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News - Youth For Understanding USA

Latest news about Youth for Understanding USA student exchange programs worldwide – Events – Partnerships.

YFU Alum Confirmed to Lead U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Jennifer McKendree


New U.S. Health Secretary a program alum of global intercultural exchange nonprofit organization, Youth For Understanding

Bethesda, MD (June 5, 2014) – Youth For Understanding USA (YFU) Alum, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who was a YFU scholarship recipient to Japan in 1982, has just been confirmed as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The Senate unanimously appointed Burwell as Director of the Office of Management and Budget last April. Prior to that appointment, she was President of the WalMart Foundation and before that, spent 10 years with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, during which time she served as their Chief Operating Officer and President of the Global Development Program.

“We're very proud of Secretary Burwell and the many alumni who go on to significant leadership positions after their exchange year,” said Michael E. Hill, President & CEO of YFU. “YFU believes that by studying abroad, young people undergo a transformative journey that helps them to develop the leadership competencies necessary to meet the challenges and benefit from the opportunities of a fast-changing global community. We are grateful for the example set by Secretary Burwell of the limitless potential of YFU participants to serve as key leaders of tomorrow.”