leadership academy

Apply for the 2024 U.S.-ASEAN Women’s Leadership Academy for YSEALI (Fully-funded)

leadership academy

About the U.S.-ASEAN Women’s Leadership Academy

The 10th U.S.-ASEAN Women’s Leadership Academy for YSEALI Regional Workshop has been announced to be open to youth from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam. This fully funded workshop will bring together women leaders between the ages of 20 and 35 who are actively engaged in addressing food security challenges.

The Leadership Academy serves as a platform for young women leaders to enhance their leadership skills and gain a deeper understanding of the significance of human capital development and civic engagement in the context of food security. It aims to equip participants to combat food insecurity and effectively manage short-term and long-term food shortages.

Key Objectives of the Leadership Academy

  • Advance participants’ leadership skills.
  • Increase awareness of gender-specific challenges related to food security in the region.
  • Expand the network of young Southeast Asian women leaders collaborating across national boundaries to drive collective action.
  • Provide access to seed funding and mentorship.
  • Foster a strong ASEAN identity and community.

The program will feature leadership training and expert-led sessions that delve into food security issues and related fields. Participants will also have the opportunity to collaborate on a knowledge product with fellow women leaders from the region and the United States, facilitating cross-cultural exchange and expanding the scope of impact in the domain of food security.

Leadership Academy Program Schedule

If you are eager to strengthen your leadership skills and advance your career, and if you meet the eligibility criteria below:

  • The program will commence with online activities and sessions in January 2024, followed by an in-person workshop in April 2024, with optional advocacy and collaborative activities running until August 2024.
  • All travel, lodging, and associated costs for your participation will be funded by the U.S. State Department in collaboration with Wedu, the implementing partner.

Eligibilty Criteria

  • Women aged 20 to 35 (at the time of the workshop)
  • Citizens of and currently residing in Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, or Vietnam
  • At least two years of professional or volunteer experience relevant to addressing food security-related issues. Fields may include but are not limited to Biotech, Agriculture, Trade/Economics, Resource management (e.g., water and soil), and Public health specialities associated with nutrition and food safety.
  • Passionate about building communities and keen on creating a network through collaboration and partnership with other leaders from Southeast Asian countries.
  • Proficient in written and spoken English.
  • Possess a valid passport expiring on October 31, 2024.
  • Be able to attend the entire four-day in-person workshop in April 2024 and participate in pre- and post-workshop activities between January and August 2024.

Essay Questions and Video Prompt Guide 

  • Statement of Purpose – Question 1: Describe your experience working on food security, including how many years you have been working on that issue, and how this issue has impacted your life. (up to 1500 characters)
  • Statement of Purpose – Question 2: Tell us why you are interested in joining the Women’s Leadership Academy.  In what ways do you hope that participating in this Academy will help advance the change you want to achieve for food security in the region and your own journey as a leader? (up to 1500 characters)
  • Statement of Purpose – Question 3: How do you plan to apply and extend what you learn at WLA and the networks you form after returning to your country and community? (up to 1500 characters)
  • Statement of Purpose – Question 4: How will connecting with other women leaders in food security and joining the 300+ women-strong WLA Alumnae Network support your career and leadership goals?  How do you intend to engage with the alumnae network after the academy concludes? (up to 1500 characters)
  • In a video (maximum two minutes), tell us what drives your passion for addressing food insecurity in Southeast Asia.

How to Apply

Ready to apply?  You can apply by filling out and submitting the application form (link below) before November 26, 2023. As you begin the application, ensure you meet all the eligibility requirements stated above. This form will take up to two hours to complete, includes a series of demographic and essay questions, and requires you to record and upload a video. We encourage you to draft responses and record the video offline, as this form will not automatically save your application. We encourage everyone to apply and we are excited to have you in the academy.


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