2021 US Young Political Leaders Virtual Exchange

May 18–June 4, 2021

A bipartisan group of 17 US political leaders are participating in a virtual program as part of the 2021 US delegation of the US-Japan Young Political Leaders Exchange Program, which is co-sponsored by JCIE and the American Council for Young Political Leaders (ACYPL).

Their agenda includes meetings hosted by government officials, policy experts, and ACYPL alumni. Topics of discussion will include US-Japan diplomacy amid a difficult security environment, the economics of population aging, and preparation for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.


RAGHIB ALLIE-BRENNAN, Member, Connecticut House of Representatives (Democrat, Connecticut)

SHIRIN BIDEL-NIYAT,  Assistant Political Director, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (Democrat)

ELIZABETH GRAMLING, Chief Strategy and Operations Officer, Collaborative for Gender & Reproductive Equity (Democrat)

BROOKE GREEN, Member,  Idaho House of Representatives (Democrat, Idaho)

CATHERINE GUNSALUS, Assistant Secretary of State, Chief of Staff, Office of the Kansas Secretary of State (Republican, Kansas)

HOLLY KIM, Treasurer, Lake County (Democrat, Illinois)

NATHAN LINDSAY, Director of Appointments, Office of Governor Kay Ivey (Republican, Alabama)

SUSAN MANCHESTER, Member, Ohio House of Representatives (Republican, Ohio)

JOHN MONTGOMERY, Member, Oklahoma State Senate (Republican, Oklahoma)

STEPHANIE MORENO, Executive Director, South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable (Republican, Texas)

MARVIN PENDARVIS, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives (Democrat, South Carolina)

DANIEL SEIDEN, President and CEO, Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Republican, Arizona)

JUSTIN SMITH, Chief of Staff, Missouri Attorney General’s Office (Republican, Missouri)

PATRICK TESTIN, Member, Wisconsin State Senate (Republican, Wisconsin)

CARLOS TOBON, Member, Rhode Island House of Representatives (Democrat, Rhode Island)

MELISSA WELHAUSEN, Commissioner of Elections, Page County (Republican, Iowa)

MATTHEW WHITLEY, Deputy Prosecutor, Major Felony Division, Marion County Prosecutor’s Office (Democrat, Kentucky)

This program is organized in cooperation with the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) and with the kind assistance of US program alumni who have visited Japan on this program. We are grateful to the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership (CGP) and MRA Foundation for their support of this project.