Future Leaders Connect is a global network of emerging policy leaders from around the world. Selected young leaders travel to the UK for nine days of advanced policy and leadership development, in partnership with the University of Cambridge and the UK Houses of Parliament. Following the UK leadership seminars, leaders will have worldwide connections, a policy action plan for change and the skills, knowledge and networks needed to be an influential leader in their country and beyond. 

2018-2019 USA Future Leaders Connect Cohort

On Monday 13 August, the British Council in the USA and American University hosted Policy Wonk Live!, a selection event to determine the four individuals who will represent the USA in the Future Leaders Connect 2018-2019 program. Congratulations to Samuel Greene, Steven Pacheco, Luisa del Rosal and Vanessa Vardon, who will be representing the USA at our global Future Leaders Connect program training in the UK this October! Click below to learn more about the delegates. 

Meet our 2018-2019 delegates: Vanessa Vardon, Samuel Greene, Luisa del Rosal and Steven Pacheco

Samuel Greene

Samuel Greene began his public service in 2008, supporting counter nuclear proliferation efforts throughout the international supply chain. From there, he worked with public and private stakeholders to determine culpability and administrative penalization where trade infractions or criminal activity were involved. In 2014, Samuel was recruited to create security protocols, ensuring travellers returning from Ebola-affected countries (EACs) received medical screening entering the United States. In 2015, he joined the Office of International Affairs, managing several portfolios with some of the United States' closest partners, including the United Kingdom, as well as the investigation and repatriation of illicitly trafficked cultural property.

Steven Pacheco

Steven Pacheco is a student at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice majoring in Social Thought. As a four-time inaugural fellow, he has worked with the Vera Institute of Justice, the David Rockefeller Fund, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. For the academic year of 2017-2018, Steven served as the Vice President of the Student Council. Following his recent Echoing Green NYC Future of Work Social Innovation Challenge victory, his primary focus is pushing forward ideas that will socioeconomically empower formerly incarcerated people.

Luisa del Rosal

Luisa del Rosal was born and raised in Mexico until she moved to Dallas to attend Southern Methodist University (SMU). She holds a dual bachelor's degree in political science and sociology, as well as a master's degree in higher education policy and leadership. Currently, Luisa 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. She is the youngest executive director at the university and the only Hispanic to lead two centers. Previously, she oversaw strategy for new global partners at the SMU Cox School of Business. Luisa also worked as the Community Relations Manager for Education Is Freedom, where she developed community partnerships and administered the Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert’s Intern Fellows program.

Vanessa Vardon

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. Co-hosted with the Financial Times, the Forum brings together civic, business, cultural, and academic leaders for cross-disciplinary dialogue on the challenges and opportunities presented by rapid and mass urbanization. She previously served as the Council’s Assistant Director for strategic partnerships and next generation programs, developing a network of local and international partners to expand the reach and impact of the Council. Prior to joining the Chicago Council, Ms. Vardon worked in both the private and academic sectors focusing on international business development and strategic partnerships. She sits on the advisory board of the GEMS World Academy Chicago, is a mentor at Chicago’s tech accelerator, 1871, and holds a degree in chemical engineering from Drexel University.

2017-2018 Cohort

In 2017, the British Council in the USA selected four young leaders (Imani Jacqueline BrownSonia GuiñansacaJuliana Ospina Cano and Tada Vargas) from the United States, with expertise in gentrification and immigration, and using the arts and education to inspire policy recommendations in the UK and the US. The British Council in the United States and Mexico joined efforts to organize a ‘Policy Incubator’ project to empower young people to develop alternative narratives as means to influence public migration policy. The Incubator participants included members of the first cohort of the Future Leaders Connect programme from Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. The Policy Incubator built on the knowledge and skills these leaders developed last year, and will accompany them on their journey to become agents of social change through concrete Social Action Projects (SAPs).

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