What We Do / Professional Leadership Exchanges Overview

In its 48 year history, Partners has arranged more than 40,000 exchanges for participants representing a wide array of ethnic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Through exchanges, Partners provides participants with insights into other societies and cultures and nurtures the development of people who have emerged as leaders in government agencies, nonprofit organizations and private businesses. Exchanges and fellowships provide a foundation for long-term engagement around specific issues and needs as well as form new understandings among citizens across borders working on similar challenges. To learn more about Professional Leadership Exchanges, read a brief program summary.


  • Legislative Fellows Program (2011-present): The Legislative Fellows Program, sponsored by the US Department of State, connects civil society and government officials to improve good governance and transparency in the region. The program engages Fellows in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and the US, placing them in organizations that enable them to shape sustainable cross-border linkages, build professional skills, and meet the learning goals specific to their area of expertise.


  • American Fellows Program (2003-2012): Launched in March 2003 with funding from the US Department of State, the program sponsored exchanges of public and private sector professionals to engage in hands-on assistance with counterpart agencies in the LAC region. Initially, the fellowships were for government employees only, but due to the demand and success of the program, in 2006 the scope was expanded to include Business Fellows. By the end of the program in 2012, more than 240 Fellows (both Government and Business) participated in the program.


  • Education and Culture: For the past 25 years, the Education and Culture Program, sponsored by the US Department of State, has offered travel grants, small grants, and thematic workshops to Partners Chapters throughout the US, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The program aims to connect people and institutions; serve communities; strengthen local institutions; and enhance cross-cultural understanding and cooperation across the region. Over 20,000 volunteers have participated, in exchanged to reform judicial law in Uruguay, provide renewable energy in the Ecuadorian rainforest, improve the educational performance of youth in Brazil, and much more. Funding priority areas are: Citizen Safety, Applied Sciences, and Economic Empowerment & Social Inclusion.