The U.S. Hispanic Leaders program began in 1998 as an initiative of the Government of Spain with the goal of revealing the reality of Spain to young American Hispanics and creating a network of contacts among leading Hispanic professionals in the political, cultural, business and academic spheres and their Spanish counterparts, through an agenda in Spain dealing with the group’s specific interests. Since then, the program led to the identification of collaboration opportunities between our two countries, contributing to the empowerment of the U.S. Hispanic community and ultimately strengthening bilateral relations.
Since it was founded, over 200 young leaders have participated in this emblematic program, organized from 2001 to 2017 by the Fundación Carolina with the support of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain, the European Union and Cooperación de España, with the collaboration of the Fundación Consejo España – EE.UU.
In 2005, a group of program alumni created the Hispanic Leaders Association (HLA) to maintain the synergies generated and involve program participants in developing and implementing initiatives in the fields of political, diplomatic, economic and cultural affairs which affect relations between the U.S., Spain and Latin America. The HLA currently numbers over 150 members.
In 2022, the Fundación Consejo España – EE.UU. took the program over from the Fundación Carolina, joining in the institutional effort to strengthen ties between the civil societies of Spain and the U.S., in general, and with the ever-more influential U.S. Hispanic community, in particular.
The program takes place over a week in Madrid and a second Spanish city, giving participants a first-hand look at the particular geographical, political and economic features of different regions of Spain, enabling them to better understand the Spanish reality in all its facets. Through an ambitious agenda including meetings with high-ranking individuals in politics, business and government, as well as visits to key media outlets and cultural and academic institutions, such as the El País daily, Casa de América and Instituto Cervantes, program participants are able to broaden their knowledge of the possibilities Spain offers and identify opportunities and areas of endeavor for undertaking new projects.