Young Leaders

The 2014 application process is now closed. The new class of Young Leaders will be announced in June. 


The Young Leaders program is the flagship program of the French-American Foundation and continues to be central to the Foundation’s success in deepening understanding between France and the United States.The 2014 Young Leaders meeting will take place on October 8-12 in Paris and Bordeaux.

2011 Young Leaders Jeff Chu and Laphonza Butler


The Young Leaders Program takes small groups of carefully selected up-and-coming leaders in government, business, media, military, culture and the non-profit sector and provides them with the opportunity to spend five days together discussing issues of common concern and, more importantly, getting to know each other. 

Organized in collaboration with our sister Foundation in France, the program was created in 1981 in response to observations that the close working relationships between French and American leaders in the post-war period were waning as new, younger leaders rose with little exposure to their transatlantic counterparts.

Past and current participants

Young Leaders include such prominent Americans as former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senators Evan Bayh and Bill Bradley, General Wesley Clark, former White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten, former World Bank President Robert Zoellick, business leaders Frank Herringer (Transamerica Corporation) and John Thain (CIT Group), and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Charles Ferguson.

Seven Young Leaders currently serve in the cabinet of French President François Hollande, himself a Young Leader in 1996. Past French participants also include several French business leaders, including Henri de Castries (AXA), Anne Lauvergeon (Libération) and Michel Bon (formerly with France Télécom).


  • To learn about the 2013 class of Young Leaders, click here.
  • For more information on Young Leader alumni, click here to access the Young Leader Online Directory. 
  • To read Foundation Forum eNewsletter interviews of Young Leader alumni, click here.