2022 Young Leaders Institute: International Security and DefenseVIEW EVENT DETAILS
2022 Summer Youth Programs
In a world more globally connected than ever before, leaders need to be well-prepared with the right knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behaviors to be successful. Asia Society Texas' Young Leaders Institute (YLI) is a week-long summer program for high school students that promotes global competence, elevates leadership skills, and connects students from across diverse backgrounds and experiences.
Since launching in 2016, the Young Leaders Institute has provided new perspectives and strengthened skills for nearly 400 students. The Institute's seventh year returns to fully in-person sessions, while students are invited to explore some of the most timely, relevant global issues for young leaders today.
What skills will students learn from the Young Leaders Institute?
During the Institute, students will engage in the four tenets of global competence, as defined by the Asia Society Center for Global Education: investigating the world, recognizing perspectives, communicating ideas, and taking action.
Throughout the week, students will deepen their knowledge of the global policy issues of the day, then work in teams to research and develop solutions for challenges facing the world. In their groups, students will practice their communication and collaboration skills, strengthen their written and oral presentation skills, and engage respectfully and thoughtfully with peers to expand their views and understanding of the world.
In addition, students will have the opportunity to learn new approaches to leadership and practice the different skills demanded of leaders — not only taking initiative, but collaborating, practicing empathy, and overcoming differences.
What activities should students expect during the Institute?
During the Institute, students will hear lectures from experts in the field, engage in team-building or leadership activities, and work in groups to research, debate, and present policy solutions for challenges facing the world. While students will be provided time to work during the session, some work outside of Institute hours will be expected.
On the Institute's final day, student groups will present their policy recommendations developed from all they have learned throughout the week before a panel of impartial judges. A top group will be selected and honored for their policy presentation. Students will be mentored throughout the week by Asia Society Texas staff, receiving feedback and guidance on topics, teamwork, and presentation skills.
Session 2: International Security and Defense
Schedule: Monday, July 11 – Friday, July 15, 2022・8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Daily
Location: Asia Society Texas Center: 1370 Southmore Blvd, Houston, TX 77004
Students accepted for this session will receive an email and informational packet approximately one week before the start date.
What topics might be discussed during the International Security and Defense session?
- The impact of the U.S.–China great power competition on global security
- Balance of national security interests against international treaties and multilateral agreements
- Nuclear proliferation and deterrence policy, especially with regard to North Korea and Iran
- U.S. policy toward Taiwan and the possibility of military intervention
- The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue and its impact on U.S. security alliances
- Tensions in the South China Sea
- How the Russia–Ukraine conflict might affect Central Asia
- The shifting India–Pakistan relations
- Conflict in Burma, including the impact of the Rohingya refugee crisis on neighboring countries
- The future of Afghanistan following U.S. troop withdrawal
- How the pandemic has impacted international security alliances and defense strategies
About the Speakers
Jeremiah O. Asaka is an Assistant Professor of Security Studies in the Department of Security Studies at Sam Houston State University. He specializes in environmental and human security issues. Some of his works have been published in the Routledge Handbook of Resource Nexus, Routledge Handbook of Environmental Conflict and Peacemaking, Case Studies in the Environment, Journal of Arid Environments, and The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs among others. Prior to joining SHSU, Dr. Asaka completed a two year National Science Foundation (NSF) Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Coasts and Communities Fellowship at the University of Massachusetts Boston, one week Summer School on Sustainable Climate Risk Management (SCRiM) at Pennsylvania State University, and two year Lectureship in Global Studies at Middle Tennessee State University where he developed and taught a special topics course on Globalization, Environment and Security wherein students explored the nexus between environment and security in a globalizing world. Dr. Asaka earned an M.S. degree at Ohio University, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at University of Massachusetts Boston.
Eric Botts is Assistant Professor and Director of the Global Cyber Security Program at the University of St. Thomas. After serving for 31 years in the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer (Santo Domingo, Seoul, Dublin, and Nassau), Assistant Director of the Houston Passport Agency and an Information Systems Security Officer, he retired in 2014. During his federal career he also served as Program Chairman of the Gulf Coast Federal Safety Council, and as a member of the Federal Executive Board. Mr. Botts teaching experience includes the University of Houston Downtown courses in cybersecurity and organizational resilience at the graduate level and Women’s Institute of Houston teaching courses in international relations. Mr. Botts is a founding board member of the Foreign Policy Alliance and has spoken on foreign policy issues to the media, civic groups, and at universities and colleges. In the private sector, he worked as a security project manager/consultant for Swailes & Co. Inc. specializing in cyber security, risk management, business continuity, due diligence, travel security, and investigations. In the cyber security community, he sits on the Secure World Advisory Council, and served on the Executive Board of the IT Summit. Mr. Botts received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from St. Mary’s University and Master of Security Management from the University of Houston Downtown.
Zachary Zwald is an Instructional Assistant Professor in International Security at the Universtiy of Houston. Before joining UH, Mr. Zwald was an Assistant Professor jointly appointed in the U.S. Air War College and the USAF Center for Unconventional Weapons Studies. He has served as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies at the Ohio State University and, during the 2013-2014 academic year, as the Stanton Foundation Nuclear Security Junior Faculty Fellow at MIT. Mr. Zwald has presented his research to agencies throughout the US government. His research examines judgment- and decision-making processes on issues at the intersection of technology and international security. Nr, Zwald’s current book project, Constructing Military Power, provides the first systematic analysis of how policymakers—military officers, government officials, and scientific experts—arrive at judgments and decision preferences on candidate military technology.
“Yes, [I would recommend YLI]! This was very informative and I’m sure that my friends would enjoy it! I also loved being treated like a policy maker, as I am very interested in these issues. The feedback was good and I will definitely be using the info and strategies that I learned from this session in my every day.” — 2021 U.S.–China Relations student
“The most important thing I learned this week was learning to not only listen to others, but also to learn how to combine key skills like research, teamwork, policy, and presentation (as demonstrated by many of the speakers who spoke to us this week). I also learned the importance of being thoughtful towards others.” — 2021 Public Health student
“I would recommend the Young Leaders Institute to my peers because this week long camp gave such a great insight into worldwide issues as well as key leadership qualities that can be developed by collaborating with your group members!” — 2021 Public Health student
“A good leader is open minded, considerate, and enthusiastic. After attending YLI, I will become more positive. A positive attitude is contagious and will encourage other people to be more open to each other’s ideas.” — 2021 Social Justice and Civic Engagement student
Session 1: Energy and Sustainability
Monday, June 20 – Friday, June 24, 2022・8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Daily
Explore the complex and interconnected issues of energy and sustainability, including the roles played by transitioning industries, new technology, and world governments, amid worsening climate disasters across the globe and a heightened push for environmental justice and equity.
Session 3: Global Education
Monday, July 25 – Friday, July 29, 2022・8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Daily
Learn more about the U.N. sustainable development goal around ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education around the globe, and what that means in Asia Pacific countries, in the U.S., and for girls — along with the setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Young Leaders Institute is presented by BP America. Education and Outreach programs at Asia Society Texas are presented by Wells Fargo. Generous funding also provided by Cathay Bank Foundation and the George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation. Additional support is provided by Friends of Asia Society Texas Center, a dedicated group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing the best in exhibitions and public programming to Houston.
About Asia Society Texas
Asia Society Texas believes in the strength and beauty of diverse perspectives and people. As an educational institution, we advance cultural exchange by celebrating the vibrant diversity of Asia, inspiring empathy, and fostering a better understanding of our interconnected world. Spanning the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, our programming is rooted in the educational and cultural development of our community — trusting in the power of art, dialogue, and ideas to combat bias and build a more inclusive society.
1370 Southmore Blvd
Houston, TX 77004