Launched by The American Turkish Society in 2011, the Young Society Leaders (YSL) is a program that convenes a select, diverse group of the American-Turkish community’s most outstanding young leaders, in their 30s and 40s. Accomplished in their fields of business, law, medicine, journalism, academia, and the arts, these dedicated individuals are committed to an improved future of U.S.-Turkish business, diplomatic, and cultural ties.
Specifically, the YSL program has three main objectives:
To build a diverse community of peers by engaging Young Society Leaders into networks and processes that would build the standing of the American-Turkish community (comprised of individuals based in Turkey and in the United States, Turkish-Americans, and Americans affiliated with Turkey).
To nurture and support the next generation of leaders for The American Turkish Society and the community at large through personal experiences and mentorships that build knowledge and engender a better understanding of the global, regional, and industry agendas.
To positively impact issues that matter to the American-Turkish community by engaging Young Global Leaders in taskforces related to specific challenges they have identified collectively.
The Society welcomed its first inaugural class on September 27, 2011, with a reception in New York City where Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoğlu gave the welcoming address, in the presence of H.E. Namik Tan, then-Ambassador of Turkey to the U.S. and the Honorable Mehmet Samsar, then Consul General of Turkey to New York. As of 2015, the YSL program has welcomed 127 members into its community, each of whom is accomplished in their respective fields, and committed to strengthening the American-Turkish community.
The American Turkish Society hosted its inaugural Young Society Leaders (YSL) Summit on June 20, 2014, at Sabancı corporate headquarters in Levent, Istanbul. The first-ever Young Society Leaders (YSL) Summit provided a unique opportunity for participants to take a deep dive into topics ranging from politics, culture, economics, bilateral U.S.-Turkey relations and more.