guests will include members of the diplomatic community, NGOs, think tanks, academic institutions, and U.S. lawmakers with an interest in Southeast Asia.
YSEALI, the State Department’s flagship youth exchange program focused on Southeast Asia, is key to the United States’ socio-cultural partnership with ASEAN. Created in 2014, YSEALI builds bridges between young leaders and the United States. Over 100,000 youth have joined the YSEALI network to gain leadership skills and work across borders to find solutions to regional and global challenges. YSEALI academic and professional exchanges have provided more than 1,000 youth the opportunity to visit the United States to connect with Americans. An additional 2,000 YSEALI members have participated in regional exchange workshops to build an ASEAN identity and enhance skills in the fields of economic growth, sustainable development, education, and civic engagement.