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Liberty and Leadership Forum

The Bush Institute's Liberty and Leadership Forum is an innovative educational and training program that equips young leaders with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed during a democratic transition. The goals of the program are to foster democratic political currents, cultivate networks of individuals unified around a common vision, and prepare men and women for increased leadership in countries where transitions to freedom are occurring.

The year-long program includes more than 115 hours of training around three pillars of study:

  • The principles of liberal democracy and economic freedom
  • Lessons from other democratic transitions
  • Practical leadership and management skills
Core Components
  • An initial three-week visit to the United States gives participants first-hand experience of life in a mature democracy.
  • Participants return to their country and begin applying their learning; in-country trainings help reinforce knowledge and skills introduced in the U.S.
  • At the end of the program year, Young Leaders return to the U.S. for a final week of site visits and job shadowing to demonstrate key program principles and leadership skills in action.

Two young leaders have run for Parliament in Burma since participating in the program, one was elected

Meet the Young Leaders

Focus on Burma

The selection of Burma for the first two classes of the Liberty and Leadership Forum builds on the legacy of President and Mrs. Bush in standing with Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and the brave men and women of Burma’s pro-democracy movement. While Burma recently embarked on a path to democracy, the country’s destination is not yet guaranteed. One key to success is ensuring that today’s young democracy advocates in Burma are prepared to be tomorrow’s political and civil society leaders.

Foreign Policy Magazine named young leader Wai Wai Nu a top 100 global thinker in 2015

Highlights of the Program

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"By giving me the opportunity to learn about democratic principles and leadership skills… The Liberty and Leadership Forum gave me the confidence to express my opinions about the future of Burma.” -Yan Htaik Seng, Liberty and Leadership Young Leader

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