The flagship Leadership Program of the Aspen Institute Romania, the fellowship-based Aspen Young Leaders Program (AYLP) has reached in 2024 its 17th edition and is designed for young people who have the potential, interest and determination to exercise leadership to the highest standards of civic and corporate responsibility, and according to the ethical values on which the Aspen Institute is based.

The Aspen Young Leaders Program brings each year increased regional and sectorial participation and creates additional diversity and relevance for a growing Network of Fellows and Alumni of the Aspen Institute Romania Leadership Programs, already covering more than 40 countries and almost 1400 individuals from across the globe, out of which more than 350 Fellows of the Aspen Young Leaders Program.


The Aspen Young Leaders Program gathers each year 20-25 high profile regional young leaders with a clear two-fold goal: to promote and advance values-based leadership within society; and to develop the regional network of Aspen YLP Fellows, based on shared values and common interests. 

We offer a program which challenges people to think about the fundamental concepts on which our society is founded. It also makes participants reflect on the challenges and conflicts that leaders must face in deciding policies and strategies for their organizations and their communities in today’s world. 

The program consists of four modules that will be conducted in physical format (three 1-week modules and one 1-day module) taking place in in various locations across Romania throughout 1 year. Full attendance to the modules of the program is necessary in order to successfully complete the AYLP.

After the end of the program, the participants will become part of the community of Aspen Fellows and Alumni and are expected to be actively involved in the activities and events of the Aspen Institute Romania, of the Aspen Community of Fellows and Alumni and of the Aspen International Network. 


The Program addresses people between the ages of 25 and 35, having achieved significant professional positions and accomplished results within their area of activity. Candidates should have demonstrated leadership potential, a record of initiative and entrepreneurship and a proven civic interest

Participants are required to have a high level of English fluency, as it is the working language of the program. 

We welcome candidates from: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Kosovo, Republic of North Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.


The Institute will offer accepted candidates a scholarship, covering the costs of accommodation, meals, moderation, reading materials and group transfer between Bucharest and the locations of the modules, while the participants will only cover their transportation expenses between their places of residence and Bucharest (Romania).


Nominations can be submitted through the following Application Form, which includes details regarding the Nominator and the Candidate and where the following mandatory documentation should be uploaded (in ENGLISH, PDF format)

Please take into consideration the following:

  • Incomplete documentation will not be considered for evaluation.
  • The deadline for the submission of the nominations is JANUARY 31, 2024, at 23:59 EET (Bucharest time).
  • The Selection process includes an eliminatory screening of the nominations and an interviews phase.
  • The interviews with the selected candidates will take place in physical format in Bucharest, in the second half of February, 2024. For candidates not residing in Bucharest, the interviews can be conducted online (upon previous agreement).
  • For more details regarding the application process, please check the F.A.Q. section below. If you have further questions, please direct them to the e-mail address


Module I: “The Aspen Seminar” (April 15 – 20, 2024) 

Module I is a 6-day seminar modeled on the Aspen Institute Seminar, in which participants discuss the concepts of political and economic thinking that have shaped modern open societies. 

Our proven method of text-based dialogue, used for almost 75 years around the world, offers participants a debate forum that guides their reflection on values and solidarity into successful and valuable action, as the main thrusts of societal progress. The readings spark discussions and an interest in exploring and debating topics of liberty and equality; ethics and responsibility; faith and spirituality or freedom and dissent – to name just a few. 

The texts and the discussions that will emerge, guided by skilled Aspen moderators, will contribute to enhancing the ability of the participants to analyze and tackle increasingly complex and global situations. In the process, the relevance of these ideas for modern, sustainable, values-based leadership of organizations will also be discussed. 

Stepping out from the realm of debates, during the 6-day module the participants will also be involved in a challenging outdoor exercise in the mountains of Romania.

Module II: “Modern Leadership” (June 17 – 22, 2024) 

The second 6-day module combines Socratic debates with practical discussions on project management, communication and community engagement techniques, but also outdoor activities in the picturesque Danube Delta.

The Socratic debates will be guided by skilled moderators from the USA and from Romania, on topics of high relevance for today’s state of the world, helping the participants gain more self-awareness of their potential and role as young leaders of their communities. Also, the participants will attend in depth group discussions meant to tackle the challenges that they face within themselves as young leaders, but also as parts of the various communities that they belong to.

Module III: “Leadership Challenges Today” (September 16 – 21, 2024) 

The third 6-day module aims at offering participants a broader understanding of their role as leaders in contemporary society and a higher awareness of societal problems and possible ways to create positive change through various tools. It does that through a series of debates on specific topics, moderated by participants themselves and through a hands-on exercise in a disadvantaged community in Romania.

During this module, participants will attend project management sessions designed to help them bring their community service projects one step closer to the implementation stage, with the help of skilled facilitators.

Module IV: “Community Service Projects Presentation” (1 day, December 2024, date to be confirmed) 

By the end of the Program, participants are expected to create or endorse an original community service project that they will further develop, individually or in groups. This type of involvement will illustrate the participants’ talent for creativity, persuasion, planning and delivery, teamwork and overall leadership. 

Within this part of the program, we challenge the participants to define a prototype project idea that addresses a larger problem, challenge and/or an opportunity within a community that is relevant for them (local, national and/or regional level). Projects may be developmental, communitarian, educational, or environmental. They should not be linked with any single political party initiative. 

Participants are invited to share their project ideas and receive feedback from Aspen Institute Romania Members, Fellows, Alumni and guests during the Community Service Projects Presentation, a 1-day event organized at the end of the program, before the Aspen Leadership Awards and Gala Dinner.

The Aspen Leadership Awards and Gala Dinner (December 2024, date to be confirmed)

The Aspen Leadership Awards and Gala Dinner is the most special annual event of the Aspen Institute Romania, an occasion for the members of the Institute and for the beneficiaries of the Aspen programs, especially our young leaders, to come together and to reflect on the impact that the Aspen community has on the development of the region. 

For the current generation of the Aspen Young Leaders Program, the Gala stands as an occasion to celebrate the end of an exceptional year-long leadership journey and to formally welcome them in the extended Aspen community, through a special Diploma Ceremony.


1. Which are the requirements regarding the affiliation of the Nominator? 

The Nominator should be familiar with the professional background of the nominee, entitled to outline the candidate’s suitability for the program, in terms of accomplished results in their field of activity, demonstrated leadership potential and proven civic interest.

2. Should the letter of recommendation come from the Nominator or from a third-party referee? 

The letter of recommendation should be signed by the same person who makes the nomination (the Nominator).

3. Are there any CV formats preferred? 

There are no CV formats preferred. However, please note that the CV should have no more than 3 pages.

4. Are all the four documents (Nominator agreement to the processing of personal data, letter of recommendation, letter of motivation and CV) supposed to be sent by the Candidate or should the Nominator send the letter of recommendation and the agreement separately? 

The four documents which are part of the application file should be uploaded together, in PDF format, in the Application Form provided at the link above.

5. Which are the stages of the selection process? 

The selection process for candidates having submitted their application files involves the following steps: the documents’ screening phase and the interviewing phase. Firstly, all submitted files will undergo a screening phase, in which the Aspen team together with members of the Aspen community will analyze the candidates’ overall leadership potential, motivation, vision and record of initiative. Candidates who successfully pass the document screening phase will proceed to an interview with the Aspen Selection Committee.

6. Are the participants expected to participate in all 4 modules? 

The selected candidates are expected to fully take part in all four modules of the program and also to attend the Aspen Leadership Awards and Gala Dinner at the end of the year.

Please be advised that for the selected candidates an attendance commitment is required.

7. In the evaluation process, will it be taken into consideration the age of the candidate at the time of the submission of the nomination or at the beginning of Module 1 of the program?

A nominee must be between 25 and 35 years old at the date of the deadline for the call for nominations.

8. Can I still submit my nomination to Aspen Young Leaders Program if I was already granted a scholarship to another Aspen Institute Romania leadership program?

You cannot submit your nomination to Aspen Young Leaders Program in case you were already granted a scholarship to another Aspen Institute Romania leadership program being implemented in the course of the year 2024.

9. Do I have to be a resident of one of the eligible countries in order to apply?

No, we accept applications from all citizens of the above-mentioned countries, regardless of their current place of residence. 

10. Is it acceptable that a candidate nominates oneself for the Program?

No, it is not acceptable for the Nominator and the Nominee to be the same person. In these circumstances, the nomination is not eligible.