Saudi Young Leaders Exchange

Since 2014, The Saudi Young Leaders Exchange Programs (SYLEP) has trained 317 participants (282 Saudi young leaders and 35 US Cultural Ambassadors). This three-week multi-phased leadership experience in the U.S has taken place in cities across the U.S. (including Washington, DC, Austin, TX, Detroit, MI, Pittsburgh, PA, and Chicago, IL).

As the flagship Saudi youth development program of the U.S. embassy in Riyadh, SYLEP has supported participants in building
leadership, entrepreneurship, and professional skills, civic responsibility, appreciation for cultural diversity, and community engagement through exploration of themes such as entrepreneurship, innovation, science and technology, community health, job readiness, youth engagement, and other issue areas.

Through a series of site visits, training sessions with experts, volunteer opportunities, and experiential events with agencies, organizations, and professionals working in a variety of fields, participants are introduced to community initiatives by innovative local, state, federal, public, non-profit, start-up and private programs.

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Throughout the program, Saudi participants learn about real community impact projects and best practices, and design their own projects that they implement in their home communities or university campuses upon return home, supported by Legacy International.


2020 celebrated 75 years of a strong partnership between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia based on mutual respect and common interests. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia have a long history of technical and educational exchange which has benefited both nations. Building on the long-standing program themes of leadership, tolerance, diversity, and strengthening communities, the Saudi Young Leaders Exchange Program focuses on innovation aimed towards community engagement and action that allows for the up-skilling of Saudi youth to improve community engagement across the Kingdom. The program builds upon their knowledge of technology and innovation as solutions to improve their communities. Since 2014,  SYLEP participants have impacted over 3,000 people through their community solutions projects and beyond.

Learn more about the experience


Cultural Ambassador interview


SYLEP Participant Interviews

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SYLEP Project Pitches


Legacy International works closely with the following organizations to create and implement high-impact experiences during SYLEP each year:

SYLEP is sponsored by the United States Department of State, U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, and administered by Legacy International.

US Flag and department of state seal

Legacy International Programs: