The Idea

The Munich Young Leaders program provides a forum for future decision-makers to strengthen their international networks and inspire new thinking. In this joint project of Körber Foundation and the Munich Security Conference the Munich Young Leaders discuss current foreign and security policy challenges with high-ranking politicians, officials and experts on the sidelines of the MSC.

Who are the Munich Young Leaders?

The program brings together 25 outstanding young representatives of governmental institutions, parliaments, think tanks, the media and the private sector from Germany, selected NATO member and partner states, as well as from states of strategic importance in the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and Africa.

The Munich Young Leaders discuss current issues related to transatlantic foreign and security policy with high-ranking participants of the Munich Security Conference. Besides an individual program, the Munich Young Leaders also take part in the Munich Security Conference.

Speakers of previous years include the German Federal Ministers Wolfgang Schäuble and Ursula von der Leyen, Henry Kissinger, the Foreign Ministers of France, Poland and Iran – Laurent Fabius, Radosław Sikorski, and Javad Zarif – as well as Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Victoria Nuland, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, the Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. Department of State Anne-Marie Slaughter and Fu Ying, Chairperson of the Committee on Foreign Affairs at the National People’s Congress in Beijing.
The Munich Young Leaders program gives future decision-makers the opportunity to introduce new ideas into the security-policy discourse and to strengthen their international networks. They are under 40 years of age, have an outstanding knowledge in the field of foreign and security policy as well as strong social skills. Their command of the English language is excellent.

How are the Munich Young Leaders selected?

The German Embassies in selected states propose each up to three potential participants who fit the above profile. In coordination with the Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, Körber Foundation chooses the international participants out of the proposals submitted.

The German Munich Young Leaders are recruited in particular from the Körber Network Foreign Policy, a group of outstanding young foreign policy specialists of the German government, the German Bundestag, as well as of think tanks and the private sector. Please understand that unsolicited applications cannot be considered.

Further activities

Once a year all Munich Young Leaders classes gather for an Annual Meeting which is usually arranged and organized independently by a team of Munich Young Leaders alumni. During the Annual Meeting the participants discuss current foreign and security policy issues and have the opportunity to talk to high-ranking personalities of the host country. The Annual Meetings of the Munich Young Leaders took place in Berlin in June 2010, in Kyiv in June 2011, in Morocco in November 2012, in Bavaria in January 2014 and in May 2015 in Washington, DC. In the run-up to the NATO Summit in July 2016 the Munich Young Leaders gathered in Warsaw. The eighth Annual Meeting of the Munich Young Leaders took place in Madrid in September 2018.

In cooperation with the renowned London International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), every year one of the Munich Young Leaders has the chance to attend the IISS Asia Security Summit – Shangri-La Dialogue and the IISS Regional Security Summit – Manama Dialogue.



Migration is increasingly seen as a threat rather than an opportunity. Imen Ben Mohamed believes that this is a mistake. Legal migration pathways and a positive discourse are imperative for migration that benefits all.

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The Kairos, the opportune moment for action, has come. The EU has to fulfil its responsibility and invest more in European defense. Munich Young Leader Jean-Baptiste Jeangène Vilmer examines the possibilities for a credible European Defence Union.

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Security is of particular importance to Poland. This desire for security is not only based on historical and emotional reasoning but on sound, rational motives. Agnieszka Łada, Munich Young Leader 2018, comments on the Polish demand for security and takes a look at European and transatlantic defense structures.

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Fundamentals should not be questioned. But the inner glue of the transatlantic relationship cannot be the goal in itself for a generation that has a different estimation of proximity, emphasized Julia Friedlander on FAZ.net. She is working for the National Security Council of the White House in Washington D.C. and is a Munich Young Leader 2018.

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Munich Young Leaders 2018

From 15 - 18 February 2018, the tenth generation of Munich Young Leaders gathered in Munich. The Munich Young Leaders 2018, a group of young foreign and security policy experts from more than 20 nations, discussed a broad range of topics with high-ranking participants of the 54th Munich Security Conference as well as the group took part in the program of the conference.

more on the 2018 Munich Young Leaders

Munich Young Leaders Alumni

All participants to date are listed here alphabetically with their current position.

see the complete list

Previous Editions

The Munich Young Leaders program was initiated in 2009 by Körber Foundation and the Munich Security Conference. Find more information on the participants, the agenda and the participants’ impressions from previous years here:

Annual Meetings

Once a year, the Munich Young Leaders Alumni meet to discuss current issues in foreign and security policy with representatives from politics, administration, civil society and the private sector.

Previous Annual Meetings took place in Washington D.C., Kiev, Warsaw and Rabat, among others. From 7-9 September 2017 the MYL Alumni Annual Meeting was held in Moscow.


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Elisabeth von Hammerstein
Programme Director
A ‘Westphalia’ for the Middle East?; Körber Network Foreign Policy; Munich Young Leaders

Phone +49 • 30 • 206 267 - 75
E-Mail hammerstein@koerber-stiftung.de
Twitter @EvHammerstein

Anna Merk
Programme Manager
Körber Network Foreign Policy; Munich Young Leaders

Phone +49 • 30 • 206 267 - 76
E-Mail merk@koerber-stiftung.de

Lars Weitzdörfer
Programme Manager
Körber Network Foreign Policy; Munich Young Leaders

Phone +49 • 30 • 206 267 - 85
E-Mail weitzdoerfer@koerber-stiftung.de

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