The Young Leaders Program

A comprehensive exchange and discussion program connects Young Leaders from Germany and the United States

The annual German-American Young Leaders Conference offers participants the opportunity to engage in an intensive and interdisciplinary exchange on current transatlantic issues and to build both professional and personal bridges across the Atlantic. Leading public figures are invited to join the group as guest speakers. Pressing domestic, bilateral, and global issues are discussed at the conference. Most recently, the focus has been on the rise of populism, for example, or on the socio-economic implications of the digital transformation.

How Do You Become a Young Leader?

In the fall of each year, Atlantik-Brücke members and Young Leaders Alumni have the opportunity to nominate German and American candidates between the ages of 28 and 35 for the next Young Leaders Conference. These nominees are then invited by Atlantik-Brücke to apply for participation in the program.  All applications are reviewed by a selection committee which finally chooses about 25 Americans and 25 Germans to become the next cohort of Atlantik-Brücke Young Leaders.

Young Leaders should:
• have a record of career achievements and demonstrate leadership in their professional lives
• show social or political engagement beyond their professional responsibilities
• evince strong interest in transatlantic relations and political as well as economic and social issues
• demonstrate willingness to contribute to the conference and its preparation and to become actively involved in the Young Leaders Alumni network

Young Leaders Alumni

The German-American Young Leaders Program of Atlantik-Brücke exists since 1973. Atlantik-Brücke organizes regular events and conferences for the alumni of the program to promote the exchange of young talent across the Atlantic. The alumni network currently comprises approximately 1,500 Germans and Americans.

The Young Leaders Alumni can access a private online portal with a directory and additional information including special reports.

German-American Young Leaders Conference 2020-2021
Up and coming leaders from Germany and the United States came together for a week at Schloss Neuhardenberg in Brandenburg, Germany. After a year and a half of social distancing, this Young Leaders conference felt truly special.
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“Allies, allies, allies”
General James Mattis, United States Marine Corps (Ret); 26th U.S. Secretary of Defense, spoke at Atlantik-Brücke’s Young Leaders Conference 2021 about what matters most in foreign policy.
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Passing storm or tectonic shift?
Forty-five Young Leaders from the United States and Germany came together for a week of deep engagement on transatlantic issues in Queenstown, MD. On a political level, this year’s cross-sectoral group of young decision-makers observed a more volatile transatlantic relationship. In times of rising nationalism and populism in both countries, the issues at stake were emotional, debates heated. Nonetheless, the bonds forged show just how strong our transatlantic connection remains.
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“A wake-up call”
At Schloss Neuhardenberg in Brandenburg, forty-eight young professionals met for the 40th German-American Young Leaders Conference. The discussions were shaped by one overarching topic: In the face of both external and internal pressures, what is the future of the transatlantic partnership?
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Young Leaders Conference in Santa Cruz and Silicon Valley
Fourty-seven young professionals from the United States and Germany gathered in Santa Cruz, CA, for Atlantik-Bruecke’s 39th German-American Young Leaders Conference this August. The close proximity of Santa Cruz to the Silicon Valley determined many of the conference topics – e.g. discussions about the opportunities and challenges of technical innovation. The group visited companies like […]
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German-American Young Leaders Conference 2016
Idyllic Lake Starnberg was once again the setting for Atlantik-Brücke’s Young Leaders conference. This year’s group discussed a broad scope of topics, ranging from the opportunities of digitization to populism in Europe and the US as well as the current state of affairs in Europe. A host of prominent guest speakers joined the Young Leaders: […]
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37th German-American Young Leaders Conference
At the end of July, the 2015 cohort of Atlantik-Brücke Young Leaders came together in Queenstown, Maryland, for an intensive, week-long program under the headline »Managing Change in a Volatile World: A Task for Transatlantic Leaders«. Forty-seven participants with diverse professional backgrounds from Germany and the United States met with high-level guest speakers, exchanged views […]
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