About YLAI

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The Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) aims to empower Latin American and Caribbean business and social entrepreneurs to transform their societies and contribute more fully to economic development and prosperity, security, human rights, and good governance in the hemisphere. The program was established in 2016 and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and implemented by Meridian International Center

The University of Notre Dame was among an elite group of 21 universities and city organizations chosen to host 14 of the inaugural class of YLAI Fellows – out of a total nationwide group of 250 – in 2016. In fall 2017, the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD) and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies will welcome 10 new YLAI Fellows to Notre Dame and the greater Michiana area for the 2017 program. Fellows will learn to accelerate their commercial and social ventures’ success and develop specific action plans to carry out upon return to their home countries. Upon their arrival this October, the fellows will participate in: 

  • A four-week fellowship with a local organization. By shadowing U.S. fellowship hosts in their field of expertise, the YLAI Fellows gain valuable professional development skills at entrepreneurial businesses, nonprofits, or governmental organizations across the Michiana region and work jointly on a venture action plan to be implemented upon fellows’ return to their home countries.
  • The YLAI Entrepreneurship Institute. YLAI Fellows expand their leadership, entrepreneurial, and management skills and knowledge through online and in-person trainings at Notre Dame that complement their four-week fellowship.
  • A summit in Washington, D.C. In mid-November, the YLAI Fellows will participate in a multi-day conference and networking event with top U.S. government officials, as well as global public, private, and nonprofit leaders.
  • Sustained engagement. After successful completion of the four-week fellowship and the YLAI Entrepreneurship Institute, fellows continue their collaboration with U.S. partners and have access to ongoing professional development opportunities, mentorships, networking, and YLAI alumni activities.
  • Reverse exchange. American mentors will have the opportunity to apply for a reverse exchange to visit their fellow, as well as other fellows in the region, for a multi-week trip in 2018.

In addition to the U.S. Department of State and Meridian International Center, NDIGD and the Kellogg Institute are supported in this program by the Keough School of Global Affairs and Notre Dame’s Engineering, Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Excellence Master’s (ESTEEM) Program.


About NDIGD

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The Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD) combines the existing world-class teaching and research faculty of the University with a dedicated staff of experienced international development professionals, administrators, and researchers.  Together we address the challenges of building just and equitable societies by leveraging the University’s signature strengths to promote development and human dignity worldwide. 

Drawing on experts across multiple disciplines, NDIGD conducts monitoring, evaluation, and training, and assists in strategic planning for and implementation of innovative global development programs. We maximize our impact through partnership with government agencies, non-governmental agencies, humanitarian organizations, foundations, and private corporations in the United States and overseas. Learn more at ndigd.nd.edu.

About the Kellogg Institute

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Supporting the research and educational mission of the University of Notre Dame by engaging faculty, students, and visiting scholars in a supportive intellectual community, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies works to project the University onto the global stage. The Kellogg Institute promotes research excellence on critical global challenges, with a particular focus on democracy and human development. Building on a core interest in Latin America and Africa, the Kellogg Institute fosters research on the developing world and beyond.

The Kellogg Institute forms an integral part of Notre Dame’s Catholic mission by addressing normative and scholarly concerns that embody the values reflected in Catholic social thought. Learn more at kellogg.nd.edu.