Second LEAD Summit Convenes Asia’s Young Democracy Leaders in Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia—On January 17, 2018, the International Republican Institute (IRI) kicked off the Leaders Advancing Democracy (LEAD) Alliance conference in Ulaanbaatar. This four-day program, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will bring together 37 Mongolian LEAD Fellows and their counterparts from Burma, Bhutan and Kyrgyzstan to learn about Mongolia’s transition to democracy, participate in technical sessions focused on advocacy and project management, and network with peer activists.

“We are thrilled to host the second LEAD Alliance summit in Ulaanbaatar and to welcome even more emerging leaders to the summit this year,” said Jessica Keegan, Resident Program Director for IRI in Mongolia. “The LEAD summit is an excellent opportunity for the region’s best and brightest to foster transnational ties and pave the way for the next generation of leaders to develop personally and professionally”.

U.S. Chargé d’Affaires to Mongolia Manuel Micaller will deliver remarks highlighting achievements of the LEAD project and the importance of America’s continued support for Mongolia’s young leaders through this important initiative. Mongolia’s Foreign Minister, D. Tsogtbaatar, will address LEAD Fellows at a formal dinner following the closing of the summit. Expected participants include Member of Parliament L. Bold, former Member of Parliament Ts. Oyungerel, and independent economist and media representative, Jargal Defacto.

Launched in September of 2016, LEAD Alliance is a two-year initiative of USAID-Mongolia dedicated to empowering emerging leaders between the ages of 25 and 40 to make sustainable change in their communities, strengthen leadership skills, and share the country’s experience transitioning from a Soviet satellite to an independent, vibrant democracy.

The program focuses on three key policy themes: urbanization and poverty alleviation, anti-corruption, and environmental degradation. By employing a “learning by doing approach,” LEAD gives participants the opportunity to put their new skills into practice through a small grants award mechanism to conduct community projects. Since the project began in 2016, Mongolia’s emerging leaders have developed and overseen more than 15 unique development initiatives.

 “Whether we are working in the private sector or civil society, every Mongolian has a responsibility to contribute to the well-being of our country. Through LEAD, we are helping to build a more democratic and open society,” commented LEAD Fellow Bayasgalan Batmagnai.

LEAD is implemented by the non-profit development organizations World Learning, IRI and the Center for Citizenship Education

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