Young Leaders Initiative
ACFR seeks to expand the involvement of students from across our constituent Committees, in furtherance of ACFR’s mission: Serving the national security interests of the U.S. through constructive face-to-face dialogue between citizens and foreign policy experts and other professionals. The centerpiece of the Young Leaders Initiative is a conference in Washington, DC, for university level students nominated by their Member Committees. A pilot version of this conference occurred June 13-16, 2018, featuring meetings and discussions between 18 Young Leaders, and policy practitioners, experts, and officials at U.S. government agencies and other foreign policy institutions. A network of Young Leaders will aid each other in their career interests, and support the ACFR family of committees.
The Young Leaders Initiative was envisioned and started by George F. Paik, a former political affairs officer in the U.S. Foreign Service who resides in Stamford, CT. George subsequently became its Program Director.
General expectations for participants are that they be undergraduate or graduate university students who demonstrate high academic achievement, potential career interest in international affairs, and strong leadership qualities. The ACFR Local Committees suggest participants and sponsor their participation.
Young Leaders Congress 2018
The Young Leaders Congress took place with full-day sessions on June 14 and 15, 2018. A total of 18 students convened in Washington, DC, for two days of immersion into hands-on aspects of American Foreign Policy.
The Young Leaders stayed in the Hive Hotel in Washington, DC and met with the Department of State and various Think Tanks.
In 2018, the agenda included:
- Department of State
Desk officer briefings, tour of operation center
- US Institute of Peace
Conflict and resolution briefing
- Center for New American Security
Scholar briefings: security policy process and think tanks’ role
- Heritage Foundation
Scholar briefings: foreign policy, cybersecurity
- Center for Strategic and International Studies
Trade and development briefings; trade negotiation simulation