US YSEALI Professional Fellows Program

(Photo by Melissa Low)

Ms. Melissa Low, Research Associate, participated in a 5-week professional development exchange program sponsored by the US Department of State from 27 May – 3 June 2016. She was selected as the only Environmental Sustainability Fellow from Singapore and is one of 99 Southeast Asian Fellows selected to participate in the Spring 2016 cohort.


The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) is President Barack Obama’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in ASEAN, deepen engagement with young leaders on key regional and global challenges, and strengthen people-to-people ties between the United States and young Southeast Asian leaders. The YSEALI Professional Fellows work with community leaders to enhance their practical expertise, leadership skills and professional contacts to address issues in their home communities. 

 In Washington, D.C., Melissa worked with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG), an independent, nonprofit association where area leaders address regional issues affecting the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland, and Northern Virginia. She provided research support to COG’s climate and energy team, participated in environmental sustainability tours and events and held meetings with federal and local government officials including from the U.S. Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency and National Capital Planning Commission. Events attended include the University of Maryland’s Climate Action 2016 Forum, the Energy Efficiency Global Forum, Green Festival Expos, and the Better Buildings Summit. At the end of the program, Melissa presented ideas for the Regional Climate and Energy Action Plan update to MWCOG’s Climate, Energy, and Environment Policy Committee (CEEPC).

 (Posted on 8 June 2016)