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Global Competitiveness Leadership

Global Competitiveness Leadership (GCL) is a one-of-a-kind academic and experiential leadership development program that aims to provide a new generation of emerging leaders with the essential tools and a meaningful network in order to promote competitiveness, progress, and integral development in the Latin American region. 

LALP awards young leaders with full and partial scholarships to participate in this 10-week continuing education program at Georgetown University. The program recruits highly-qualified candidates and aims to empower them to become future agents of change in Latin America. Since its inception in 2007, GCL has fostered a tight-knit and dynamic network of innovative leaders that has supported, and continues to support, positive transformation in the region.

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What sets GCL apart from other leadership programs is that participants must develop a project, either in the social, private, or public sector, to be carried out in their home countries. The implementation of these projects supports LALP’s mission of leadership in action and produces a multiplier effect, which expands 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 guests speakers, visits to important institutions in the Washington D.C. area, team-building activities, and the development of business plans for GCL projects.

GCL is organized by the Latin America Leadership Program in collaboration with the McDonough School of Business Office of Executive Education.

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Program Objectives

  • • Promote leadership in action: Provide tools to tackle challenges that exist throughout the region, training leaders to create and strengthen initiatives that promote 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 positive impact in their countries and across the region through collaboration and innovation.​

Program Benefits​ and Costs

  • Benefits
  • • Acquire tools and skills
  • • Build a strong network
  • • Gain regional exposure
  •  Be part of the Georgetown experience
  • • Join the GCL Alumni Network with multiplier impact across the region

  • Costs
  • LALP provides full and partial need-based scholarships to GCL participants that cover: 
  • • Tuition for the 10-week program
  • • Housing
  • • Local transportation from/to program activities
  • • Medical insurance
  • • Academic materials
  • Participants receiving a full-scholarship are required to pay the program registration fee. All participants, regardless of the level of scholarship received, are responsible for their own travel arrangements to Washington D.C. and meals and incidentals.

Participant Requirements​

  • • Ages 26 to 34 years old
  • • A Latin American country of origin (*)
  • • College degree from an accredited university
  • • Excellent academic record
  • • Proven English language skills (reading, writing, and oral)
  • • At least one year of work experience
  • • Currently working on a project that creates positive and long-lasting impact in the region
  • • Commitment to return to country of origin to apply knowledge obtained. 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 the total cost of the program.
  • (*) Qualified candidates from Spain and Portugal may apply if their projects impact the Latin American region.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • • Is there any cost for the GCL program?
  • The Latin America Leadership Program offers full and partial need-based scholarships to selected participants. Scholarships cover tuition costs of the GCL program, local transportation to and from program activities, medical insurance, housing and course materials. Full scholarships are valued at $25,000 USD. Selected candidates receiving a full-scholarship MUST pay a registration fee in the amount of $2,500.00 USD. Participants not requesting a full scholarship will receive a registration fee waiver. Applicants must indicate the level of scholarship they are requesting in the online application form.  Payment of the registration fee or program tuition fee must be made before arriving to Washington via wire transfer or direct deposit at a PNC Bank branch. Admitted participants will receive further instructions once accepted into the program.
  • • What does the GCL program scholarship cover?
  • - Room and apartment furnishings
  • - Materials for the course
  • - Tuition for the 10-week program
  • - Transportation from and to program activities
  • - Medical insurance
  • * All participants, regardless of the level of scholarship received, are required to cover their airfare, and meals and incidentals during the program.
  • • What types of GCL program scholarships are offered?
  • LALP offers full scholarships to qualified candidates with demonstrated financial need. Those candidates that receive a full scholarship MUST pay a program registration 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). Selected candidates who receive a partial scholarship WILL NOT be required to pay the program registration fee.
  • • Which countries are eligible for the GCL program?
  • Candidates who are citizens and residents of in any of the following countries are eligible to apply for the GCL program: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal*, Puerto Rico, Spain*, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
  • (*) Qualified candidates from Spain and Portugal may apply if their projects impact the Latin American region.
  • • I am a candidate from Colombia, where should I apply?
  • All Colombian applicants that want to be considered for a full scholarship must apply through the OAL Application Website ( Applicants must download and complete the application and send the application to the address that appears on the OAL Educación page.
  • • I am a candidate from Brazil, where should I apply?
  • All Brazilian applicants that want to be considered for a full scholarship must contact our partners in Brazil at Instituto Ling for further information and instructions on the application process ( If not applying for a full scholarship, potential candidates may apply directly through the GCL application platform.
  • • 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 the investment made on the fellow’s participation will return to the region where he/she will be able to apply the knowledge and tools acquired during the program to be an agent of change. Failure to comply with this agreement will result in the participant reimbursing the Latin America Leadership Program of the total cost of the program ($25,000.00 USD).
  • • I have dual citizenship. Can I apply?
  • Yes. For example, an applicant may be a citizen of the United States and 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 34 years of age, as of the start of the program. 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?
  • The GCL program has set up selection committees in diverse countries to assist with the pre-selection of candidates for the GCL program. However, the selection process is headed in Georgetown University, so you must send in your application and supporting documents electronically through the online application found on this website. Your information will then be sent to the corresponding committee for review and you will be contacted by them if you make it to the first round for an interview.
  • • I do not have work experience but have volunteering experience, can I still apply?
  • We tend to give priority of admission to applicants with work experience because it allows participants to learn from each other and contribute with 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 ( in order to be considered for review and admissions.
  • • 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?
  • 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 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 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 at an English-speaking country, the corresponding diploma will suffice to prove proficiency.
  • • 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.
  • • On the application, there is an “Add Video File” and “Add Audio File” option. Do I have to submit a video and audio as part of the application?
  • No. Those are not required options.
  • • 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 2020 GCL program application closes on Monday, August 12, 2019 at 5:00 p.m., Washington, D.C., time with no exception.
  • • I have an additional question not listed on the FAQ page.
  • If your question is not listed, please send them to
  • • 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 Skype to determine the final participants in the GCL program.
  • • When will I know if I was accepted into the GCL program?
  • All applicants will be notified of the admissions decision on November 8, 2019 via email and by 5:00 p.m. Washington, D.C., time.
  • • What are the dates for the GCL program 2020?
  • The dates for the GCL program 2020 will be from January 27 through April 2, 2020.
  • • What type of visa will I need?
  • Selected participants must apply for a 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?
  • Participants will be living in specified apartments with three roommates of the same gender. Each apartment has two bedrooms, with two people per bedroom. 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 GCL program runs from 9:30 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. with one-hour lunch break from Monday through Friday (on most days). There are usually no official activities planned on weekends.
  • • What places will be visit as part of the academic curriculum?
  • Site visits are subject to change each year. Applicants accepted into the program will receive a class schedule that lists potential site visits.
  • • Which 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 10-week 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 that mostly need it. 
  • • I am an applicant from Spain. I noticed that GCL used to admit candidates from Spain and Portugal. Can I apply to this year's program?
  • The GCL program is intended for Latin American leaders and is part of Georgetown University's Latin American initiatives. Qualified candidates from Spain and Portugal may also apply if their projects impact the Latin American region.
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Apply to GCL

GCL Application and Selection Process

GCL 2020 Dates

  • ​Application Opens on May 31, 2019
  • Application Closes on August 12, 2019
  • Notification of Admissions on November 8, 2019
  • GCL 2020 Program runs January 27 through April 2, 2020


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