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The Global Youth Issues portfolio is housed in the Policy, Planning, and Resources Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. The portfolio is focused on helping the U.S. Government better engage young people internationally to help solve the pressing challenges of today while also building greater global connectivity and networks to shape the world of tomorrow.

Our focus on global youth helps coordinate, amplify, and oversee efforts in three primary areas:

  1. Engaging youth in honest two-way dialogue -- including through our network of over 90 youth councils and regional networks;
  2. Empowering youth as drivers of their own destinies through programs on expanded economic opportunity and skills building;
  3. Elevating youth voices and causes by raising the profile of young people and the issues that they care about.

The Special Adviser for Global Youth Issues, Andy Rabens, serves as the principal representative on youth issues for the U.S. Department of State.

Emerging Young Leaders Award

The Emerging Young Leaders Award will be granted to ten outstanding young leaders (ages 16-24) from across the globe. The awardees will visit the United States for an intensive three-week program designed to recognize and support their efforts to enact positive societal transformation. Honorees will first visit Washington, D.C. where they will be recognized in a public ceremony for their efforts. They will also participate in Global Youth Service Day events, where they will share in the value of community service. They will attend meetings with U.S. government officials and non-governmental organizations. The awardees will then travel to cities across the United States to participate in professional meetings and engage with their American counterparts. They will visit Roanoke-Blacksburg, Austin, and Chicago. The young leaders will reconvene in Washington, D.C. to share project plans and examine ways they can collaborate and build on their experiences. The Emerging Young Leaders exchange program will continue in their home communities with mentoring and support through a virtual exchange. Upon their return home, the awardees will be eligible to apply for individual grants to support their work.

Please visit to learn more about this year’s awardees.

[This is a mobile copy of Global Youth Issues]

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