Spotlight: Sokty Chhair

YSEALI members are making a difference. In the coming weeks, we will feature young leaders across the ASEAN region who have participated in YSEALI programs and show how joining this community has helped them grow professionally and personally.

Sokty Chhair
Sokty Chhair

Sokty Chhair, 34
Kobe University, Japan
Policy Adviser, Preah Vihear Province

Sokty Chhair had always thought that individualism was at the heart of American life. So when he came to the United States as a participant in the YSEALI Professional Fellows Program, he was surprised to learn how highly Americans value their families and communities. “Americans are sensitive to the feeling of others and themselves,” he explains.

Sokty also learned a lot about urban economic development. During his five-week fellowship, he worked with the city of Missoula, Montana, where he saw firsthand the “role of local government in economic development … and the interaction between government and private-sector and nongovernmental organizations.” Sokty, who hopes to develop a tourism development plan for Cambodia, also learned the central role of “citizen participation in [the] decisionmaking process for economic development.”

Sokty’s tips for success:

  • Take time to research your issue online and ask for advice from more experienced colleagues and associates.
  • Take advantage of the YSEALI Network and its website to get further information about the issue you are working on.
  • Work on developing and improving relevant skills. If you’re starting a business, it’s particularly important to acquire basic knowledge of financial statements and cash-flow management.

Hear what other Fellows had to say about their YSEALI experience and apply by December 8.