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Young Leaders Conference


About the Conference

The American Swiss Foundation’s Young Leaders Conference was initiated in 1990 to create person-to-person exchange and foster mutual understanding among the next generation of leaders in Switzerland and the United States.

Held in Switzerland each year, the conference brings together approximately 50 Americans and Swiss aged 28-40 for a week of intensive discussion and exchange on a broad range of current issues of importance to U.S.-Swiss relations; meetings with high-level diplomatic, government, business, media, and cultural leaders; and excursions to Switzerland’s beautiful mountains and historic landmarks. Participants are selected based on nominations by trusted advisors of the American Swiss Foundation. Because this is the Foundation’s defining program, the selection process is extremely competitive. 

The Young Leaders Conference is made possible through the generosity of corporate and individual sponsors and Swiss International Air Lines, which provides travel sponsorship for U.S. participants.

Over the past thirty years, more than 1,450 alumni have participated in the Young Leaders Conference. To view previous classes, click here


Upcoming Conference

The 2024 Young Leaders Conference will take place in Basel, with primary sponsorship by Novartis and Swiss International Air Lines.


Novartis SWISS_Logo_New_(Red)




Notable Alumni

The American Swiss Foundation (ASF) fosters economic, cultural, political, and personal ties between the two countries through citizen-to-citizen direct diplomacy. ASF’s flagship Young Leaders Conference focuses on promising young people from both countries who will shape public opinion on both sides of the Atlantic in the years to come. ASF’s goal is to inspire these Young Leaders to continue the centuries-long Swiss-American friendship through active engagement with one another.

The alumni included in the curated lists below are influential government officials, entrepreneurs and business executives, media professionals, academics, and public policy experts dedicated to promoting deeper friendship and understanding between the two “sister republics.”

American Alumni

  • Jerome Adams, MD, Purdue Health Equity Director, 20th U.S. Surgeon General of the United States (YL 2015)
  • Chike Aguh, Senior Advisor, Project on Workforce at Harvard University, former Chief Innovation Officer at U.S. Department of Labor, Biden-Harris Administration (YL 2022)
  • Cristobal Alex, Partner, Tusk Strategies (YL 2015)
  • Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, Rhode Island Hospital, former Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health (YL 2016)
  • Kent Anker, Chief Legal Officer at the Episcopal Church, former ASF Board Member and former President of the Young Leaders Alumni Council (YL 1994)
  • Donald Baer, Senior Partner with Brunswick Group, Founder and CEO of of Palisades Strategic Advisors. Former chairman of PBS Board (YL 1991)
  • Michael Barone, Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and Senior Political Analyst at the Washington Examiner (YL 1993)
  • The Honorable John Barrasso, U.S. Senator (R-WY) (YL 1990)
  • Josh Barro, author of the Very Serious Newsletter, and host of the Very Serious podcast (YL 2012)
  • Guy Benson, Political Editor at, and Fox News Contributor (YL 2018)
  • Aisha Bowe, Founder & CEO, STEMBoard, and former NASA  Aerospace Engineer (YL 2017)
  • Joel T. Brennan, President, Greater Milwaukee Committee (YL 2011)
  • Gale Brewer,  New York Council Member for the Upper West Side (YL 1994)
  • David Brooks, columnist for The New York Times (YL 1992)
  • The Honorable Sharon Weston Broome, Mayor-President of Baton Rouge, LA (YL 1995)
  • The Honorable Byron W. Brown, Mayor of Buffalo, NY (YL 2002)
  • Terri C. Burns, Co-Chair, Fortune's Brainstorm Tech Conference (YL 2018)
  • Pierce Bush, CEO Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star (YL 2021)
  • The Honorable Joaquin Castro, U.S. Representative (D-TX) (YL 2010)
  • Andrea Catsimatidis, Manhattan Republican Party Chair, Manhattan Republican Party (YL 2019)
  • The Honorable Paige Gebhardt Cognetti, Mayor of the City of Scranton, PA (YL 2021)
  • Kevin Conroy, Chairman and CEO of Exact Sciences (YL 2010)
  • Anisa Kamadoli Costa, Chief Sustainability Officer and President & Trustee, Rivian Foundation (YL 2003)
  • The Honorable Charlie Crist, former Governor of Florida (YL 1991)
  • Michael Crowley, Diplomatic Correspondent for The New York Times (YL 2006)
  • Jamie Dailey, Grand Ole Opry member, Grammy nominee and Emmy nominee (YL 2005)
  • Brian Deese, Institute Innovation Fellow, MIT, former Director of the National Economic Council, The White House (YL 2002)
  • Nancy-Ann DeParle, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Consonance Capital Partners, former Deputy Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama (YL 1991)
  • Tim Dickinson, Senior Writer at Rolling Stone (YL 2007)
  • John Farrar, Managing Director, Retail, Google (YL 2012)
  • The Honorable Bill Ferguson, President of the Senate, State Senator (46th Leg. Dist.) at The Maryland General Assembly (YL 2021)
  • Khalil Fuller, Founder & CEO, Giftcard Bank, Founder GSBuilds, Co-Founder & President at Boundless Venture Co (YL 2021)
  • Charlie Gerow, former ASF Board Member, CEO of Quantum Communications (YL 1998)
  • Robert George, former member of Bloomberg Opinion Editorial Board (YL 2001)
  • The Honorable Gabrielle Giffords, Co-Founder of Giffords, and former member of the United States House of Representatives representing Arizona's 8th congressional district (YL 2004)
  • Robert Giuffra, ASF Chair, Co-Chair and Partner at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP (YL 1996)
  • Michelle Gonzalez, CVP and Global Head of M12 at Microsoft's Venture Fund (YL 2009)
  • Carol Graham, Professor, University of Maryland School of Public Policy, Senior Scientist, The Gallup Organization (YL 1992)
  • Joe Hagan, Special Correspondent for Vanity Fair (YL 2004)
  • Laura Brod Hameed, Executive Director, CureDuchenne (YL 2008)
  • John Hammond, Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor of Indiana Eric J. Holcomb (YL 2014)
  • Michelle Hanlon, Howard W. Johnson Professor and Professor of Accounting at the MIT School of Management (YL 2010)
  • James Hauslein, ASF Board Member and Managing Director of Hauslein & Company, Inc. (YL 2001)
  • Chris Hayes, host of “All In with Chris Hayes” on MSNBC, and Editor-at-Large of The Nation (YL 2008)
  • Kashmir Hill, Technology Reporter at The New York Times (YL 2019)
  • Steven Hoch, ASF Chair Emeritus and Partner at Brown Advisory (YL 1990)
  • The Honorable Bill Huizenga, U.S. Representative (R-MI) (YL 2009)
  • Clark Hunt, Chairman and CEO of the Kansas City Chiefs (YL 1995)
  • Joseph K. Hurd III, former ASF Board Member and Operating Partner, SOSV (YL 2008)
  • Brigadier General Andrew Hutchinson (USA, ret.), former ASF Board Member (YL 2001)
  • Neil Irwin, Chief Economic Correspondent at Axios (YL 2008)
  • Nicholas Johnston, Publisher, Axios (YL 2009)
  • Lauren Jones, MA Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development (YL 2017)
  • Shanthi Kalathil, Principal, MDO Advisors, Former National Security Council, The White House (YL 2003)
  • Patrick Radden Keefe, author, and Staff Writer at The New Yorker (YL 2006)
  • Jesse Kimball, ASF Board Member, and Founding Partner and Managing Member at Windswept Royalties LLC (YL 2014)
  • The Honorable Kris Kobach, Kansas Attorney General (YL 2006)
  • Ajay Kori, Co-Founder of Novilla Pharmaceuticals, Allay Lamp, and UrbanStems (YL 2016)
  • Jane Labanowski, Research Program Management at Google DeepMind (YL 2021)
  • Randall Lane, Chief Content Officer at Forbes (YL 1996)
  • The Honorable Frank LaRose, Ohio Secretary of State (YL 2011)
  • Kent Lassman, President and CEO of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (YL 2017)
  • The Honorable Quinton Lucas, Mayor of Kansas City, City of Kansas City (YL 2023)
  • The Honorable Meghan Lukens, State Representative, Colorado House of Representatives (YL 2023)
  • The Honorable Patrick L. McCrory, former Governor of North Carolina (YL 1996)
  • Matthew McKnight, General Manager, Biosecurity at Ginkgo Bioworks (YL 2014)
  • The Honorable Edward T. McMullen, Jr., ASF Vice Chair and former Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein (YL 1995)
  • The Honorable Alex Mooney, U.S. Representative (R-WV) (YL 2006)
  • Deroy Murdock, American Journalist, Political Commentator, and Fox News Contributing Editor (YL 1996)
  • The Honorable Svante Myrick, Former Mayor of Ithaca, NY and President & CEO of People for the American Way (YL 2014)
  • Ron Nehring (YL 2003), Chairman, California Republican Party (2007-2011)
  • The Honorable Donald Norcross,U.S. Representative (D-NJ) (YL 2006)
  • Daniel Oliver, former ASF Board Member and Founder and Managing Member of Myrmikan Capital, LLC (YL 2014)
  • Richard Painter, S. Walter Richey Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Minnesota (YL 1997)
  • Sara Peletz, Advisor to the CEO, Palantir Technologies 
  • John Podhoretz, Editor of Commentary and columnist for the New York Post (YL 1998)
  • Ramesh Ponnuru, Senior Editor at National Review, and columnist for Bloomberg Opinion (YL 1999)
  • The Honorable Art Pope, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Variety Wholesalers (YL 1990)
  • Gregory Field Price, ASF Board Member, Senior Counsel, Cameron LLP (YL 2021)
  • David Rainbolt, Chairman of BancFirst (YL 1991)
  • Manu Raju, Anchor, Inside Politics Sunday, Chief Congressional Correspondent, CNN (YL 2013)
  • The Honorable Dana Redd, President and CEO, Camden Community Partnership (YL 2010)
  • The Honorable Kimberly Reed, ASF Board Member, and former Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (YL 2001)
  • Nouriel Roubini, Chief Economist at Atlas Capital Team L.P. (YL 1998)
  • Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax Media (YL 2001)
  • April Ryan, White House Correspondent for the Grio (YL 2004)
  • Joe Semsar, Head of East Coast Capital Markets at the New York Stock Exchange (YL 2022)
  • The Honorable Caroline Simmons, Connecticut State Representative (D-144th District) (YL 2017)
  • Michael Smerconish, radio host on SiriusXM, and TV host on CNN (YL 1990)
  • Anna Soellner, Vice President of Communications at Reddit (YL 2007)
  • Jamal Sowell, former Secretary of Commerce, State of Florida (YL 2022)
  • Stephen Spinelli, Jr., President of Babson College (YL 1999)
  • Chris Sprowls, former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives (R) (YL 2019)
  • Anthony Svanascini, ASF Board Member, CEO, (YL 2010)
  • James Taranto, Editorial Features Editor and Editorial Board Member, The Wall Street Journal (YL 2000)
  • Josie Tomkow, State Representative, Florida House of Representatives (YL 2022) 
  • Maxeme Tuchman, CEO & Co-Founder of Caribu (YL 2018)
  • John Tuttle, ASF Board Member, Vice Chairman at the New York Stock Exchange & President of the NYSE Institute (YL 2011)
  • Derek Wallbank, Managing Editor, Bloomberg News (YL 2014)
  • Cameron Wendt, ASF Board Member, Global Communications Lead, Palantir Technologies (YL 2019)
  • Matthew Yglesias, Co-Founder of Vox, and writer and Editor at (YL 2008)

Swiss Alumni


Past Sponsors


Young Leaders Conferences 1990-2024

1990   UBS

1991   Swiss Bank Corporation & Nestlé

1992   Winterthur Swiss Insurance Company

1993   UBS

1994   Credit Suisse

1995   Ciba-Geigy & F. Hoffmann-La Roche

1996   Geneva Private Bankers Association & Rolex International

1997   Zurich Insurance

1998   Pharma/ Chemical Industry Basel

1999   Nestlé

2000   Swiss Re

2001   Holcim

2002   Novartis International AG

2003   Schindler Holding Ltd.

2004   Geneva Private Bankers Association & Nestlé

2005   UBS

2006   Credit Suisse

2007   UBS

2008   Rolex International

2009   Swiss National Bank

2010   Novartis

2011   Nestlé

2012   Zurich Insurance Group

2013   Holcim

2014   Swiss Re

2015   Credit Suisse

2016   Syngenta, Adecco & Co-sponsors

2017   UBS

2018   Artemis Group & Co-sponsors

2019   Swiss National Bank

2020   No conference due to COVID-19

2021   Roche

2022   Zurich Insurance

2023   Swiss Re

2024   Novartis