Selection Process

Each Young Leaders class is comprised of 25 American and 25 Swiss promising young opinion leaders between the ages of 28 and 40.

The goal of the program is to develop a more sophisticated understanding of Switzerland in the U.S. and expand the historic friendship between the two countries. Therefore, preference is given to American nominees with limited or no prior experience in Switzerland. We look for nominees with strong roots in their communities. American participants usually work within the fields of government, media, business, academia, or public policy. We are less interested in individuals who have previously participated in Young Leaders programs of other countries.

American participants are typically nominated by alumni, members of the Foundation, and a variety of other sources focused on the transatlantic relationship. It is the Foundation’s defining program, and therefore extremely competitive.

Recommendations are accepted year-round and evaluated by the Board’s Nominating Committee on a rolling basis. To apply or recommend a prospective American Young Leader, submit a resume and letter of recommendation outlining what distinguishes the individual as a leader and how they can contribute to the conference to or via postal mail to the New York office.

Swiss participants are selected annually by the Foundation’s Swiss Advisory Council. For more information, email