2019 U.S.-MEPI Leaders for Democracy Fellowship Program for MENA Region
Since 2007, the Leaders for Democracy Fellowship (LDF) program has provided leaders from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with the opportunity to complete training in civic engagement and leadership. Emerging civic engagement and social innovation leaders with fluency in Arabic will spend three months in Lebanon, while those with fluency in English will go to the United States, gaining academic and practical experience, as well as networking with like-minded peers and professionals. The LDF Program is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and implemented by World Learning.
Fellows in the English U.S.-based program first participate in an academic component at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, before being placed in host organizations aligned with their professional interests in Washington, D.C. for their practicum experience.
For the English program in the U.S. applicants must:
- Be from Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, and Israel.
- Have full English fluency for the U.S. Program. Applicants should be able to function comfortably in English-speaking academic and professional environments.
For the Arabic program in Lebanon applicants must:
- Be from Syria, Libya, Yemen, Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, and Iraq.
- Have full Arabic fluency for the Lebanon Program. Applicants should be able to function comfortably in Arabic-speaking academic and professional environments.
Applicants for both programs must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Age: Applicants should be between 28 and 35 years of age.
- Professional Experience: Applicants should have at least five years of professional work experience in a relevant field.
- Civic Engagement and/or Social Innovation Experience: Applicants should have more than three to five years of experience working on civic and/or social innovation projects, or activism with NGOs in a professional capacity. Volunteer experience will be considered.
- Academic Background: Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree.
- Post Program: Have the capacity and commitment to apply the leadership development experience gained through the Fellowship program upon returning to home country.
Applications will be reviewed based on clearly defined criteria, including:
- Applicants demonstrate a strong commitment to being leaders of positive change in their communities.
- Applicants demonstrate that they have already been actively engaged in civic engagement and/or social innovation activities for a minimum of three to five years.
- Applicants demonstrate tolerance and a desire to work collaboratively with a diverse cohort of peers irrespective of their gender, ethnicity, religion, political views and socioeconomic status.
- Applicants are interested in participating in the program and sharing the experience with others.
- Applicants commit to the implementation of a post-fellowship civic engagement and/or social innovation activity in his or her home country.
- Those selected will come from diverse backgrounds and LDF aims for gender balance.
- The Leaders for Democracy Fellowship will cover the cost of international and domestic travel, lodging, and health insurance, and provide a modest living stipend to cover meals and incidentals during the program.