Embracing a life of impact through leadership is at the heart of CALI, inspiring a model that creates change from the root of personal transformation, professional purpose, and social need.

Over the course of 16 years, we have accompanied more than 300 Fellows in the region, leaders who are stepping up and getting involved in solving relevant problems in their societies. When they join the program, they join the AGLN (Aspen Global Leadership Network), a worldwide community of 3,200  high-integrity leaders from different sectors in more than 50 countries.

"The Strachan Foundation's mission is to help Central Americans, particularly the poorest. We have invested in CALI because 1) leaders are necessary for effective change, 2) these leaders must be passionate and competent to be effective, and 3) the CALI methodology helps shape both passion and competence."

Harry Strachan
Moderator and CALI Board Member

The Program

CALI provides Fellows with a philanthropic and strategic framework to maximize their impact.

The CALI Foundation (Central America Leadership Initiative) seeks to develop the next generation of leaders committed to the Central American region. Each year, a class of 24 leaders from different sectors is selected and awarded a scholarship to participate as Fellows in an intensive and personally transformative program that seeks to move participants from success to a place of greater impact and purpose. The Fellowship challenges each individual to learn and teach, and to step out of his or her comfort zone.

The program is developed over 22 months and consists of 4 seminars under the guidance of experienced moderators trained by The Aspen Institute and the development of a social or environmental impact project.

The Fellowship offers the possibility of taking a pause, which is usually needed, to experience a process of transformation and deep reflection on values and life projects that allow us to act accordingly.

Characteristics of the Leaders

Each class of Fellows is selected from a broad group of entrepreneurial leaders of proven track record and of high integrity, between the ages of 35 and 45, with the potential to influence the social and economic development of their countries. These Fellows have already achieved considerable success in their sector and are at a turning point in their lives or careers, looking ahead to the broader role they could assume in their communities or globally.

Seminars are conducted in English, so it is necessary for Fellows to have oral and written fluency in English.


During the 2 years of the program, Fellows are required to attend four one-week seminars (approximately 25 days in total), in which they receive values-based leadership training. The seminars are moderated by trained staff to guide the Fellows in the discussion and reflection of the texts that are provided at each stage. Dialogue is the essence of the seminars and through it, critical thinking, creativity, and the search for solutions to the social problems that afflict the region are encouraged.

As a result of these seminars, our Fellows must develop a project or venture of their own design and choice, which becomes a life plan or part of a life plan. This program is part of a larger global network of the Aspen Institute.

 Seminar I:
Seminar I:
The Challenge of Leadership
(The Challenge of Leadership)

Un seminario de cinco días que se centra en las cualidades de liderazgo necesarias para dominar las fuerzas del cambio. Los becarios discuten sus propios desafíos de liderazgo y desarrollan criterios para un liderazgo efectivo e ilustrado.

Seminar II:
The Aspen Seminar)

This is a 7-day seminar that gives Fellows the opportunity to explore the concept of "a good society" and their leadership role in making it a reality. Fellows present and discuss their leadership projects.

Seminar III:
Globalization Seminar

Un seminario de seis días que explora los desafíos de liderar en un mundo cada vez más complejo e interconectado. Este seminario se ofrece en diversas ubicaciones alrededor del mundo y se realiza junto con otros becarios de la Red de Liderazgo Global de Aspen. Se reserva tiempo para que los becarios discutan el progreso en la implementación de sus proyectos de liderazgo.

The seminars are held in different parts of the region and, in the case of Seminar III, in several locations around the world.

Seminar IV:
The promise of Leadership

Un seminario de cuatro días en el que los Fellows exploran los conceptos de legado y equilibrio de vida, y comparten el progreso alcanzado, los desafíos encontrados y las lecciones aprendidas de sus proyectos de liderazgo.

Projects or ‘Ventures’

Being part of AGLN means taking action on the world's most pressing challenges. As a CALI member, Fellows are committed to developing a leadership project or venture of their own choice and design.

This is an opportunity for Fellows to put forth their passion, talents, and resources to help solve a social or environmental challenge. Our Fellows lead projects and initiatives aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Fellows maximize their impact by utilizing the network to collaborate through their projects.

We believe that channeling the creativity of leaders who might not have been moved to act if it were not for the Fellowship, brings important contributions to the most complex problems of the region or the world.

Main impact areas addressed by CALI projects or ventures:

  • Quality education
  • Health & Wellness
  • Decent work and economic growth
  • Peace, justice and strengthening of institutions
  • Inclusion and Gender Equity
  • Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • Reduction of inequality
  • Environment