2020 Conference

LEAD North America (formerly RYLA North America) is an independent organization that is not affiliated with a Rotary District or Rotary International. LEAD North America is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Federal City (Washington, DC).

LEAD North America organizes a unique conference that takes place in Washington, DC.  All Rotaractors and Rotary Alumni (Former Rotary Youth Exchange, RYLA, Former Interactors, Global Grant Scholars) as well as young Rotarians between the ages of 18-35 years old from North America and around the world can participate.

The conference is an intense 6-day conference of stimulating lectures, discussions, Rotaract Workshops, hands-on-experience, group interaction and group discussions. The focus is on development of leadership skills and delegates will get to attend a variety of different Rotaract Workshops. Group discussions will address Rotary’s six focus areas, community concerns, youth-related issues, service opportunities and learning more about the different cultures represented at the conference. In addition, there are many social events, fellowship events and entertainment to promote healthy interaction and FUN!

All delegates attending the conference will be assigned to a group. Each group will have anywhere between 8 to 10 delegates.  Your task at the LEAD Conference outside the Rotaract Workshops and evening portion of the program is to be engaged with your assigned group. Having delegates from around the world will enable us to create groups made up of diverse and unique individuals. Each group will have an opportunity to work together on different group activities during the conference as well as be engaged in group plenary sessions. It is crucial for you to remember that each part of the conference is important. Your group will be collecting points throughout the conference for accomplishing each part of the program. The points collected each day will be added to each group’s final score and group ranking. Awards will be given on Tuesday, July 7 during the 2020 LEAD North America Conference Closing Ceremonies. So, try to collect as many points as possible.


PARTICIPATING COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES. We typically have Rotaractors, RYLArians and Rotary Alumni from close to 40 countries and territories represented every year. Every corner from around the world is represented at the conference – – – North America, South America, Caribbean, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

OPENING CEREMONIES/OPENING NIGHT (JULY 2) The Opening Night of the 2020 LEAD North America Conference will be taking place at an embassy. During the opening ceremony, there will be a roll call to recognize all countries and territories present at the conference. When your country and/or territory is announced, stand up and if you have a flag, be prepared to waive it. Bring your country flag with you!

Past Embassy receptions for Opening Night – – – 2019: Embassy of the Philippines, 2018: Embassy of the Republic of Congo, 2017: Embassy of Mexico, 2016: Embassy of France, 2015: Caribbean Carnival, 2014: Embassy of Italy, 2013: Embassy of Jordan, 2012: Embassy of Finland, 2011: Embassy of Macedonia, 2010: Embassy of Indonesia and 2009: Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia. Program to include remarks by the Ambassador and/Head of Mission and/or Diplomatic staff and meeting and interacting with diplomatic staff.


Besides the Opening Night Embassy reception, there will be one other embassy featured during the 2020 conference.


We will have over twenty Rotaract Workshops. The following Rotaract Workshops will be covered during the conference and each session will be lead by two workshop facilitators (Rotaractor and a Rotarian): District Resources, Rotaract 411, Fundraising, Rotaract Club Officer Training, Promotions & Public Relations, Transitioning into Rotary, Membership, Professional Development, International Service, Building Community Partnerships and Rotary Traditions & Values. Some sessions will be offered in French and Spanish for French and Spanish speaking delegates.


We will have several plenary sessions at the conference. Here’s some of the plenary sessions that we will have; Public Speaking, Conflict Resolution, Creativity & Leadership, Operation Backpack and Negotiating Skills.


My Moon, Rotary’s Next Global Campaign, Low Ropes, Group Activities, Rotary Group Quiz and Talent Show.


All participating clubs and countries are invited to participate in the LEAD North America Expo. Showcase your club projects, display presentation boards, information about your country, map of your country, postcards from your hometown, country flag, and candy or sweets from your country.


Delegates will have an opportunity to participate in this event by showcasing their country’s cultural attire and cultural dance.


We will be visiting as a group – the U.S. Capitol and U.S. Library of Congress on July 4th for America’s Independence Day.

AMAZING RACE:  The Amazing Race (Scavenger Hunt) is a fun contest among groups. The race happens regardless of weather – rain or shine. This contest is to be completed with assigned groups. This gives group members an opportunity to interact, get to know each other, act silly while exploring Washington, DC. Groups are presented with a list of tasks that must be completed by taking a photo to provide evidence. Tasks, or scavenged items, will have different point values based on their difficulty. Groups will choose the order they want to follow. Group members must work together and figure out the best route and there will be clues about the locations of the tasks. Your group will head to the location and complete the task. The first group to turn in the minimum requirements in the fastest time, with the highest score will be crowned the winner.

MR AND MISS LEAD NORTH AMERICA 2020 CONTEST (JULY 6): The Mr. and Miss LEAD contest promotes a fun way for delegates to show their special talents, such as singing, dancing, tricks, etc., in hopes to take the crown of either Mr. or Miss LEAD North America. It is a great way for all of us to get to know those special hidden talents some of you may have. It is a fun and energized event for all. The Mr. and Miss LEAD contest takes place during the Dinner and Dance Gala on July 6.

LEAD NORTH AMERICA 2021 LOGO CONTEST: Every year, the LEAD North America logo is designed by a delegate that has submitted and won the contest from the previous year. The winning logo represents the year to come – featured in promotional material, social media, and the website. For this year’s contest, the winner’s logo will represent the upcoming 2020 LEAD North America conference. The winner of the LEAD North America Logo Contest will receive a free Registration Package during the 2021 conference in Washington, DC (accommodations only). Registration package includes accommodations, meals, program materials, admission to special events and dinners at area embassies. LEAD North America Conference 2021 will take place in Washington, DC, USA from July 2, 2020 to July 7, 2021.

VISIT TO THE EUROPEAN UNION (JULY 2 – PRE-CONFERENCE): The Delegation of the European Union to the United States represents the European Union in the United States, working in coordination with the diplomatic and consular missions of all the EU Member States.

MORNING ACTIVITIES: We will have several fun activities that are optional in the morning before breakfast for delegates: Morning Run, Crossfit and Yoga.

EVENING ACTIVITIES: We will have several fun activities that are optional in the evening after dinner for delegates: Walking Tour of select venues, Bar Nights at area bars (must be 21 and over) and Game Night at the hotel.

FUN ACTIVITY: We will have several fun activities that are optional during select times for pre-conference and/or post conference: Kayaking in Georgetown on the Potomac River overlooking Georgetown, John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center, Ronald Reagan National Airport and Virginia.

CLUB NIGHT: We will have complimentary tickets for all delegates to two dance clubs; Ultra Bar Dance Club and L8 Dance Club.  The L8 Dance Club will be reserved just for our conference delegates.

The LEAD Conference in North America is an intense leadership training program that is designed to recognize, encourage, and further develop the leadership skills of 18-35 year olds who have shown a potential for rendering important service to their local communities.

All Rotaractors, non-Rotaractors, RYLA alumni, former Youth Study Exchange, former Group Study Exchange alumni, former Ambassadorial Scholar alumni, former Interactors and former Peace Scholars between the ages of 18-35 can participate in this conference. The 2020 LEAD Conference in North America will be the 12th annual conference held in our region. The conference will be in Washington, DC, USA and will be from Thursday, July 2, 2020 and will end on Tuesday, July 7, 2020.

The LEAD Conference in North America is a combination of International RYLA, Rotaract Pre-Convention, and USCC (United States-Canada-Caribbean Rotaract Conference).

The Inaugural 2009 RYLA North America Conference was held in Washington, DC, USA from July 1, 2009 to July 5, 2009.