Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI)

The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) is a program launched in 2013, to support youth like you who are concerned with economic development, environmental protection, education and civic engagement in Southeast Asia. It aims to strengthen leadership development and networking in ASEAN, deepen engagement with young leaders on key regional and global challenges, and strengthen people-to-people ties between the United States and young Southeast Asian leaders. YSEALI encompasses the following programs:

  • YSEALI Academic Fellows: For students aged 18-25. Participants will take part in fellowships to various universities in the United States to deepen their knowledge about regional issues and to share their experience and perspectives.
  • YSEALI Professional Fellows: For young professionals aged 25-35. Participants will take part in a month-long fellowship at U.S.-based organizations to enhance their practical expertise, leadership skills and professional contacts to address issues in their home communities.

Professional development is offered to young leaders who want to make an even bigger impact in their communities. YSEALI Generation Regional Exchanges provide networking, mentoring, hands-on training, and the tools necessary to lead communities in addressing economic, environmental, educational, and civic engagement issues. By visiting one of the 10 ASEAN countries, young leaders develop an appreciation for the similarities and differences of each other’s culture. Read more.

YSEALI Seeds for the Future is a small grants competition for young leaders in Southeast Asia. The competition provides funding of up to $20,000 for the region’s most promising young leaders to carry out projects that improve their communities, countries and the region. Read more.


The United States is proud to support the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative, because 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. Every day, they are coming up with creative solutions — like using beneficial microbes to clean rivers or creating job opportunities by selling products made from water lilies. The United States is partnering with these extraordinary young men and women by providing training and funding to up-and-coming social entrepreneurs.

If you:

  • Are passionate about making a difference to the environment and community around you;
  • Want access to the programs listed above;
  • Are a Cambodian citizen; and
  • Between 18-35 years of age,

Sign up now to become a YSEALI member.

Contact information:
Mr. Mardi SARIM, 
Alumni Coordinator