Building the Model G20

The Model G20 Summit was created at the American University School of International Service (SIS) by former Argentine Ambassador to the United States and G20 Sherpa, Cecilia Nahón, SIS Professor and expert in simulations, Andrew Spath, and other members of the SIS community.

The program was created in response to the demand for an experiential learning program designed to provide students and young professionals with an opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills for effective and inclusive multilateral cooperation.

The Model G20 Summit has grown rapidly since its launch event in October 2016. The keynote speaker of that launch event was Angel Gurría, the Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Gurría’s speech emphasized the contributions and challenges of the G20 as well as the importance of the Model G20 Summit saying, “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future, and this is why we have the G20 model.” Read more about this event by clicking here.

The Summit has shown both proof of concept and high interest, with two successful weekend-long summits taking place on October 2017 and 2018 which included 350 participants from 22 universities, 3 international organizations, and 5 AU schools.

Pilot Program

In March 2017, American University hosted around 100 students and young professionals from eight universities for a one-day pilot simulation of the G20 Leaders’ Summit. Participants heard from G20 experts and practitioners including a presentation from the Federal Republic of Germany who presented the main priorities and goals of the German G20 Presidency.

Other speakers included representatives from the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and the American University School of International Service. This event served as a strong proof on concept that guided further development of our program.

Inaugural German Summit


The inaugural 3-day Model G20 Summit was held in October of 2017 and was attended by over 175 undergraduates, graduates and young professionals from the United States and around the world.  Model G20 Staff members representing the German Presidency led delegates in discussion on issues such as climate change, refugees, international trade, and the global economy.

On the final day of the summit, students gathered for the Model G20 Leaders Summit, where a final, consensus-based communique was adopted by all delegations. The keynote speakers was Armando Varricchio, the Italian Ambassador to the United States. Other speakers included representatives from the World Bank, Google, the Brooking Institution and the German Embassy.

2018 Argentine Summit


In October 2018, American University hosted around 200 undergraduates, graduates, and young professionals from the United States and abroad for Argentina’s presidency of the G20. The summit tackled pressing world issues including gender equality, global tax cooperation, and dealt with an imminent public health crisis. Participants praised the multi-track negotiation and simulation design.

During the conference, the Argentine Embassy graciously hosted an exclusive event for our participants. The keynote speaker was the Fernando Oris de Roa, the current Argentine Ambassador to the United States. Other speakers included representatives from the US State Department, AFL-CIO, and the World Bank.