Seattle International Foundation Partners with the Institute Of International Education to Launch New Program for Central American Leaders

Given Seattle’s strong leadership in global philanthropy and international development, it’s no surprise we are often called the “Silicon Valley of Philanthropy.”

This well-deserved reputation will surely continue to grow in the coming years. That’s because the Seattle International Foundation (SIF) is partnering with the Institute of International Education (IIE) to launch a prestigious new leadership development program to support high-impact leaders driving change in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua in Central America – a key focus area for the foundation. This new program, Centroamérica AdelanMauricio Viverote, identifies, trains and connects local leaders working on social change issues and provides fellows with specific skills training, mentorship and peer-to-peer learning, as well as the chance to travel and build their network of supporters and contacts.

Centroamerica AdelanteAt nearly $700,000, this is the largest grant SIF has ever awarded. However, it’s part of our larger strategy to invest in local leadership and key organizations in Central America working to reduce poverty and address inequality and violence in this region. In fact, since 2008, SIF has provided over $1.5 million in grants to organizations training and supporting grassroots leaders in Central America, a region often overlooked by U.S. foundations.

This new leadership development program will help train a network of high-impact social change leaders throughout Central America and support them in leveraging their expertise to attain greater impact in their communities and countries. IIE’s teams in Mexico City and New York will manage Centroamérica Adelante in collaboration with SIF staff in Seattle and Mexico City, and all training activities will take place in Central America. In its first year, this new program will reach 100 local leaders who are in high-level positions of leadership and influence within non-government organizations, civil society, media, academia and the private sector or government. SIF seeks to support up to 300 Central American leaders under this program by 2017.

I am thrilled to announce that on August 31, 2015 we launched the application process for this program, and applications will be accepted until September 27, 2015. IIE and SIF have already surveyed leading nonprofit leaders, identifying their professional development needs in order to best develop the program. The 2015-2016 Centroamérica Adelante program will begin in November 2015 and culminate in July 2016. The program will consist of in-person workshops, mentoring, networking, online webinars and virtual group discussions for the Fellows. To learn more about the program, including information on how to apply, please click here.

Few U.S. cities are as globally connected as Seattle. Whether it’s trade, philanthropy or international development, Seattle organizations are leading the way to provide our world with a brighter tomorrow. SIF’s partnership with IIE further solidifies Seattle’s reputation as a city committed to reaching beyond our borders and working to improve the lives of millions of citizens in the global south. More importantly, this program means our neighbors in Central America will benefit from a new generation of local leaders ready to tackle hard issues and make transformational change throughout the region for decades to come. To view the press release on the SIF partnership with IIE, click here