June 2, 2014

Latin American Board Supports Ibero-American Engagement, Develops Regional Leaders

Georgetown’s Latin American Board (LAB) has supported Georgetown’s engagement with Latin America, Spain, and Portugal since 2006.

In addition to providing strategic advice to the university, the 19-member board sponsors transformational development opportunities for students in the region. The Global Competitiveness Leadership (GCL) Program is the board’s signature initiative, offering young regional leaders a full scholarship to participate in a 10-week leadership curriculum at Georgetown University.

Empowering Regional Leaders

The Latin American Board is committed to cultivating leaders in Ibero-America. According to Professor Ricardo Ernst, the board’s managing director, LAB aims to “sponsor scalable and transformational leadership development programs” for emerging regional talent. 

Through the annual Global Competitiveness Leadership Program, 35 young Latin American, Spanish, and Portuguese leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors travel to Georgetown for a 10-week funded program of study and hands-on experience. 

Program participants take multidisciplinary classes given by professors in the McDonough School of Business, SFS, the College, the Law Center, and other campus departments; participate in leadership development workshops; and gain access to some of the capital’s most dynamic agencies and speakers. 

Throughout the program, participants develop social impact project proposals, which they are expected to carry out upon their return. 

Expanding Georgetown's Network 

The GCL alumni network now encompasses 19 countries, 89 projects and initiatives, and 395 fellows. Many GCL program alumni have gone on to become directors of nonprofits or hold high-level positions in governments or corporations. With the help of the GCL Advisory Committee, these alumni have connected with other Georgetown alumni networks throughout Latin America.

LAB is also developing the Innovation and Leadership in Government (ILG) Program with the McCourt School of Public Policy. This program will be aimed at upcoming and senior-level public sector managers in local and federal governments of Latin America. The ILG Program will equip public managers with analytical frameworks and tools to generate and implement innovative public policies, while providing leadership development opportunities, so they may effectively promote new ideas and programs in the region.

Strategic Support

As the university’s only regional advisory board, LAB fills a unique strategic support role for the administration and academic units. University leaders can turn to board members with expertise spanning over a dozen countries and multiple sectors. 

The board actively seeks to engage alumni and support Latin America-related academic programming on and off campus. As Ernst describes it, LAB is working to “create opportunities for synergy between new and existing university networks across different schools, and across all sectors including alumni, NGOs, multilateral institutions, and other universities.”

Building for the Future

Through all of the Latin American Board’s work at Georgetown, the board members aim to sustain and build on the university’s historic ties to the region.

Many Latin American universities share Georgetown’s Jesuit identity and mission, and for years Georgetown has attracted a strong cohort of Latin American students and scholars. In its strategic, programmatic, and alumni-engagement efforts, LAB aims to ensure Georgetown’s continued success in Latin America and provide transformational opportunities for regional students and leaders for years to come.