U.S Department of State
Office of the Spokesperson
August 14, 2019
The 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 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, policy-focused 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.