U.S. State Department Announces Start of Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative Fellowship Application Process
The U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce that applications for the 2020 Young Leaders of
the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program will be accepted through September 18,
2019. See https://ylai.state.gov for more information or to join the YLAI Network.
Launched in 2015, YLAI is the Department of State’s flagship program to empower emerging
entrepreneurs from the Western Hemisphere to enable the full economic potential of the region’s
citizens. Combining a yearly professional fellows program, an active online network, and ongoing
engagement from U.S. embassies, YLAI fosters prosperity, inclusive development, and democratic
values. YLAI also promotes U.S. business models, increased trade, and job creation.
To date, the YLAI Professional Fellows Program has helped over 750 business and social
entrepreneurs to build new leadership skills, collaborate with American counterparts, and expand their
ventures. Each year, approximately 70 U.S. hosts visit their Fellows to work on joint action plans and
develop their own business ties. The YLAI Network is an open, online community of 40,000
entrepreneurship-minded young leaders from across the Americas. Network members engage with
curated leadership and business development resources that highlight innovative U.S. models, policyfocused campaigns, and networking opportunities. U.S. embassies and consulates connect fellows
and Network members and support mentoring networks with diverse populations to advance social and
economic development in their communities.
The yearly YLAI Professional Fellows Program is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of
Educational and Cultural Affairs and implemented for 2020 by IREX. This year, the Fellows Program
has been expanded to 280 participants and will include fellows from Canada for the first time.