With U.S.-China relations taking on increasing importance in all spheres of life — economic, geopolitical, cultural — it becomes vital to enhance the dialogue between our countries and build lasting, direct, and informative ties between our peoples. The Young Leaders Forum (YLF), now in its second decade, does just that.

Each year, YLF holds a four-day retreat to which a select group of exceptional American and Chinese young professionals are invited. Together, participants explore substantive issues, identify commonalities, and develop enduring friendships and partnerships in a casual, intimate environment.

Comprised of influencers and change-makers, the accomplished group of YLF fellows works in a variety of fields. Fellows include government officials and politicians, authors, university leaders, entrepreneurs, and musicians and artists. Attention is given to geographic, gender, and ethnic diversity. An alphabetical listing of all YLF participants since the program's inception has been posted on the right side of this page.

The Forum's location alternates each year between the United States and China. Each Forum is packed with interesting, provocative cross-cultural conversation and activity.

The National Committee, the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs (CPIFA), and the Forum's U.S. sponsors—led in 2019 by Chubb and Xcoal—cover all lodging, food, and program costs of the YLF retreat for the first two years of our fellows' participation, allowing them to attend one Forum in the United States and one in China. Participants are asked to pay their own travel expenses to and from the venue, but some full or partial subsidies are available.

The National Committee does not have a formal application process for the Young Leaders Forum, but we do accept materials from individuals who would like to be considered for nomination to our next class. If you are interested in participating in the next Young Leaders Forum and you will not exceed 40 years of age in 2021, you may send a resume, cover letter, and links to other materials you would like us to consider to swagner@ncuscr.org.


Past YLFs

  • 2019 - Chengdu, SICHUAN
    2018 - Detroit, MI
    2017 - Foshan, GUANGDONG
    2015 - White Castle, LA
    2014 - Yangzhou, JIANGSU
    2013 - Austin, TX
    2011 - Xi'an, SHAANXI
    2010 - Timber Cove, CA
    2009 - Xiamen, FUJIAN
    2008 - Snoqualmie, WA
    2007 - Nanjing, JIANGSU
    2006 - Santa Cruz, CA
    2005 - Chengdu and Jiuzhaigou, SICHUAN
    2004 - Sedona, AZ
    2003 - Hangzhou, ZHEJIANG, and Huangshan
    2002 - Santa Barbara, CA

  • We gratefully acknowledge contributions made by the following sponsors in support of current and past Young Leaders Forums:

    ACE Charitable Foundation
    ACE Group
    Ford Motor Company
    John Thornton Foundation
    Perfect World
    The Alcoa Foundation
    The Starr Foundation
    Time Warner Inc.
    XCoal Energy & Resources

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