Hello, and welcome to all of our newest LEAD Mongolia Fellows.
It is always exciting for me to meet with Fellows from the Leaders Advancing Democracy Mongolia program.
Youth development and mentorship are among my highest priorities as United States Ambassador.
Beginning early last year, I worked together with USAID to introduce the LEAD initiative to help develop Mongolia’s next generation of democratic leaders.
Each of you is an inspiration to me. Your willingness to commit time, energy, and passion to the LEAD Mongolia program demonstrates the great promise of Mongolia’s future.
I want to extend sincere congratulations to all of you for the achievement of being selected as LEAD Fellows.
This was a very competitive process. The LEAD Project received 147 eligible applications.
You – the 30 finalists – were selected as LEAD Mongolia Fellows for our in-country thematic program.
I know the LEAD Project Team was impressed by the outstanding caliber of your applications.
You represent diversity, passion, and a strong commitment to improving the democratic trajectory of Mongolia.
You exemplify a commitment to ensuring Mongolia is an inclusive society where all voices are heard.
And you demonstrate a pledge to ensure Mongolia’s environment is cleaner for the next generation; that poverty is addressed and education is strengthened; and that corruption is rooted out.
There are many young, emerging leaders such as yourselves who are seldom provided opportunities like LEAD Mongolia.
Yet they, like you, yearn for the chance to effect positive change, to support their communities, and to have a voice in their democracy.
So, it is my challenge to you, LEAD Mongolia Fellows, that through this experience you find ways to include other bright up-and-coming leaders who may not have this opportunity.
Find them — Give them an opportunity to take part in your work.
Give them an opportunity to make their voices heard.
By involving more and more of your peers, you will give them hope, encouragement and confidence.
And these are critical ingredients for strengthening democratic processes, not just in Mongolia, but the world over.
The U.S. Embassy supports a number of programs to encourage leadership and support Mongolia’s young, emerging people, including a newly launched high school exchange program called FLEX.
Among these initiatives, LEAD is special.
It is unique to Mongolia; there is no other LEAD in the world.
This project was designed especially for you ‑ Mongolia’s next generation of democracy advocates.
The U.S. Embassy and USAID are honored to support you in this process.
I would like to thank my colleagues at USAID for making LEAD Mongolia possible.
I would also like to thank World Learning for its leadership in bringing LEAD Mongolia to life.
I wish you all every success and I look forward to following your achievements.