Saudi Young Leaders Exchange Program 2.0

Grant Size $10,000 to $100,000   ,   Closing Date


The U.S. Embassy in Riyadh is pleased to announce an open call for organizations or individuals to submit a Statement of Interest (SOI) to compete for a Cooperative Agreement award for a youth leadership program, SYLEP 2.0.

The Saudi Young Leaders Exchange Program (“SYLEP 2.0”) will bring together a cohort of rising Saudi leaders focused on community engagement, innovation, and social entrepreneurship, and provide them with intensive training in “soft skills,” including leadership, communications, relationship building, and resilience. The SYLEP 2.0 cohort will be comprised of 15 emerging Saudi leaders (approximately 22 – 28 years old) who are active in the fields of innovation and social entrepreneurship, with a motivation for improving their communities (Program theme: “Innovation for the Social Good”).This training will take place in person before and after a three‐week study trip to the United States organized and implemented by the U.S. Embassy (note: this funding proposal should only address the program components before and after the U.S. trip, not the trip itself).  

The SYLEP 2.2 cohort will then participate in an exchange program to the United States (separately organized and separately managed by the U.S. Embassy).  Following their return to Saudi Arabia, the awardee will hold a virtual session on brainstorming and developing capstone projects, and a final in‐country workshop in fall 2025 for all participants to present capstone community projects deriving from their training and experiences in the United States. In addition, the in‐person workshop would include a SYLEP reunion reception, where the SYLEP 2.0 cohort would network and enhance connections with the wider SYLEP alumni network. The U.S. embassy will manage the alumni guest list and formal speaker program at the reception.

The main goals of SYLEP 2.0 are to:   

  • Develop a strong and cohesive cohort of rising Saudi leaders in the fields of social innovation and engagement, including on the environment, advocacy for the disabled, and arts for social change.      

  • Strengthen their understanding of and connection to like‐minded U.S. leaders in these fields. 

  • Allow participants to develop close ties to the U.S. Mission and its alumni network. 

  • Boost participants’ skills in critical thinking, leadership, public speaking, project management, innovation, and communications that will lead to success in both civic projects and their careers.  

Funding Information
  • Length of performance period: 12 to 18 months 

  • Number of awards anticipated: one 

  • Award amounts: awards may range from a minimum of ($40,000) to a maximum of ($50,000)

  • In‐Person Events

    • The awardee will organize two in‐person events in consultation with the Embassy:  

      • A two‐day, in‐person workshop that takes place between February and June 2025. It should bring together the 15 SYLEP 2.0 participants, Embassy representatives, select SYLEP alumni leaders/trainers, and at least two U.S. speakers/trainers. The workshop should provide intensive training on key leadership, project management, and communications skills.   

      • A two‐day, in‐person workshop in fall 2025 for participants to debrief on their U.S. exchange experience and share capstone projects. 

      • A SYLEP alumni reunion reception for approximately 30 alumni and the current SYLEP 2.0 cohort as part of the second, in‐person workshop.

  • On‐line training session

    • The awardee will organize one virtual session in consultation with the Embassy: 

      • A virtual program, following the in‐person exchange trip to the U.S., that allows the cohort to discuss capstone projects.


The following organizations are eligible to apply:   

  • Not‐for‐profit organizations, including think tanks and civil society/non‐ governmental organizations   

  • Educational institutions 

  • Individuals 

  • Foreign Public Entities

Post Date: May 14, 2024

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