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Key information for the upcoming Young Leaders Program

Important note for current applicants: Due to Covid-related restrictions, the French-American Foundation-US has decided to postpone the selection process for the next cycle of US Young Leaders by one year, from 2021 to 2022. This applies to the selection process for US-based applicants. We look forward to receiving applications for the 2022 class in January through March of 2022, and we have increased the age limit for the next cycle from 40 to 41 years old in order to include applicants who would have aged out of eligibility under the previous rules.

Note for 2019 and 2020 Young Leaders: The 2019 and 2020 classes will be traveling to France in the autumn of 2021 in order to make up for the year of missed travel. We will share more details about our travel plans in the summer of 2021.

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Participants attend two 4- to 5-day meetings over the course of two years, one in France and one in the United States. The Foundation covers the travel and lodging expenses of the Young Leaders for the two meetings.

The mission of the program is to build lasting friendships between leaders on both sides of the Atlantic, not just during the program, but also by engaging with the broader Young Leaders alumni community. The Foundation organizes events, panels and get-togethers throughout the year, both online and (Covid-permitting) in person. Even though Young Leaders live in various cities, we do 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 he or she does not abide by the charter.

Selection process and eligibility – US candidates

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 (who are between 30 and 40 years old at the time they apply and who are living and working in the United States, or who have a history of living and working in the United States) are welcome to submit an application to the French-American Foundation—United States online when the application cycle begins.

The selection process takes place in four phases:

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 are notified within 1-2 weeks of the committee meeting.

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 word. Also considered is a candidate’s enthusiasm to participate in the program and his or her interest in being an active member of the Young Leaders alumni community.

The French-American Foundation aims to select Young Leaders with diverse experiences – enabling program participants 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

Candidates living in the U.S. should apply here, to the French-American Foundation–United States, and candidates living in France should apply to the French-American Foundation in France. The application portal will open on this webpage in January of 2022.

For candidates living in the U.S.:

All of the application materials must be in English.
Candidates should send:

  • An online application form (accessible via the “click here to apply” link at the top of this page)
  • A personal statement (up to 400 words)
  • A resume
  • A copy of your passport photo page
  • An innovative way of introducing yourself. For example, applicants have sent photo collages, power point presentations, videos (2-minute maximum), and published materials. This is a chance for you to get creative and help us get to know you!
  • OPTIONAL: One letter of recommendation from someone who knows you well in a professional or academic capacity

For any questions, please contact:

Katie DeMallie
Program Director
[email protected]

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