2019 U.S. State Department Professional Fellowship Program

DEADLINE: December 31, 2018.

Applications are now open for the Middle East and North Africa Professional Fellowship Program for Economic Development conducted by the US State Department. It is a is a fully funded 6-week program (including a 4-week fellowship placement) in the U.S. for young professionals committed to empowering their communities through innovation and entrepreneurship, socially responsible businesses, and workforce development.


  • Both the spring and fall programs will conclude with a 4-day “Professional Fellows Congress” in Washington, DC. This event will bring approximately 350  fellows from around the world together at the end of their fellowship. Fellows will have the opportunity to build relationships with fellows from dozens of countries and learn the tools of effective leadership.
  •  Each fellows will spend time developing an idea for a follow-on project to be implemented upon returning home.  Fellows will participate in a number of training sessions to learn project design skills and write a project proposal during their time in the US.
  • US delegates who acted as hosts or mentors during the US immersion segment will be selected to travel to Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, or Tunisia to co-lead training seminars and gain first-hand knowledge of the country and its people. Fellows will assist in planning the US Delegation’s visit and hosting them.


  • Who Should Apply?
    • Entrepreneurs, and Social Innovators.
    • Small & medium business Owners and Managers who are investing in innovative socially conscious products and programs.
    • Individuals working in Civil Society/NGOs working on youth workforce training and development, increasing the role of marginalized populations in the economy, building financial literacy, training in technology use and IT development, and other efforts around economic empowerment.
    • Individuals working in University incubators, accelerators, and job-readiness programs, and programs focusing on business development, financial literacy, sustainable tourism, or economic development.
    • Individuals working in Government Agencies/Ministries, national policy offices, think-tanks, and offices working to increase the presence of underrepresented citizens in the economy.
  • Eligible candidates must be:
    • 25-40 years old
    • A current citizen and resident of: Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, or Lebanon
    • Speak fluent to English (enough to work full-time in a US fellowship)
    • Have at least two years‘ work experience in their field
    • Currently employed
    • Interest in hosting reciprocal program for Americans in your country
    • Able to convene 25 or more colleagues for post-trip briefings
    • Have demonstrated strong leadership skills and commitment to community
    • Demonstrates initiative, teamwork, and openness
    • Preference will be given to those who have not previously traveled on a U.S. government-funded program.


Fellows will participate in a  6-week program, (Spring and Fall, 2019) each with:

  • A one-week host family stay
  • A one-week business development and social entrepreneurship intensive with University Partner
  • A one-month fellowship placement in individual businesses and/or offices in Washington, D.C.
  • 4- days Participation in the Professional Fellows Congress
  • Design and development of a complete proposal for a follow-on projects to be carried out by PFP fellows, supported by mini-grants

Each selected fellow will learn,

  • Effective practices in business management (developing a business plan, financing and accounting, human resource management, marketing, strategic planning, and networking, etc.);
  • Principles of social entrepreneurship and increase the ability to run effective community outreach and public relations campaigns;
  • Best practices from American colleagues in workforce development, gain exposure to models and innovative and practical ideas and tools in increase effectiveness of these programs;
  • Increase the ability to think “outside of the box,” and spark creative, innovative approaches to problems, products, and marketplaces;
  • Acquire new skills and strategies to engage effectively with policymakers and government officials;
  • Form new or improved strategic partnerships.





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