South Cotabato official receives US fellowship

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/07 October) — The US Department of State has chosen an official of the provincial government of South Cotabato as among the recipients this year of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Professional Fellows Program.

Engr. Siegfred Flaviano, head of the South Cotabato Provincial Environment Management Office, is set to leave for the US on Oct. 12 to participate in the program, which will run until Nov. 18.

YSEALI is a professional development exchange program for young “best and brightest community leaders” from Southeast Asia who are working in the fields of civic engagement, non-government organization engagement, economic development, governance, legislative process, environmental and natural resources management.

Flaviano said he was among the participants who were chosen to represent the environment and natural resources management sector.

He said the program, which includes formal study sessions and tours, will have its first stop in Washington D.C.

Citing a program briefer provided to participants, he said the formal study sessions will start on Oct. 15 in Dubuque, Iowa.

After the leaning sessions in Iowa, Flaviano said they will travel to Chicago, Illinois for a study tour.

“In the last three days of the program, we will travel back to Washington D.C. to have a meet and greet session with (US) President Barack Obama,” he said in a statement.

The YSEALI Professional Fellows Program provides participants a month-long fellowship at US-based non-profit or other organizations, government offices or legislative bodies.

Fellows will work with community leaders to enhance their practical expertise, leadership skills and professional contacts to address issues in their home communities.

YSEALI is President Obama’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in member-states of the Association of Southeast Nations or ASEAN, deepen engagement with young leaders on key regional and global challenges, and strengthen people-to-people ties between the US and young Southeast Asian leaders. (MindaNews)