Next Generation Leaders
Today not only failed states, but also highly successful modern democracies such as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, are in need of strong, character-driven leadership to meet aggressive challenges to democratic societies the world over. In its mission to strengthen U.S.- Baltic tries, the Baltic American Freedom Foundation (BAFF) has established a partnership with Arizona State University’s McCain Institute for International Leadership in supporting such leadership development.
Over a three-year period from 2017 through 2019, each year, BAFF is sponsoring an established mid-career leader from either Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania in participating in the highly acclaimed McCain Institute Next Generation Leaders (NGL) program.
The NGL Program at the McCain Institute empowers emerging global leaders through the Institute’s tailored professional development experience. The program offers a unique blend of professional development, exposure to top-level policymakers and formal training in leadership. At four junctures throughout the year, the program provides hands-on training focused on values, ethics and leadership, media and communications skills; and best practice examples of American business, political and civic life. The highly selective program carefully screens and admits up to 20 participants annually out of hundreds of applications.
A key aspect of the program is each NGL’s preparation of an individual Leadership Action Plan (LAP). Aimed at defining the tangible steps and actions the NGLs will take to bring about positive change in their home communities, the LAP becomes the central project of the development year. LAPs represent the character-driven leadership vision of each individual NGL and do not reflect positions of the Baltic American Freedom Foundation or the McCain Institute.
The first NGL beneficiary of the BAFF-McCain Institute partnership is Lithuanian parliamentarian Ilze Vinkele. She is hosted for her professional development experience at the International Republican Institute in Washington, D.C.
ILZE VINKELE – Latvia
Vinkele is a former member of Parliament of the Republic of Latvia and the former Minister of Welfare. She is passionate about promoting democratic values and reducing inequality.
Vinkele has implemented several significant public sector reforms, such as raising the retirement age, reforming mental-health institutions and defending the rights of LGBT individuals. She chairs the Education, Culture and Science Committee, where she works to amend higher education laws. With political participation low across Latvia, Vinkele seeks to engage more citizens in the nation’s political process.
Regional Program Director, Baltic States
Baltic-American Freedom Foundation
CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange
21 Kr. Valdemara Str. Riga, LV-1010, Latvia
Director, Enterprise Foundations
Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)
300 Fore Street, Portland, ME 04101 USA
Phone: +1 202 601 4298