Building Trade Ties with ASEAN’s Female Leaders

WASHINGTON DC – The ASEAN region is one of the world’s most dynamic and diverse markets. A key player of global supply chains, the ten member states of ASEAN have an extensive network of trade arrangements and are collectively expected to become the world’s fourth largest economy by 2030. Within this context, new and expanding opportunities are emerging for women to help shape the region’s trade and economic landscape. As women from Southeast Asia populate these ranks, they will benefit from opportunities to improve negotiating skills, deepen other competencies including the ability to work within their societies to develop inclusive agreements, and advance toward greater gender parity.

In light of this, the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) is launching the initiative “Building Trade Ties with ASEAN’s Emerging Female Leaders” in partnership with the Silverado Policy Accelerator. This initiative aims to promote the career development of up-and-coming women in trade, provide them with training and mentorship to thrive in their respective careers, and support their professional development as ASEAN’s next generation of female trade negotiators and experts.

About the Building Trade Ties with ASEAN’s Emerging Female Leaders Program 

The Emerging Female Leaders program offers the opportunity for female professionals from ASEAN with interest and experience in international trade to participate in an intensive 10-day long program in the United States featuring workshops, briefings, and capacity-building exercises in Washington, D.C., New York City, and San Francisco. The program will take place tentatively in September – October 2022 and include meetings with current and former U.S. officials, trade experts, female business leaders in the media, finance, and tech sectors, and other speakers.

The program focuses on developing skills and competencies for trade negotiations and working in the trade field more broadly. It seeks to deepen understanding of trade negotiations and trade policymaking, and provides mentorship and guidance for women’s empowerment in the workplace. Sessions covered a range of relevant topics, including:

  • Understanding the trade negotiating process
  • Gaining negotiating skills, including strategies and tactics, creative problem solving, and “getting to yes”
  • Working with the private sector, legislative, and other government ministries through trade policy consultations
  • Navigating the media and public perceptions of trade
  • Developing skills to advance in the work place and providing career development guidance
  • Age: 40 or under (to be eligible for this year’s cohort of ASEAN’s Emerging Female Leaders, candidate must be born on or after January 14, 1982)
  • Language Skills: Fluent in Spoken and Written English
  • Nationality: Citizens of ASEAN
  • Professional Experience: Background in a trade-related field and some work experience preferred. Relevant fields include:
    • Government agencies involved in international trade
    • Private sector and businesses engaged in international trade
    • Legal professions, particularly related to trade law
    • Other relevant trade backgrounds including academia
  • Career Path: Strong interest in continuing to pursue a career in trade.
Application Timeline
  • Application window opens – January 6, 2022
  • Deadline for Application Submissions – February 28, 2022
  • Candidates Selected and Notified – April 15, 2022
  • Orientation Webinar – Summer 2022

* Please note this timeline is subject to change.

Application Process and Materials

Applications should be sent by email to with the subject line “ASEAN’s Emerging Female Leaders Application.”

Applications should include the following:

  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • Statement of Interest – A 1-page explanation of why the applicant is interested in the program, what they hope to gain from participation, how they will contribute to the success of the program, and how participation aligns with their career goals.
  • 1 Letter of Recommendation

For questions about the program and to submit applications please email