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 between Spain and the U.S.
The program takes place over a week in Madrid and a second Spanish city, allowing participants to learn first-hand about the geographic, political and economic peculiarities of the different regions, and to gain a better understanding of the Spanish reality in all its aspects. Through a high-level agenda that includes meetings with personalities from the world of politics, business and public administration, as well as visits to media and cultural and academic institutions of reference, participants are given the opportunity to broaden their knowledge of the country and identify new lines of work that allow the development of joint projects.
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 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 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, and specifically the Secretary of State for Foreign and Global Affairs, has supported the U.S. Hispanic Leaders Program since its creation. For its part, the Embassy of Spain in the United States is part of the selection committee of the candidates and also maintains a close relationship with the graduates of the program.
Upon completion of the program, all participants will be invited to join the Association of Hispanic Leaders (ALH) in order to maintain the link with the members of their delegation, get in touch with the participants in previous editions and thus increase this important network. Created in 2005 by a group of former participants in the program, the ALH aims to maintain the synergies generated during the program and to involve its participants in the development and implementation of initiatives in the field of political, diplomatic, economic and cultural issues affecting the relationship between the United States, Spain and Latin America. Currently, the AHL is composed of more than 150 members.