The Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Program, an annual international competition, was launched in 2001 by the Goldman Sachs Foundation to identify and reward the academic achievement and leadership potential of 100 of the most accomplished students at 54 designated top-ranked universities in 16 countries and regions. The Institute of International Education (IIE) administers the program in partnership with the Foundation, and JCIE managed the competition in Japan in FY2001 and FY2002.

In 2001, the program’s initial year, eight Japanese students were selected from four designated universities and each student received a monetary award in recognition of their outstanding achievements. Four out of the eight were also invited to attend the Global Leaders Institute held in New York on July 19–28, 2001. The 2001 Global Leaders Institute gathered 50 students from around the world for seminars on issues such as aspects of global leadership, e-commerce, and international development. In 2002, eight students from Japan were selected to receive the award, four of whom were invited to attend the Global Leadership Institute in New York on July 13–19, 2002.