Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative Professional Fellows Program

Since 2016, The University of Texas at Austin has hosted the prestigious Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative Professional Fellows Program (YLAI). YLAI empowers entrepreneurs and innovative civil society leaders to strengthen their capacity to launch and advance their entrepreneurial ideas and effectively contribute to social and economic development in their communities.

YLAI is a two-way, global exchange program designed to enhance leadership and professional skills, and build lasting and sustainable partnerships between mid-level emerging leaders from foreign countries and the United States.

Through the program, the YLAI Fellows will:

  • Be placed in a professional fellowship at a start-up, small enterprise, small business group, NGO or social enterprise
  • Build networks, linkages and lasting partnerships to attract investments and support for their entrepreneurial ventures
  • Develop specific action plans to carry out upon return to their home countries
  • The fellowship placement is complemented by weekly virtual classroom sessions.
  • The YLAI Fellows will also engage in community service activities to experience service learning, network with local business leaders and join cultural enrichment activities to learn more about Texan and American ways of life.

YLAI is a program of the United States Government. It is administered by the U.S. Department of State and is supported by Meridian International Center.

Community Partners

Get Involved!

Host a YLAI Fellow - Email ylai@austin.utexas.edu for more information on how to become a placement host.

Overnight Homestay - Host one of our YLAI Fellows for a night and participate in a unique cultural exchange.

Program page - Home page for program participants

Meet the Fellows - Meet the 2017 YLAI Fellows and read their biographies.