Young Executive Leaders

The IHF YEL Programme

Each year, from April to November, emerging hospital leaders across the world join the Young Executive Leaders (YEL) programme. This exciting activity, led by the International Hospital Federation (IHF), gives the selected participants the chance to build an international network, improve their management and leadership skills, and learn from experts about the latest innovations in healthcare.


Since 2021, the IHF has partnered with WittKieffer, a leading global executive search and advisory firm. Together, both organizations work collaboratively to offer a unique experience to the participants, and in turn contribute to improving healthcare through better leadership. Click here to view the official press release about IHF and WittKieffer’s partnership.

Content and Engagement

Between May and November, the participants attend a series of 10 interactive 90-minute masterclasses about various issues, including assessing their leadership style, harnessing big data, or working towards more sustainable healthcare. In parallel, participants will work in small groups and produce a short paper about one of these topics. Each month, the YEL publications will be made publicly available to share insights from your talents around the globe.


The capstone experience for the programme cohort is attending the 45th IHF World Hospital Congress (WHC), taking place from November 9 to 11 in Dubai.


By the end of the programme, participants are awarded a certificate of completion and join the YEL Alumni network.


The YEL programme is governed by a Steering Committee, which assists in the design of the curriculum, provides guidance on the main work activities and act as oversight for the successful implementation of a high-quality programme.


Members of the Steering Committee are:

  • Rulon Stacey, IHF Honorary Member (co-chair);
  • CJ Bolster, Managing Director for Global Operations, WittKieffer (co-chair);
  • Ms Hind Al Zaabi, Executive Director of Healthcare Facilities, Department of Health – Abu Dhabi;
  • Ms Taylor Johansen, Director, Autism, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Canada (YEL 2021);
  • Ronald Lavater, Chief Executive Officer, International Hospital Federation


Please direct any questions regarding the Young Executive Leaders’ programme to the IHF Secretariat.

YEL Alumni

Once each cohort finishes its inital adventure, they graduate to join the YEL Alumni which offers the opportunity to remain involved in IHF’s activites and networks. The YEL Alumni currently includes participants from 2019, 2020 and 2021.


Click here for more information on the YEL Alumni, and read about their experiences as part of the YEL programme.