The USAI has embarked on a five-year leadership and democracy training program for emerging leaders, elected officials and evolving women trailblazers from Mongolia. The purpose of the USAI’s IMPACT Leadership Exchange and Training programs is to empower Mongolia’s future leaders by providing them with the skills and knowledge to participate in and take on leadership roles in democratic and electoral processes as well as civil society through a series of hands-on training workshops and exchanges in Washington, D.C. and in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
The program was conceived of in February 2018 at the conclusion of a roundtable discussion organized by USAI for a delegation of elected officials from Mongolia, led by the Honorable Shagdar Battsetseg, Non-Staff Advisor to the President of Mongolia. Ms. Shagdar expressed her desire to create a program that would help her country--a young democracy of then only 28 years -- cultivate the traditions of participating in and knowledge about democratic governance.
With the help of outside advisors, USAI developed program proposals that led to the foundation of its new IMPACT training series. Under this agreement, USAI will train five to seven cohorts a year in Washington DC. Once a year, a training delegation led by the USAI will travel to Ulaanbaatar to train 100 emerging women leaders.
The USAI received the inaugural cohort of nine Mongolian emerging leaders in Washington, D.C. from July 16 – 24, 2018. The delegation participated in a Government 101 session, had exchanges with young American leaders, participated in an interactive discussion on the rights and responsibilities of citizens in a democracy, engaged with a panel on the role of political parties in the U.S., and met with Representatives Dina Titus and Don Young, Co-Chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Mongolia, in their offices on Capitol Hill. The group also toured the Capitol, the Library of Congress and Supreme Court and received in-depth briefings on the roles of the three branches of government and the election process in the United States. They also traveled to Annapolis for a site visit of the U.S. Naval Academy.
Since the inaugural program, the US-Asia Institute has hosted 3 additional Mongolian groups, including another cohort of emerging Mongolian leaders from the business and political sectors, and a group of Mongolian women leaders hoping to run for office.
Delegates reported that they intend to “pay it forward” by taking what they learned during their IMPACT training about becoming a leader, speaking in public and working with the media to better communicate with the public back to their colleagues in Mongolia. Some delegates also expressed a wish to create a nonprofit focused on grassroots organizing to help get out the vote during elections. Though this was the first of many delegations expected as part of the IMPACT program, USAI staff are hopeful that it will in fact have an IMPACT in Mongolia by strengthening democratic engagement in that country.