Tuesday 14 August 2018
  • Ten young people from the United States have just five minutes to explain why their policy idea could make the world a better place.
  • Winners will travel to the UK to undergo advanced leadership training at the University of Cambridge and meet with Members of the UK Houses of Parliament.
  • Contestants and winners will become part of a global network of emerging policy leaders.

The British Council in the USA is proud to announce Samuel Greene, Steven Pacheco, Luisa del Rosal and Vanessa Vardon as U.S. representatives for the British Council’s 2018-2019 Future Leaders Connect program.

On Monday 13 August 2018, ten young leaders participated in Policy Wonk Live!, an ‘X-Factor/TED-x-style’ event at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. Competitors had just  five minutes to persuade a panel of judges why their policy idea could make the world a better place. 

The four winners have experience in a variety of different fields ranging from migration and security to criminal justice and urban renewal. Samuel Greene has been employed with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of International Affairs since 2015, managing several portfolios with some of the United States' closest partners, as well as the investigation and repatriation of illicitly trafficked cultural property. Steven Pacheco is a student at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice majoring in Social Thought. 

Luisa del Rosal serves as the Executive Director of the Tower Center for Political Studies, a public policy research and program center, and as founding Executive Director of the Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center, an action-oriented policy research center. Vanessa Vardon is the Director of the Chicago Forum on Global Cities at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a Chicago-based think tank and public education organization. 

The U.S. finalists will join other international representatives in a nine-day advanced policy and leadership development opportunity, including two days spent with politicians in the UK Houses of Parliament, where they will put forward their policy ideas on combating some of the world’s greatest challenges.

Kathy Culpin, Head of External Relations and Major Events for the British Council in the USA, said: “We are so proud to be involved in this programme which speaks to our core values as an organization.  We very much look forward to hearing about our participants’ experiences and integrating their ideas into our work."

Over 200 young people from the United States were invited to apply to become a member of the global network of emerging policy leaders. Eleven other countries are taking part in the Future Leaders Connect program, including Canada, Egypt, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Tunisia, and the UK.

Future Leaders Connect is a network of emerging policy leaders made up of exceptional individuals aged 18-35 from around the world. Members of the network are given the opportunity to develop their policy making expertise, make valuable connections and gain the skills to have real impact.


Notes to Editor

For more information, please contact Megan Oliver, Digital Communications Manager at the British Council in the USA.

Additional information is available on the British Council website: https://www.britishcouncil.org/future-leaders-connect #FutureLeadersConnect


About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. Using the UK’s cultural resources we make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications.

Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. The majority of our income is raised delivering a range of projects and contracts in English teaching and examinations, education and development contracts from partnerships with public and private organisations. Eighteen per cent of our funding is received from the UK government.