Apply to the Program

Key information for the upcoming Young Leaders Program

— Apply to the Program

2024 cycle: Applications to the 2024 program are currently closed. Those who are selected for an interview will be notified in April 2024 and will be updated regarding the status of their candidacy by mid-June 2024. The 2024 class will be selected and announced mid- to late-June 2024.

Young Leaders attend two 5-day meetings over the course of two years, one in France and one in the United States, held during late October each year. The 2024 Young Leaders seminar will be held in Miami, Florida from Tuesday, October 22 – Saturday, October 26, 2024 (departing on Sunday, October 27). Participants are asked to reserve these dates on their calendars. Those who are unable to attend the October seminar will not be selected as Young Leaders. The Foundation covers the travel and lodging expenses of the Young Leaders for the two meetings. To learn more about past Young Leaders seminars and events, click here.

— Eligibility

New members to each US class of Young Leaders are selected via a highly competitive application process. All interested candidates who meet the eligibility requirements are welcome to submit an application to the French-American Foundation—United States.

Applicants are eligible to apply if they:

  • Are between 30 and 40 years old at the time of applying.
  • Are living and working in the United States, with US citizenship or US residency established. Candidates who live and work in France, or who are planning to do so, should apply to the French-American Foundation–France’s Young Leaders Program.
  • Demonstrate an outstanding level of leadership in their field and a desire to meaningfully contribute to transatlantic dialogue.
  • Commit to attending the full portion of the two annual seminars. Seminars are 5 days long and are held during the last two weeks of October; participants are asked to reserve these dates on their calendars.

The jury evaluates candidates based on their past leadership experience, their potential to attain the highest level of leadership in their chosen profession, and their ability to contribute to the enrichment of today’s world. Of equal importance are a candidate’s enthusiasm to participate in the program and their interest in being an active member of the Young Leaders alumni community. The French-American Foundation also aims to select Young Leaders with diverse experiences, enabling program participants to develop relationships with French and American leaders across a range of backgrounds and areas of expertise.

Please note: Membership in the French-American Foundation’s Transatlantic Forum does not influence a candidate’s application to the Young Leaders program. Although members of the Forum may apply and be accepted to the Young Leaders program, the admissions processes are not linked. Participation in one does not guarantee access to the other.

Application guidelines

All application materials must be in English. All submitted materials are for internal use only and will not be shared publicly.

Candidates should submit:

  1. An online application form (accessible during the application window)
  2. A 1-2 page personal statement describing who you are and your motivation to join the program
  3. A resume
  4. A copy of your passport photo page
  5. An innovative way of introducing yourself. Past examples include photo collages, power point presentations, videos (2-minutes maximum), and creative writings. This is a chance for you to get creative and help us get to know you beyond your resume
  6. At least one letter of recommendation from a colleague, mentor, boss, etc., with whom you have worked closely and knows you in a personal and professional capacity. Only one letter is required, and applicants may submit a maximum of two letters. Letters of recommendation may be addressed to the Young Leaders Selection Committee, and must be uploaded digitally as part of the candidate’s application via the application portal. While letters of recommendation have been optional in the past few years, they will be a required component of the application going forward.

While at least one letter of recommendation is required, candidates have the option to include a reference if they so wish. The letter of recommendation serves as a detailed and personalized assessment of an applicant’s skills and character, as well as a testament to how they would be a good fit for the program. A reference would provide a direct contact for a more general verification of a candidate’s background and qualifications.

— Selection Process

The selection process takes place in four phases, from April to June:

  • Phase One: The Foundation advances the top half to two-thirds of applications to interviewers.
  • Phase Two: Interviewers, who are comprised of Board Members and alumni of the Young Leaders program, interview selected candidates, either in-person or by phone.
  • Phase Three: The Young Leaders selection committee, made up of a group of alumni from a diverse range of classes and sectors, reviews applications and interview comments, and votes on candidates.
  • Phase Four: The selection committee meets to make final decisions regarding the class. Candidates will be notified by mid-June of 2024.

— Young Leaders Responsibilities Charter

The mission of the program is to build lasting ties between leaders on both sides of the Atlantic — during the program, and also by engaging with the broader Young Leaders alumni community. The Foundation organizes events, panels and get-togethers throughout the year, both online and in person. Even though Young Leaders live in various cities, we ask that Young Leaders remain engaged in the community and contribute to the activities of the Foundation during the two-year program (and beyond!). For more information, please see the Young Leaders Responsibilities Charter. The Foundation reserves the right to withdraw a Young Leader from the program if they do not abide by the charter.