Global Competitiveness Leadership
The Global Competitiveness Leadership Program (GCL) is a one-of-a-kind academic and experiential leadership development program that aims to provide a new generation of emerging changemakers with the essential tools and a meaningful regional network to promote competitiveness, progress, and integral development in the Latin American region.
For more information about GCL 2024 (18th edition of GCL), please see the press release announcing the call for applications here.
Georgetown University's Latin America Leadership Program (LALP) awards young leaders with generous scholarships to participate in this intensive non-degree executive education leadership program at Georgetown University. The program selects highly qualified candidates across the region and aims to empower them to become future agents of change in Latin America and the Caribbean. Since its inception in 2007, GCL has fostered a tight-knit and dynamic network of innovative leaders that promotes positive transformation in the region. Participants join the LALP alumni network, which currently has more than 860 change agents in 23 countries who collaborate for the common good, promoting good practices and interregional initiatives, through the different generations, sectors, and countries of LALP programs, and between Georgetown University and Latin America and the Caribbean.
What sets GCL apart from other programs is its unique regional focus on leadership in action as participants must develop or scale a regional impact project, either in the social, private, or public sector, to be carried out in their home countries. The implementation of these projects results in a multiplier effect, which amplifies the impact of the GCL program throughout the region.
The curriculum is designed around four pillars: business, social, political, and personal leadership. The program includes multidisciplinary academic courses taught by Georgetown University's professors, visiting professors, and guest speakers, visits to important institutions in the Washington D.C. area, team-building activities, and the development of business plans for impact projects with mentor support. As a program that serves diverse emergent leaders across the region, GCL is designed to foster peer-to-peer learning to promote principled and transformational leadership that responds to the different challenges and opportunities of Latin America.
"I was fortunate to be part of this fellowship back in 2009, and it truly transformed my life. Not only did it enhance my leadership skills and provide me with the invaluable chance to connect with prominent civic leaders across the Americas, but it also introduced me to a community of like-minded emerging leaders who have continued to hold a special place in my heart and life to this day. Together, we have formed an incredible network that spans the globe, offering support, advice, and opportunities for impactful collaboration #network #opportunities #community #leaders" - Magdalena Acuña, GCL 2009, Argentina
"GCL was an amazing experience with the best talent from Latin America, Portugal and Spain. Studying at Georgetown was a blessing, really! If you want changes in your life and career, apply to this program!" - Felipe Dib, GCL 2011 and GCL Impact Award 2014, Brazil
"I feel more than grateful to be surrounded by such human peers and professors, leaders who are working day by day for a more inclusive and sustainable future for our region and the world.” - Ross Estela Mendoza, GCL 2023, Peru
GCL is organized by the Latin America Leadership Program in collaboration with the McDonough School of Business Office of Executive Education.
Support our programs here.
- • Promote leadership in action: Provide tools to tackle challenges that exist throughout the region, training leaders to create and strengthen initiatives that promote the democratic rule of law, civic responsibility, and cross-sector collaborations.
- • Foster personal development and growth: Facilitate interactions and discussions that will help participants challenge, reflect, and expand their worldview.
- • Engage with the most pressing regional issues: Enable participants to understand barriers that impede development in their countries through multidisciplinary courses with a focus on the economic, social, and political aspects of competitiveness and integral development.
- • Create a strong and active regional network: Foster a network of responsible and ethical leaders across all sectors to generate a positive impact in their countries and across the region through collaboration and innovation.
Program Costs and Available Scholarships
- Acquire leadership tools and skills
- Build a strong network
- Gain regional exposure
- Be a part of the Georgetown experience
- Join the GCL Alumni Network with a multiplier impact across the region
- The GCL program is valued at USD $25,000. LALP offers four different levels of scholarships to help offset the cost of participation: 90%, 75%, 50%, and 25% of the total program value. In the online application, participants will be prompted to indicate whether they wish to apply for a scholarship and, if so, demonstrate their situation of financial need.
- The program tuition covers the following:
- • 10 weeks of virtual and in-person classes
- • Academic materials
- • Continuous support throughout the program
- • Shared housing (2-3 roommates) for the in-person component (meals not included)
- • Local transportation to program activities in Washington, DC
- • Basic medical insurance for emergencies
- • Certification of program participation issued by LALP (NOT an official degree/certificate, does not lead to Georgetown alumni status)
- *All participants, regardless of the level of scholarship received, are required to cover their airfare, meals, and incidentals during the program.
- The program aims to welcome a diverse and inclusive cohort of emergent agents of change across the region. The requirements are:
- • 26 to 35 years old (as of August 1, 2023; candidates turning 36 after August 1 may still apply)
- • A Latin American or Caribbean country of origin, Puerto Rico, Spain, or Portugal (*)
- • Currently working on a project that creates a positive and long-lasting impact in the region
- • College degree from an accredited university and excellent academic record
- • Proven English language skills (reading, writing, and oral)
- • At least one year of professional or volunteer experience working on social impact projects.
- • Commitment to return to the country of origin to apply knowledge obtained. (**)
- (*) See the list of countries in the FAQ section.
- (**) A written agreement will be signed and submitted by the candidate upon completion of the application. Failure to comply with this agreement will result in the participant reimbursing LALP for the total cost of the program.
Frequently Asked Questions
• Is there any cost for the GCL program?
The Latin America Leadership Program offers partial scholarships of up to 90% of the total value of the program to selected participants. Scholarships cover the tuition costs of the GCL program, local transportation to and from program activities, medical insurance, housing, and course materials. Applicants must indicate the level of scholarship they are requesting in the online application form. Program tuition payments must be made via Eventbrite or wire transfer before students arrive in Washington, DC. Admitted participants will receive further instructions once accepted into the program.
• What does the GCL program scholarship cover?
• 10 weeks of virtual and in-person classes
• Academic materials
• Continuous support throughout the program
• Shared housing (2-3 roommates) for the in-person component (meals not included)
• Local transportation to program activities in Washington DC
• Basic Medical Insurance for emergencies
• Certification of program participation issued by LALP (NOT an official degree/certificate, does not lead to Georgetown alumni status)
* All participants, regardless of the level of scholarship received, are required to cover their airfare, meals, and incidentals during the program.
• What types of GCL program scholarships are offered?
LALP offers up to 90% scholarships to qualified candidates with demonstrated financial need. Those candidates that receive a 90% scholarship MUST pay a program tuition fee in the amount of $2,500 USD. For all other candidates, LALP offers partial scholarships that cover 75%, 50%, or 25% of the total cost of the program (valued at $25,000 USD).
• Which countries are eligible for the GCL program?
Candidates who are citizens and residents of any of the following countries are eligible to apply for the GCL program: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela. If your country is not listed here, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your case.
• I am a candidate from Colombia, where should I apply?
Since 2021, all Colombian applicants must submit their applications through the program application website bit.ly/applygcl
In previous years, Colombian applicants that wanted to be considered for a full scholarship had to apply through the OAL Application Website (http://oaleducacion.com.co).
• I am a candidate from Brazil, where should I apply?
For GCL 2024, all Brazilian candidates must submit their applications through the program application website at bit.ly/applygcl
In previous years, Brazilian applicants that wanted to be considered for a full scholarship had to contact our partners in Brazil at Instituto Ling.
• What about the requirement to return to my country after the GCL program?
All GCL participants are required to return to their countries of origin for a year once the program ends. We require this in order to ensure that participants follow through on the investment that the University has made in them. We expect participants to return to the region where they will be able to apply the knowledge and tools acquired during the program and be the agents of change that the region needs. Failure to comply with this agreement will result in the participant reimbursing the Latin America Leadership Program for the total amount of the scholarship received (a full GCL scholarship is valued at $25,000.00 USD).
• What if I cannot attend all program classes and activities?
Attendance of all program classes and activities, regardless of instruction format, is mandatory. We understand that there may be extraordinary circumstances that may require a participant to miss one or more classes/activities. In these special cases, participants are required to email email@example.com as soon as possible (ideally with advance notice) to let the LALP team know about an absence. More than three absences may result in the participant reimbursing the Latin America Leadership Program the total amount of the scholarship received, and not being able to graduate with their GCL class.
• I have dual citizenship. Can I apply?
Yes. For example, an applicant may be a citizen of the United States or another Latin American country. Applicants with dual citizenship can apply to the GCL program and will be considered as long as they reside in any of the Latin American countries listed above and will return to their countries of origin upon the culmination of the GCL program.
• What happens if I do not fulfill the age requirement?
In order to be eligible to participate in the GCL program, you must be between 26 through 35 years of age as of the application deadline (e.g., as of August 1, 2023). We invite you to apply if you are interested, but please keep in mind that priority will be given to applicants who fulfill all requirements. If you are under 26 years of age, we encourage you to apply in the future, as this is a yearly program.
• Can I apply for the GCL program locally in my country?
No, all applications must be submitted through the general program application site. If your application is selected, you might proceed to the interview phase. For this phase, LALP works with its local alumni base and other partners to conduct local interviews with the purpose to gain more information about the applicant and answer any questions about the program. Following the interview, local alumni volunteers and LALP partners complete a short report about the applicant and submit it to LALP for inclusion in the applicant's materials. The selection process and all final decisions are made exclusively by Georgetown University.
• I do not have work experience but have volunteering experience, can I still apply?
We tend to give priority to applicants with work experience because it allows participants to learn from each other and contribute their professional experiences to class discussions. Nevertheless, we take into consideration the application as a whole and we encourage interested candidates to apply this year or in the future as this is a yearly program.
• In what language must I submit my documents?
Your application and essays must be submitted in English. Supporting documents from your university and letters of recommendation may be submitted in English or Spanish only.
• My documents are in Portuguese. Do I have to get them translated and certified?
All required documents must be submitted in English or Spanish. Candidates from a Portuguese-speaking country must submit the original documents in Portuguese AND an English translation of these documents. The translation does not have to be certified.
• Can I submit my application and/or supporting documents by email?
The application and all required documents must be submitted through the GCL program application website (https://georgetown-gcl.smapply.io) in order to be considered for review.
• What is a university transcript?
Georgetown requires a copy of an official transcript from each university where you have studied, in order to review your academic history and grades obtained.
• What if my university sends the transcripts directly?
We prefer that applicants upload the official transcript onto the application. However, we understand that some universities might wish to send the transcript directly to Georgetown. If so, please use the following address:
ATTN. Georgetown University Latin America Leadership Program
3700 O Street, N.W.
433 Hariri Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20057
• I graduated but have not received my university diploma. What should I do?
If you have graduated from a university or post-graduate studies and have not received your diploma, please submit a certified copy of a document issued by your university stating that you have graduated from that institution. The document must include the date of graduation and the final grade point average.
• What about the letters of recommendation?
Applicants must provide two letters of recommendation. One of these letters must come from an employer; the second letter can be from a professor, employer, or any other figure who can write about your talents and abilities. Recommendations must not be from family members and must be written in English or Spanish only.
• Is there a specific template for letters of recommendation, and to whom should the letters be addressed?
There is no specific template or format for the letters of recommendation. However, please check the submission guidelines specified above. The letters should be addressed to the GCL Admissions Committee or Latin America Leadership Program.
• How can I prove my English proficiency?
There are several ways candidates can provide proof of English competency. Applicants may provide TOEFL or Cambridge English Language Assessment results for an exam taken in the past or a certificate or other proof of advanced English language courses completed successfully. Additionally, if an applicant has completed undergraduate or post-graduate studies in an English-speaking country, the corresponding diploma will suffice to prove proficiency. If none of these apply, you can still apply and the selection committee will make a decision on your English proficiency based on the application essays submitted and during the selection interview.
• Can I submit a copy of another identification document besides a passport copy?
We ask that you please submit a legible and valid copy of your passport.
• In the application, there is an “Add Video File” option. Do I have to submit a video as part of the application?
Yes, for GCL 2024, we are asking applicants to submit a short video explaining their interest in the program and the project they want to develop during GCL.
• I want to attach more than one document. How can I do that?
You may attach additional documents by clicking on the “Add Documents” button on the right-hand side of the application’s main page.
• I am having technical difficulties with the application portal. What should I do?
If you need technical assistance while creating, completing, or submitting the application please click on the "i" top menu icon to access technical support.
• What is the deadline to apply for the GCL program?
The GCL 2024 application opens on June 1, 2023, at 9:00 am Eastern Standard Time and closes on August 1, 2023, at 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time, with no exceptions.
• What happens after I send in my application and documents?
All applications and documents will be received by Georgetown University and later channeled to the appropriate selection committees in each country for review. Each local committee will determine preliminary candidates, carry out first-round interviews, and select semi-finalists. A list of semi-finalists will be sent to Georgetown University for a second review and round of interviews in English and via Zoom to determine the final participants in the GCL program.
• When will I know if I was accepted into the GCL program?
To allow for visa processing times when required, the selection committee will be reviewing applications as they are received. All applicants, either admitted or not, will be notified of the admissions decision no later than November 6, 2023, via email. Please know that selection is highly rigorous and depends on each year´s application pool, so LALP encourages all applicants who were not accepted one year to apply for future editions. If selected, applicants have only 7 days to confirm their acceptance and pay a non-refundable deposit of USD $100.
• What are the dates for the GCL program?
The tentative dates for GCL 2024 are January 16 to March 22, 2024, with four weeks of virtual programming (January 16-February 9) where participants will join in from their own countries and six weeks of in-person activities at Georgetown University (February 12-March 22). The final schedule will be promptly communicated to all selected candidates.
• What type of visa will I need?
For those participants that require a visa to travel to the States, please note that they have to apply for a B1/B2 visitor visa at the embassy or consulate of the United States of his/her country. The visitor visa contains two designations—B1/B2—and lasts 90 days, which covers the time spent in the United States for the GCL program. All participants must ensure they abide by these timelines when coordinating their arrival and departure flights. Once accepted, participants will receive more information.
• Where do participants stay?
The program provides shared housing for admitted participants. Participants may be assigned to specified apartments with up to three roommates of the same gender during any in-person component of the program. Each apartment may have two bedrooms, with two people per bedroom. Please note the program cannot accommodate single-occupancy requests. Only GCL program participants are allowed to live in these apartments.
• What is the GCL program schedule, and will I have free time?
The academic schedule for the in-person GCL program normally runs from 9:30 a.m. through 4:15 p.m. every weekday, with 15-minute breaks in between 75-minute sessions and a one-hour and 15-minute lunch break. There are no activities scheduled for the weekend. For the virtual sessions, the academic schedule may consist of two days a week, normally Mondays and Wednesdays, from 9:00 am to 1:15 pm. All program times take place in Eastern Standard Time. A final and detailed program calendar will be shared with all selected participants.
• What sites will students visit as part of the academic curriculum?
Site visits are subject to change each year, but in past years, students have visited institutions such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Organization of American States (OAS), and Halcyon House. Applicants accepted into the program will receive a class schedule that lists potential site visits.
• What speakers will come to the program?
Speakers are subject to change each year. Applicants accepted into the program will receive a class schedule that lists potential speakers.
•How can I support GCL?
Selected candidates who can afford to pay all or part of the program cost ($25,000 USD) are encouraged to do so in order to provide scholarship funds to other need-based candidates. In the online application form, you can indicate your willingness to cover program costs. Your contribution will allow LALP to expand its reach and provide a scholarship to those with the most need.
• I have an additional question not listed on the FAQ page.
If your question is not listed, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Academics and Alumni Engagement
The Global Competitiveness Leadership Program (GCL) was founded in 2007. Since its inception, GCL has welcomed 642 emerging leaders from 23 Latin American countries. GCL participants have generated hundreds of initiatives to date and impacted more than 2.7 million people in the region.GCL represents…
The Global Competitiveness Leadership Program (GCL) aims to provide a new generation of emerging leaders with the essential tools and meaningful network in order to promote competitiveness, development, regional integration, and the insertion of the region into the global agenda. The program has the…
As a Jesuit and Catholic university, Georgetown places special emphasis on the dignity and worth of every person and the love of truth. Membership in this community carries with it high expectations regarding the ways in which each person will act both within and beyond Healy Gates. All members of…
The GCL Impact Award was created by Georgetown University's Latin American Board and the LALP Advisory Committee (formerly known as the GCL Advisory Committee) to recognize Global Competitiveness Leadership Program (GCL) alumni who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in promoting the GCL…
November 10, 2023
The Latin America Leadership Program (LALP) launched a study in August 2023 in collaboration with the GCL Alumni Network and with the support of the Uruguayan consulting firm nómade to explore how LALP's Global Competitiveness Leadership Program (GCL) was perceived by their alumni in the region and…
GCL 2024 Info Session | July 10, 2023 (Video)
July 10, 2023
Duration: 1 hour 2 minutes
Georgetown Americas Table: In Conversation with GCL Impact Award Winners (Video)
May 2, 2022
Duration: 26 minutes
Apply Now to Georgetown University's Global Competitiveness Leadership Program! (Video)
May 29, 2019
Duration: 1 minutes