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 4-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 U.S. and China. Over 50 fellows attended the 2017 U.S.-China Young Leaders Forum in Foshan, Guangdong Province. With a prompt of "Here's the Thing," fellows discussed an object (or two) they would bring on a hypothetical joint Sino-American mission – items with professional or personal significance that reveal some insights into who they are. 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 sponsors — led in 2017 by Chubb, the Arconic Foundation, XCoal, and Perfect World — 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 U.S. 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.

2018 Young Leaders Forum

May 11, 2018 to May 15, 2018

The National Committee held its annual Young Leaders Forum in early May, bringing three dozen of the "best and brightest" American and Chinese men and women under the age of forty together for several days of substantive discussion and activity in Detroit. Fellows deepened their understanding of U.S.-China relations and expanded their trans-Pacific networks as they explored a revitalizing Motor City. Launched in 2002, the Forum is now organized in partnership with the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs.

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