United States (US) Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Caryn McClelland yesterday reminded recently returned alumni of US government exchange programmes that they are now part of an elite worldwide network.
“There are more than one million US Department of State exchange programme alumni around the globe, including more than 50 Nobel Laureates and over 350 current and former heads of state and government,” she said.
She said this during a brunch reception hosted by the US Embassy in Brunei Darussalam for the alumni at the US Chief of Mission Residence yesterday.
The event also marked 10 years of the US Embassy’s most popular exchange programme for Bruneians – the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI).
The reception brought together some 25 Bruneians who participated in various US government-funded exchange programmes in the last quarter of 2022, such as YSEALI, the Fulbright Foreign Student Programme, Fulbright US-ASEAN Visiting Scholar Programme, International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP), Community Solutions Programme and Global UGRAD Programme.
The ambassador also highlighted that 2023 marked YSEALI’s 10th anniversary. Since its inception in 2013, YSEALI has helped build bridges between young leaders in ASEAN and the US. As the US State Department’s flagship youth exchange programme focussed on
Southeast Asia, it is key to the US’ socio-cultural partnership with ASEAN.
The programme is open to youth aged 18 to 35 and focusses on the themes of civil engagement, economic empowerment, social entrepreneurship, education and environmental issues.