YSEALI Professional Fellows Program

The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Professional Fellows Program will accept applications for the Spring 2020 cohort between now and November 1, 2019!

The Professional Fellows Program is a two-way, global exchange program designed to promote mutual understanding, enhance leadership and professional skills, as well as build lasting, sustainable partnerships between mid-level emerging leaders from foreign countries and the United States. The Professional Fellows Program brings emerging leaders from around the world to the United States for intensive five-to-six week fellowships designed to broaden their professional skills and expertise. Professional Fellows are selected via an open, merit-based application process. An integral part of the two-way program is for American participants who have hosted foreign fellows to travel overseas for participant-driven reciprocal programs.

Program themes for Spring 2020 are:

  • Civic Engagement
  • Economic Empowerment
  • Governance and Society
  • Sustainable Development and the Environment

Application review, candidate interviews, selection, and the identification of U.S. placement hosts will occur between December 2019 and early April 2020.

Participants will then travel to the U.S. in April 2020.

The program concludes with the Spring 2020 Professional Fellows Congress in Washington, D.C., from May 26 to 28, 2020.

What do Professional Fellows do in the United States?

Fellows are placed in non-profit organizations, private businesses, and local government offices across the country for individually-tailored professional development experiences. The fellows build a broad network with Americans and other foreign fellows, and develop a deeper understanding of U.S. society. Participants also develop individual action plans to address a challenge in their community or region to be implemented when they return home.

Professional Fellows Congress: The U.S.-based program concludes in Washington, D.C. with a three-day capstone event focusing on professional development, leadership, problem solving, and networking.

Fourteen U.S. implementing partners each manage a unique exchange for a multi-country group of participants, based on regional and thematic considerations. Across all of the groups, close to 600 participants from 60+ countries will come to the U.S. in 2020, and more than 150 Americans will travel overseas.

The Professional Fellows Program is a professional exchange program funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and managed by ECA’s Office of Citizen Exchanges. Every year, approximately 50,000 foreign and American participants take part in a wide range of exchange programs funded by ECA.

Implementing Partner: University of Montana
Application Dates: Now – November 1, 2019

The Program offers a hands-on approach to issues shared by the countries of the Lower Mekong by enhancing leadership and professional skills in civic engagement while building sustainable partnerships. The program features practical lessons that culminate in each Southeast Asian participant developing an Action Plan with follow-on projects supported by the U.S. Fellowship partner, the Mansfield Center, and the Professional Fellows alumni network.

Program home/application: http://www.umt.edu/mansfield/internationalprograms/yseali-civic-engagement/default.php

Implementing Partner: American Councils
Application Dates: Now – November 1, 2019

Program Timeline:

  • Now – Spring application opens
  • November 1  – Applications close
  • late-November 2019  – Evaluation
  • December 2019  – Interviews
  • January 2020  – Final selection/confirmation of Spring 2019 cohort
  • February 2020  – Successful applicants will be notified
  • April-May 2020  –  Fellowship in the US pending confirmed dates

The goals of this exchange are to:

  • Strengthen understanding of the U.S. economic development activities and processes
  • Enhance appreciation of the role civil society plays in economic development
  • Create partnerships between institutions in the U.S. and those in Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam
  • Establish a common language to develop practical solutions for shared problems and concerns

Administered in partnership with American Councils, more information can be found here:  http://professionalfellows.americancouncils.org/
Application link: https://ais.americancouncils.org/pfp

Implementing Partner: American Councils of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL)
Application Dates: Now – November 1, 2019

Program Timeline:

  • Now – November 1, 2019  –  Application dates
  • Early-January 2020:  Semifinalists are contacted for interviews
  • Late-January 2020:  Semifinalist interviews
  • February 2020:  Finalists are notified of acceptance
  • April 2020 – May 2020  –  Program dates

ACYPL will design and implement two Professional Fellows Programs (PFP) around the theme of Governance and Society for 50 international participants from Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam. These two exchanges – one in the spring and one in the fall – include a week of political and policy discussions in Washington, DC, a month-long individual fellowship in an American office, and participation in a three-day global Professional Fellows Congress in Washington, DC. Select fellows will then welcome their American hosts to their home country for an 8-14 day program to execute follow-on activities based on what they learned in the US.

Program home page:  https://www.acypl.org/what-we-do/professional-fellows/
Application link: https://webportalapp.com/appform/acypl_yseali_pfp_application_spring2020

Implementing Partner: International City/County Management Association (ICMA)
Application Dates: Now – November 1, 2019

The Fellowship will build the capacity of young leaders to address environmental sustainability challenges in their communities.  Fellows will learn practical skills while also fostering interaction with leaders from federal, state and local governments; civil society organizations; and private sector entities.

The goal of the program is to create institutionalized long-term partnerships that support emerging leaders and their institutions in the ASEAN countries and the U.S. to inspire change in addressing the challenges of environmental sustainability.

Administered in partnership with ICMA, more information about this program as well as application details can be found here:

Program Home Page: https://icma.org/programs-and-projects/yseali-professional-fellows-program
Application link: https://icma.submittable.com/submit/e803d215-7dba-469c-a37e-89ddd77e5151/spring-2020-yseali-professional-fellows-program-sustainable-development-and-the