PRESS RELEASE: The East-West Center in Washington Leads First U.S. Delegation to the Asian Development Bank's Asian Youth Forum

Contact: Matthew Sullivan
Phone: (202) 327-9767
Five American graduate students and young professionals are participating in the three-day conference which seeks to promote the unique role of youth to advance development across Asia and the Pacific.
MANILA, PHILIPPINES (August 12, 2019) - The East-West Center in Washington (EWCW) , with support from the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines , is leading the first U.S. delegation to the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Asian Youth Forum today. Five American graduate students and young professionals are participating in the three-day conference which seeks to promote the unique role of youth to advance development across Asia and the Pacific. The U.S. delegation will attend a series of keynotes, panel discussions, and capacity building workshops guided by this year’s conference theme “Establish, Equip, Engage: Youth for 2030 and Beyond.” Participation in Asian Youth Forum will be followed by a visit to the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines.

With over 300 young leaders in attendance, the Asian Youth Forum provides a special opportunity for young Americans to learn about policy advocacy, engage with development projects, and build relationships with peers from the region. The U.S. delegation is being led by Mr. Matthew Sullivan, EWCW Projects Coordinator and also includes Ms. Sierra Janik, John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies; Mr. Joseph Meisburger, University of Arizona; Mr. Kevin Rutigliano, George Washington University; Mr. Elliot Silverberg, Georgetown University; and Ms. Elizabeth Smith, University of Chicago.

Started in 2013, the Asian Youth Forum is in its seventh year. This is the first year a U.S. delegation has attended the Asian Youth Forum.

“I am pleased that young professionals and graduate students who have been affiliated with the East-West Center in Washington are participating in this program and that the U.S. is sending for the first time a delegation to ADB Asian Youth Forum,” said Dr. Satu Limaye, Vice President and Director of the East-West Center. “As the East-West Center’s mission is to advance U.S.-Asia relations through education, exchange, and research, this is a perfect opportunity to contribute to our important mission of connecting people, ideas, and outcomes. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines for making this possible.”

“ADB is very pleased to see the participation of passionate young delegates from the United States in our 7 th Asian Youth Forum. We especially seek the expertise and insight they will bring from their experiences and education,” said Chris Morris, Head of the ADB’s NGO and Civil Society Center. “Here at ADB Youth for Asia, we seek to enable governments to collaborate with youth as partners to help them develop the Asia and Pacific of their dreams. We would like to thank the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Embassy in Manila, as well as the East-West Center in facilitating the delegation.”

“Supporting transparent, sustainable, inclusive economic and infrastructure development in Asia is one of the United States’ top priorities under the Indo-Pacific Strategy, a goal we share with the Asian Development Bank and have continually supported as one of the ADB’s founding members,” said Matt Keener, Acting Public Affairs Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines. “We are delighted to partner with the East-West Center this year to support this group of emerging professionals and graduate scholars as the first U.S. delegation to participate in the ADB Asian Youth Forum.”      
In preparation for the conference, the U.S. delegates convened at the East-West Center in Washington for a series of briefings on U.S.-Philippines relations. Speakers included Ms. Fei Yu, Deputy Representative of the North American Representative Office of the Asian Development Bank; Mr. Patrick Chuasoto, Deputy Chief of Mission from the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Washington, D.C.; and Mr. Richard Blackwood, Senior Country Officer — Philippines from the Office of Maritime Southeast Asia, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
About the East-West Center
The East-West Center promotes better relations and understanding among the people and nations of the United States, Asia, and the Pacific through cooperative study, research, and dialogue. Established by the U.S. Congress in 1960, the Center serves as a resource for information and analysis on critical issues of common concern, bringing people together to exchange views, build expertise, and develop policy options. The Center is an independent, public, nonprofit organization with funding from the U.S. government, and additional support provided by private agencies, individuals, foundations, corporations, and governments in the region.
Over more than fifty years of serving as a U.S.-based institution for public diplomacy in the Asia Pacific region with international governance, staffing, students, and participants, the Center has built a worldwide network of 65,000 alumni and more than 1,100 partner organizations. The Center’s 21-acre Honolulu campus, adjacent to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, is located midway between Asia and the U.S. mainland and features research, residential, and international conference facilities. The Center’s Washington, D.C. office focuses on preparing the United States for an era of growing Asia Pacific prominence.


For more information on the East-West Center in Washington's ADB Youth Forum Delegation, please contact Matthew Sullivan at (202) 327-9767 or