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GRANT OPPORTUNITY (U.S. Embassies Seoul and Tokyo Trilateral Youth Leadership Forum)
April 21, 2023

Funding Opportunity Title: U.S. Embassies Seoul and Tokyo Trilateral Youth Leadership Forum 
Funding Opportunity Number: PD-SEOUL-TOKYO-FY23-01
Deadline for ApplicationsJune 2, 2023, 11:59 p.m. GMT+9
CFDA Number: 19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs
Total Amount Available: $180,000  

This notice is subject to availability of funding. 

A. PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONThe U.S. Embassy Seoul Public Diplomacy Section (PD) and the U.S. Embassy Tokyo Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Department of State are pleased that joint funding is available for an inaugural Trilateral Global Youth Leadership Forum.

In the face of growing security, trade, financial, and environmental instability in the Indo-Pacific region, the trilateral relationship between the United States, Republic of Korea, and Japan has never been more important. To build and empower this important constituency, the U.S. government will leverage its convening power to make sure youth from two of our closest allies have a forum to regularly meet and engage on global issues.  

The inaugural youth summit will focus on developing the global leadership skills and viewpoints of a small cohort of about 35 youth leaders who possess demonstrated superior leadership abilities. These young people will have shown an ability to effectively push for change on issues in their communities and the capacity to collaborate with similarly minded peers from the other alliance nations. We will also leverage the expertise of youth leaders from similar USG-sponsored youth initiatives like YSEALI and the Young Pacific Leaders initiative to ensure young people in East Asia understand broader regional issues, as well as how youth have successfully worked together in other areas of the Indo-Pacific.  

Following the inaugural summit, we plan to leverage these same youth leaders to act as an organizing committee to guide future summits. Organizing committee responsibilities will involve working alongside Embassies Seoul and Tokyo, as well as relevant offices within the Department of State, to set themes, logistics, and strategic direction for follow-on initiatives.   


This inaugural youth summit will focus on developing a small cohort of youth leaders who can lead future initiatives. The initial cohort will be responsible for strategizing the most effective route towards a goal of a regular annual forum for youth to meet, collaborate, and work for positive change on issues affecting their countries and regions.  

A successful initial summit focused on “Developing East Asia’s Global Youth Leadership” will result in a tight-knit leadership cohort of trilateral “youth ambassadors” who understand the issues facing the trilateral relationship and are able to steer the direction of future youth initiatives. This will include defining focus areas, membership requirements, and future expansion; advising respective governments on trilateral youth perspectives; as well as serving as members on a Steering Committee for future summits that will be based on the thematic issues of importance to the trilateral alliance. Additional cross-border activities proposed by the initial cohort can be sustained via small grants co-funded by U.S. Embassies Tokyo and Seoul. 


U.S. Embassy Seoul, U.S. Embassy Tokyo, and a U.S.-based grantee will be jointly responsible for vetting and selecting program participants. The U.S. government retains final approval authority for all participants, who will apply initially via a standardized application form on a public website with program information and associated information and social media campaigns. Participants should be between the ages of 18-30 years old, be fluent in English, and have a demonstrated history of excellence in local and regional youth leadership programs. Applicants from regions and constituencies who are underrepresented in official programs, as well as alumni of USG programs, will be strongly encouraged to apply. 

We anticipate the eventual summit will be held in-person in the ROK or Japan. 

Grantee Expectations  

We suggest three distinct components of this program:   

  • At least a four-week period of virtual engagement 
  • A summit of at least two-three days either in the ROK or Japan 
  • Follow-on activities which encourage implementation of post-Summit activities, including an implementation plan for future expanded annual youth summits on thematic issues  Virtual Engagements:  The grantee will be responsible for a series of preparatory virtual engagements with the U.S., Japanese, Korean, and select regional participants representing other regional youth leadership initiatives (ex: YSEALI, Young Pacific Leaders) to generate excitement for the summit, prepare summit objectives and structure, and allow participants to get to know one another ahead of time. These events should also include subject matter experts (academic, civil society, government, etc.) from all three countries who can speak about trends and issues facing the trilateral relationship, youth civic engagement, and other issues relevant to the theme of global youth leadership. These engagements will also lay out logistics and expectations for the in-person summit.  Summit  The second component involves at least two-three days Summit in either Korea or Japan in late 2023, which will include a series of lectures, facilitated workshops, and training sessions on civic engagement, youth leadership, and key international challenges facing the alliance. A primary focus of this summit will be to develop youth leadership skills like youth organizing, advocacy, civic engagement, and briefings on international issues (climate change, regional security, trade, science & technology, etc.) to ensure the cohort can lead a future expanded annual youth leadership summit beginning in 2024. We anticipate this summit will feature guest expert trainers and subject matter experts to facilitate sessions recruited from Japan and the ROK. We will also draw on program participants to lead sessions and teach one another about how they have successfully led their youth initiatives in their own countries.  
    The final output of this summit will be an actionable implementation plan for an annual trilateral youth summit, including governing structure, thematic topics for future years, and proposed venues and programs. Student participants will be organized into working groups focused on discrete portions of the following event (themes, policy, governing structure, venue, communications, etc.).  The Embassy in the host country will facilitate a diplomatic reception, senior level engagements, related social media, and networking opportunities. The grantee will organize limited visits to relevant cultural and/or political sites.  Post Summit Follow-On  Following the summit, the grantee will work with each Embassy to help the trilateral student leadership group organize the expanded 2024 youth summit. This will include follow-on virtual sessions a month after the 2023 summit to ensure our implementation plan is on track.   Eventual follow-on summits may focus on issues of regional and global significance, such as regional security protection and architecture, climate change and sustainability, international development aid coordination and prioritization, economic growth and trade, economic security and supply chain resiliency, civilian space research and cooperation; pandemic response and public health; youth empowerment and global leadership; international/global affairs and volunteerism; and other issues as appropriate. 


For more information, please refer to the NOFO document, and email us at SeoulPDGrants@state.gov for any questions.