Leaders for Democracy Fellowship

The U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem, the Office of the U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) are pleased to announce the eighth year of the Leaders for Democracy Fellowship (LDF) project. This project provides young and mid-career civic activists and democratic reform leaders from the Middle East and North Africa with the opportunity to complete academic coursework at Syracuse University and gain relevant professional experience in Washington, D.C. This program is conducted in English, and advances reform efforts in the Middle East and North Africa by providing emerging civic leaders and democracy activists the opportunity to spend several months in the United States to gain academic skills and practical experiences as well as networking opportunities with like-minded professionals. The academic portion of the LDF program will take place March 22 to June 21, 2014 and be hosted by Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs in Syracuse, New York. Fellowships will be offered at Washington, D.C.-based institutions and organizations

The LDF project begins with five weeks of academic coursework that addresses topics of leadership, democracy, democratic transitions around the globe, comparative politics, civil society, communication, conflict resolution, and change management, among others. Fellows are expected to be active participants in all seminars and workshops that include theoretical debates as well as active skills-building sessions. Participants are also expected to lead discussions and make presentations to the Fellows and the broader Maxwell School community.

Internship Component. After completing the academic portion of the project, each participant will engage in a seven-week professional assignment with a political, non-governmental, or public policy organization in Washington, D.C. Through this component of the project, participants will gain practical experience about the ways that such institutions interact with government and civil society while also gaining valuable knowledge, experience, skills, and further professional contacts to benefit their respective professional pursuits back home.

Participant Qualifications

  • Applicants must be between the ages 25 and 40.
  • A minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree and sufficient English language fluency to function successfully in American academic and professional environments.
  • Applicants should have at least five years of work experience and the capacity to apply the opportunities presented by the fellowship in a way that would benefit an organization, sector, or specific community in their home countries.
  • Candidates must be Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, the West Bank, or Gaza Strip.

Important Note:

  • Participation in the program is contingent upon the applicant qualifying for a J-1 visa to the U.S.
  • Holders of American passports or green cards are not eligible to participate in this program.

Application Deadline and Inquiries:

Please submit your CV and copy of passport no later than November 15th, 2013.

Along with a current resume, each candidate should submit an essay written in English of no more than 1,000 words which answers the following questions:

  • How will a MEPI Leaders for Democracy Fellowship enable you to better lead your community or country towards greater democracy and citizen participation in government institutions and activities?
  • What do you hope to gain from this program and what are your plans to apply your experiences when you return?
  • What changes do you hope to bring about in your country during the next 10 years?

Jerusalem and West Bank Applicants: Email CV, essay and copy of passport to Exchanges@state.gov; and MEPIJerusalem@state.gov; with a copy sirianimy@state.gov; call 02-622-7107 for more information.

Gaza Applicants: Email CV, essay and copy of passport to Exchanges@state.gov; and MEPIJerusalem@state.gov; with a copy to Gazaexchanges@gmail.com; call 08-286-4623 for more information.