Seattle International Foundation (SIF) is partnering with the Institute of International Education (IIE) to create a prestigious new leadership development program to support high-impact leaders driving change in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. SIF’s core approach to development in Central America includes investment in leadership programs, organizational capacity building, and creating networks of social change agents with the ability to transform economies, communities and societies. SIF also recognizes partnerships and local leadership as critical elements to successful development efforts. Since 2008, SIF has provided over $1.5 million in grants to organizations promoting grassroots leadership development.

This innovative program seeks to develop a professional network of high-impact, social change leaders throughout Central America, and support them in leveraging their expertise to attain greater impact in their community and country. IIE’s teams in Mexico City and New York will manage the program 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 mid-career, influential leaders (25 from each of the four countries) who are working in senior-level positions in nonprofit organizations, as well as other important sectors such as the judicial system, mass media, and business.

Leveraging more than nine decades of experience overseeing leading scholarship and training programs, IIE will partner with SIF to conduct outreach to potential applicants, survey leading nonprofit leaders to identify their professional development needs, and implement a year-long program consisting of workshops, coaching, networking, in-person experiential learning and online skills development for the Fellows. The language of instruction for the program will be Spanish; however, Fellows interested in improving their English skills will be given the opportunity to do so.

“We look forward to not only working with IIE in the years ahead to support these Central American leaders in driving change in their societies, but also drawing on IIE’s contacts and expertise to help our Fellows be even more impactful in their home countries,” shared Mauricio Vivero, CEO of SIF. “At the Foundation, we believe the complex problems of Central America are best addressed by local leaders. By investing in local leaders, we are investing in the social change agents that are best positioned to make long-lasting change in their communities,” Vivero continued.

“On behalf of the entire team at IIE, we are honored to partner with Seattle International Foundation on this bold new initiative,” said Allan E. Goodman, President and CEO of the Institute of International Education. “It is our privilege to be able to work together to advance the Foundation’s vision that promoting individual and collective capacity building of leaders, such as those working in human rights, women’s equality, and environmental justice, can bring about lasting social change within a community or country.”

IIE has extensive experience assisting community organizations around the world to build their capacity and expand their reach, and ultimately improve their ability to aid underserved populations across the globe. IIE will leverage its network of dynamic trainers, alumni, consultants and professionals at universities, foundations, corporations and civil society organizations to reach out to a wide audience of prospective participants, develop the curriculum, and deliver high quality, dynamic seminars and trainings.

To receive updates about SIF’s new fellowship and/or to express interest in nominating an individual or applying to be a SIF Fellow, please contact:

About Seattle International Foundation

Seattle International Foundation (SIF) supports worldwide poverty alleviation efforts through grant-making and other activities, with a strategic focus on Central America. SIF was founded in 2008 as a supporting organization to The Seattle Foundation for the purpose of increasing and enhancing international philanthropy and development efforts from the Pacific Northwest and to serve as a resource to our community. Since 2008, SIF has granted more than $16 million to 184 high impact organizations in 60 countries, including $8 million in grants to Central America. To learn more visit

About the Institute of International Education

The Institute of International Education is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices worldwide and over 1,200 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations around the world. IIE also conducts policy research and program evaluations, and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad. IIE has worked with sponsors to implement prestigious programs such as the Grassroots Development Fellowships with the Inter-American Foundation, the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program with the Government of Brazil, the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program, Schwarzman Scholars, and the Fulbright Program, which IIE administers on behalf of the U.S. Department of the State. Since the 1970s, IIE’s Mexico City office has provided educational opportunities to disadvantaged sectors of society, and has helped train current and future leaders in a wide range of fields. The office serves as IIE’s regional center for Latin America, and arranges targeted training programs to build practical and professional skills vital to the region’s economic growth and technical needs.