The new US-ASEAN Institute for Rising Leaders Fellowship at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington is a people-to-people component of the Biden administration’s push to strengthen relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Some 31 mid-career government officials from the 10 ASEAN countries are spending August digging deep into serious academic content and meeting with senior U.S. government officials, World Bank staff and private sector leaders.
“I think what is special about this program is that we have mid-career government officials who are already leaders in their fields,” said Joshua White, who heads the institute.
Cambodian Ambassador to the U.S. Keo Chhea encouraged the fellows to learn from the program’s thought leaders.
“You keep this network. It will work and help your work and it will benefit both sides,” he said.
The fellows are already saying that one of the program’s biggest benefits so far may be how much they’re learning from one another.