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Today, nearly 300 business and social entrepreneurs from 37 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada began the 2023 Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Fellowship Program, which brings emerging entrepreneurs from the Western Hemisphere to the United States for a people-to-people exchange to provide additional training, tools, networks, and resources to strengthen economic and social development across the region.

YLAI Fellows will collaborate with American companies and social enterprises in 19 U.S. cities, including Huntsville, AL; Phoenix, AZ; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; Denver, CO; Washington, D.C.; Miami, FL; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Boston, MA; Detroit, MI Kalamazoo, MI; Kansas City, MO; Charlotte, NC; New York, NY; Portland, OR; Austin, TX; Salt Lake City, UT; and Burlington, VT.

In addition to the yearly fellowship program, YLAI offers an active online network that provides young leaders throughout the Americas with opportunities to collaborate and to further their professional development.  The 2023 YLAI fellows were selected through a competitive application process by U.S. embassies across the Americas. The YLAI Fellows will conclude the program in June 2023 and will join over 1,200 YLAI Fellowship Program alumni.

The YLAI Fellowship Program, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State, will be implemented by IREX in 2023.  Follow the 2023 YLAI Fellowship Program on social media at #YLAI2023.  For press inquiries, please contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at  For more information on joining the free YLAI network or how to apply for the upcoming YLAI fellowship program, please visit

U.S. Department of State

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