Aspen Young Leaders Program

The flagship program of the Aspen Institute Romania, the Aspen Young Leaders Program (AYLP) 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 flagship Leadership Program of the Aspen Institute Romania for the last 18 years, the fellowship-based Aspen Young Leaders Program has reached in 2024 its 17th edition. The Aspen Young Leaders Program brings 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 close to 1400 individuals from across the globe.


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 progressive 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 (three 1-week modules and one 1-day module) taking place in Romania throughout 1 year. Full attendance to the modules of the program is necessary in order to successfully complete the Aspen YLP. 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, the Aspen Community of Fellows and Alumni and 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 also 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.


Nominations can be made by submitting the following documentation in Englishthe Nomination Form (template provided in the Call for nominations), a Letter of Recommendation and the candidate’s CV together with a Letter of Motivation.


The call for nominations to the Aspen Young Leaders Program is usually launched at the beginning of each year. The Selection process includes an eliminatory screening of the nominations and an interviews phase.

The call for nominations for the 17th edition of the Program was open until January 31, 2024. The call for nominations for the 18th edition of the Program will be launched at the beginning of 2025.




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 online Application Form provided in the Call for nominations.


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. It is acceptable that a candidate nominates oneself for the Program?

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

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