2014-2015 Young Leaders Program Recap

“The program did more than just open a few eyes to the relationships between the US and Spain, I think it opened some minds and certainly a great deal of dialogue.  […] This positive and beneficial experience will stay with us for years and years to come.  The only question left to ask is, "when can we go back?"- Brad Cole, Illinois Municipal League.


“Too often when assessing global issues in the United States, we don't get the opportunity to learn the perspectives of our international counterparts; this program has given me a chance to hear Spanish viewpoints, create new relationships and gain a better understanding of our long and intertwined history so that we can also share in a prosperous future.” –Soledad Roybal, U.S. Department of State.

  January 29, 2015, Washington D.C.– As another successful chapter of the Young Leaders Program comes to a close, we would like to thank this year’s program participants, our Spanish counterparts, our airline partner, United Airlines, and our partners for their continued support of the U.S. Spain Council’s mission of expanding young leaders’ knowledge of Spanish business, the economic environment, its changing political system, and its history and culture.

During their trip to Madrid and Seville, the 2014-2015 Young Leaders had the opportunity to engage directly with Spain’s political environment, tackle important economic discussions, and become immersed in Spanish culture. This year’s Young Leaders had the opportunity to meet heads of government agencies, leaders of different political parties, and local leaders with whom they discussed the importance of twenty-first century diplomatic partnerships abroad and the shifting domestic political sphere with regards to the upcoming elections. Visits to the Ministry of Defense and the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation encouraged conversations describing Spain’s foreign policy, the NATO partnership, and the adapting security strategy in addressing issues like the attacks at Charlie Hebdo and terrorism. On their trip from Madrid to Spain, participants were exposed to Spain’s high-speed rail and the importance of investment in infrastructure. While at their visit to the Abengoa Solar Plant, Young Leaders got a first-hand look at the breathtaking view from atop the solar tower, where discussions of energy diversification and investment were had.

“As we welcome back the returning class of Young Leaders, we hope that their experiences and exposure to government and business counterparts enhances their understanding of Spain and the importance of the U.S.-Spain relationship. It is the partnerships and relationships that are fostered through programs like the Young Leaders that make us stronger in an increasingly global society,” commented Honorary Chairman Senator Tim Kaine.

Please visit this link for the in-depth summary of each event:  http://us8.campaign-archive1.com/?u=4334a6039ac47de2f4c901ee0&id=00a6688d49&e=