Meridian International Center to Implement First – Ever Program for the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative

February 5, 2016

Media Contacts: Monique McSween | (202) 939-5882


Program signifies important step in Obama Administration’s Commitment to Fostering Entrepreneurship in the Americas

Washington, DC: On February 25, 2016, 24 young entrepreneurs from 20 countries across the Americas will arrive in the U.S. to participate in the first-ever Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) program. Meridian International Center will implement this pilot phase of the program, which signifies an important first step in fulfilling the Obama Administration’s commitment to cultivating successful entrepreneurs in the Americas.

The 3-week YLAI program, sponsored by the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, will position participants in skills-based business incubator organizations, depending on their areas of expertise and professional goals. Participants will also be assigned a mentor and participate in the day-to-day operations of American organizations and benefit from job-shadowing. The program will highlight projects that contribute to entrepreneurship and innovation in the following areas: technology for social change, appropriate technology for development, mobile application technology, renewable energy technology, and public health technology.

The YLAI pilot will officially open on February 25th in Miami, FL. Participants will then engage in fellowships in one of the following cities: Seattle, WA; Denver, CO; Charlotte, NC; and Miami, FL. The program will wrap-up with three days of professional programming in Washington, DC, which will focus on leadership development training and resource meetings with American institutions specializing in their area of expertise.

YLAI pilot participants have been selected from the following countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela.

About Meridian International Center

Meridian International Center is a premier nonprofit, global leadership organization headquartered in Washington, DC. Building on more than 55 years of experience, Meridian prepares U.S. and international leaders to meet global challenges and opportunities. Meridian’s suite of programs delivers the approach and environment for leaders to understand global issues and cultures, exchange ideas, collaborate on solutions, and build valuable relationships.

Meridian’s mission is to create innovative exchange, education, cultural, and policy programs that advance three goals:

  • Strengthen U.S. engagement with the world through the power of exchange.
  • Prepare public and private sector leaders for a complex global future.
  • Provide a neutral forum for international collaboration across sectors.

For more information, please contact Evan Kindle, YLAI Program Manager or

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