Our Story

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The first ACYPL American delegation in Germany in front of the Berlin Wall.

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The First American delegation to the Soviet Union. Delegates included Severin Beliveau, Don Fowler, Wyche Fowler, Cliff Kelley, Stu Ross, Richard Stearns, ACYPL founder Spencer Oliver, George Beall, Linden Blue, Pat Buchanan, Robert List, Diana Moxhay, and David West.

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An American delegation were interviewed on Japanese television with future Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi (far left).

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A Japanese delegation meets President Gerald Ford in Washington shortly after he was sworn in.

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Soviet journalists speaking with President Gerald Ford and his economic advisor, William Seidman at the White House.

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Dr. Sarah Weddington, special assistant to President Jimmy Carter, at a meeting with the President regarding China. Dr. Weddington was the only member of the Carter Administration who had traveled to China when she was a delegate on an ACYPL exchange earlier that year.

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A multi-country African delegation meets with New York City Mayor Ed Koch.

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President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan welcome an Australian delegation at the White House.

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A delegation from Hungary with the Clintons in North Carolina in 1992, the day then-Governor Clinton won that state’s primary.

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ACYPL hosts an Election Study program for 88 delegates from 56 countries who visited eight states to observe the mid-term elections. ACYPL has done in-depth election programs for international delegates every election year since 1968.

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ACYPL and our Australian partner, the Australian Political Exchange Council, celebrate 40 years of exchanges. Over 650 Americans and Australians have participated in this exchange.

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ACYPL and our Chinese partner, the All-China Youth Federation, celebrate 30 years of exchanges with a diverse delegation of Americans traveling to Beijing. Some of the delegates were returning to China for the first time since their original ACYPL exchange in the1970s and 1980s.

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ACYPL hosts its first Legislative Fellows Program, which later becomes the Professional Fellows Program. These programs bring young leaders under 35 to the US for six weeks for fellowships around the country based on their professional interests. ACYPL has been part of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative Professional Fellows Program since its inception in 2013. Learn more about the Professional Fellows Program here

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ACYPL hosts is first Professional Fellows Congress in partnership with the State Department. The Congress, or conference, brings together over 500 Professional Fellows a year to Washington, DC to discuss what they learned during the six weeks here as well as continuing to develop their professional interests and leadership skills. Learn more about the Professional Fellows Congress here

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ACYPL celebrates its 50th anniversary and honors our founder, Spencer Oliver.

OUR Story

Since 1966, the American Council of Young Political Leaders has provided elected officials and policy experts a global perspective through our exchange programs. We believe in bringing people together across oceans, borders, and political spectrums to foster mutual understanding, respect, and friendships among the next generation of leaders.

Our mission is to provide young leaders, both American and international delegates, with an opportunity to learn about international affairs through travel and people-to-people interactions that build relationships that last a lifetime.

Every year, with support from the United States Department of State, our international partner organizations, and a wide range of corporations, foundations, and individuals, ACYPL conducts a variety of exchanges for rising political leaders from across the United States and around the world.  ACYPL has a network of over 8,500 alumni in 128 countries and territories.

ACYPL programs are designed for bipartisan groups of 7 emerging leaders under the age of 40 to experience another country’s political environment for 8-14 days. Participants visit the capital and 1-2 other cities to meet with government officials, political parties, elected leaders, policy experts, and members of the business community.