Young Thai professionals from Autumn 2019 YSEALI program visited the Royal Thai Embassy


On 18 November 2019, five from a total of ten young Thai professionals who have awarded the U.S. Department of State’s Autumn 2019 Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) fellowships, visited the Royal Thai Embassy to make a courtesy call to Ambassador Thani Thongphakdi.  They shared their 6-week experience received from the program from the 1-week orientation in Washington D.C., 4-week internship placement at tailored agencies of each of their own interest, and 1-week summary in Washington D.C., of which they are determined to bring back with them the knowledge learned and best practices to apply to their organisations and lines of work in Thailand.  In this regard, Ambassador Thani provided guidance and advice on how the direction of Thailand – U.S. bilateral relations has evolved over time, focus areas that the Royal Thai government has attached importance to and have potential to be cooperation areas with the U.S., as well as techniques in developing and maintaining networks with those professional contacts introduced during the program.

For the Autumn 2019 YSEALI program, ten young Thai professionals with diverse professional backgrounds who were selected to participate are as follows:

  • Governance and society – a co-founder of Rise Impact interned at Innovation & Performance team, City of Seattle and a lecturer from School of Public Policy, Chiang Mai University interned at Denver Department of Public Health and Environment.
  • Economic empowerment – Unit head of Innovative Startup Development from Science and Technology Park, Chiang Mai University interned at Idea Foundry Inc., Pittsburgh and a corporate strategy associate at Reapra (venture capital & venture builder) interned at U.S. – ASEAN Business Council (USABC).
  • Civic engagement – a TDRI researcher interned at City of South Padre Island, Texas, a co-founder and communication & advocacy manager from Green South Foundation interned at City of Palm Desert, California, and a human rights storyteller from EarthRights International interned at Center for Environmental Filmmaking, American University.
  • Environment sustainability – a human rights officer from the Office of National Human Rights Commission of Thailand interned at Montana Human Rights Network, a film director from Error Brothers Ltd. Interned at Roxy Theater, Montana, and a researcher from Patani Forum interned at Jeannette Rankin Peace Center, Montana.

The YSEALI recipients comprise of fellows from 11 Southeast Asian countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam.  The YSEALI Professional Fellows Program is a professional development exchange program for selected community leaders working in the fields of civic engagement, NGO management, economic empowerment, governance, legislative process, environmental and natural resources management.