Vital Voices Global Partnership and Bank of America are pleased to announce that the next Global Ambassadors Program (GAP) will take place September 11-15, 2017 in Chicago, IL. Applications are being accepted until June 30, 2017 for this highly competitive week-long mentorship initiative, which will bring together women leaders of small and medium sized businesses and social enterprise from the Chicagoland area and around the world for mentoring and workshops focused on building organizational management, financial acumen and leadership skills.   


Launched in 2012 by Vital Voices and Bank of America, the program brings together high-profile, distinguished women executives (Global Ambassadors) to serve as mentors to talented women leaders from around the world, and for the first time this year from the U.S. Each Global Ambassador is paired with a woman leading a small or medium sized business or social enterprise and works with her to build critical business skills and strategies needed to grow and advance her organization.   

“Women play a vital role in driving economic growth around the world,” said Paul Lambert, Chicago market president, Bank of America. “They’re leading local nonprofits to large businesses across the global. This program is just one of the ways we invest in women business owners in Chicago, and from other countries, providing an avenue to connect women and provide them support to take their company to the next phase.”  

This program is part of Bank of America’s broader efforts to advance women’s leadership and economic empowerment both within the company and in communities around the world. In addition to global initiatives like its partnership with Vital Voices, the bank partners with many other national and local organizations that work to improve the lives of women and advance thriving economies. Working to reflect the communities where its employees live and work, Bank of America has strong representation of women at all levels of the organization and supports women through career development programs and industry-leading benefits including 16 weeks of paid parental leave, back-up child care and adult care services.   

The Chicago location marks only the second time in the history of the Global Ambassadors Program that the initiative will be held in the U.S. In the five years since Vital Voices and Bank of America created the program, locations have included Poland, Northern Ireland, Mexico, Qatar, Singapore, Brazil, India, South Africa, Haiti, Japan, England, Australia, most recently Charlotte, N.C. and now Chicago, IL, reaching more than 118 women mentees from more than 56 countries.   

“Hosting GAP in the U.S. this year presents an extraordinary opportunity to share locally what we’ve learned from women leaders globally,” said Alyse Nelson, president and CEO of Vital Voices. “From vastly different geographies come the most innovative solutions to universal challenges. I can’t wait to meet our next cohort of Global Ambassadors and mentees in Chicago, and see their visions for change realized in the months and years to come.”   

More details about the program will be available in the coming weeks. Learn more about the Chicago program, or visit the Global Ambassadors page on Follow @BofA_News and @VitalVoices for updates via #GlobalAmbassadors.