Economic Empowerment

The Professional Fellows Program (PFP) is sponsored by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’, Professional Fellows Division.  The program brings emerging leaders to the United States for intensive fellowships designed to broaden their professional expertise.  Launched in 2013, the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) is the US Department of State’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia.  These two initiatives and programs have come together on the new YSEALI PFP 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 Application for YSEALI PFP Fall 2020 is Now Open until April 7, 2020!
Apply online at
The program will take place in the US from October 13-November 19, 2020. 
To participate you must be:
• 25-35 years old;
• A citizen and current resident of either: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, or Vietnam;
• Speak fluent English to work full-time in a US worksite;
• Interested in participating in a reciprocal program for Americans coming to your country.
• Have at least two years relevant work experience and be currently employed;
• Have demonstrated leadership and collaborative skills.
“Who is a YSEALI Professional Fellow in the economic empowerment cohort?”
Fellows come from a variety of professional backgrounds including:
• The business world – Members who are active in developing corporate social responsibility or efforts to mentor under represented populations in business and other similar themes could be eligible.
• Social innovation and social entrepreneurship organizations
• Government offices – including local government, regional development agencies, national policy offices, and offices working to increase the presence of underrepresented citizens in the economy
• NGOs – including those increasing the role marginalized populations in the economy and workforce, building financial literacy and supporting other important efforts around economic empowerment
• Universities - incubators, accelerators, university-based centers or programs focusing on business development, financial literacy, tourism or economic development
The shared vision of YSEALI Professional Fellows in the economic empowerment cohort should be to expand economic opportunities for their communities, country and citizens. Successful applicants will be able to address how these ideals are present in their work and careers.
“How will the program benefit me? Why should I apply?”
Each finalist of the program will:
• Work in a full-time fellowship placement in a US worksite dealing with issues relating to his or her work at home. While there fellows will gain first-hand knowledge about US organizations and institutions and build networks and relationships with US counterparts.
• Participate in a fully-funded program with comprehensive on program support. Travel and living arrangements will be covered as well as emergency health insurance, and visa fees on program.
• Become part of two prestigious networks - YSEALI and PFP. Alumni will gain access to tremendous resources and an international network of like-minded professionals spanning the globe.