Global Youth Issues

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The Global Youth Issues portfolio is housed in the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. The portfolio is focused on helping the U.S. Government better engage young people internationally to help solve the pressing challenges of today while also building greater global connectivity and networks to shape the world of tomorrow. It has three key areas of focus:

  1. Engaging global youth around shared policy challenges – this takes place through collaboration with Embassies and Consulates around the world; visits to host communities and countries to better understand the issues that young people care about; and collaboration with partner organizations.
  2. Empowering global youth leaders through networks, exchanges, and opportunities – this includes in-country efforts such as Embassy youth councils; regional networks such as the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI), and the Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (YTILI); and global events such as the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) and the Global Youth Summit Against Violent Extremism.
  3. Elevating youth voices and causes– this takes place by representing the U.S. government in youth focused forums; ensuring youth voices are heard in policy venues; creating platforms - such as the Emerging Young Leaders Awards – to better recognize global youth leaders.

Special Advisor Andy Rabens serves as the principal representative on youth issues for the U.S. Department of State.