Closing Summit for the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative

US Department of State

Office of the Spokesperson

For Immediate Release
November 3, 2016

Notice to the press

U.S. government, private sector and civil society leaders will meet with 250 Latin American and Caribbean young business and social entrepreneurs from November 9-11 at the Closing Summit of the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program. President Obama launched the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative in April 2015 to expand opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs and innovative civil society activists in Latin America and the Caribbean. YLAI is one of the four Young Leaders Initiatives that aim to empower young people around the world and ensure they have the tools, skills, and networks to tackle our shared global challenges.

The Summit, held in Washington, D.C., will feature a dialogue with Sir Richard Branson and a pitch competition with judges representing business, government, venture capitalists and other organizations engaged in the Western Hemisphere. Under Secretary for Political Affairs Tom Shannon, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel, Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan, IIP Coordinator Macon Phillips, Acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Mari Carmen Aponte, and Sir Richard Branson will also meet with the participants.

The young Latin American and Caribbean leaders are convening in Washington after spending five weeks in individualized fellowships developing their business or social venture plans at start-ups, small businesses, and various organizations in cities throughout the United States and in partnership with community groups and U.S. universities. The YLAI Fellows Program is the flagship program of the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative. Alumni of the Program will join other young entrepreneurs and change makers from Latin America and the Caribbean in the YLAI Network.

Media representatives may attend these events upon presentation of one of the following: (1) a U.S. Government-issued photo media credential (e.g., Department of State, White House, Congress, Department of Defense or Foreign Press Center); or (2) an official photo identification card issued by their news organization; or (3) a letter from their employer on official letterhead verifying their current employment as a journalist. Additionally, they must present an official government photo identification card (i.e. a U.S. driver's license or passport).

To request media credentials for open-press events, please contact Participants and those watching the livestreams at are encouraged to use the hashtag #YLAI2016 to join the conversation.

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