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Leaders for Democracy Fellowship - U.S. Program

 Sponsored by the U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) of the U.S. Department of State

Registration is closed.

The LDF Program provides emerging civic leaders the opportunity to spend three months in the United States (for high-proficiency English speakers) to gain academic skills and practical experience as well as network with like-minded peers and professionals. In addition, there is also an Arabic language LDF-Lebanon program which persons can apply to. Please visit for more information on LDF-Lebanon.

LDF seeks candidates with excellent interpersonal and communication skills, proven leadership abilities, the ability to work in a cross-cultural setting and a commitment to the program and follow-on activities. To promote program sustainability and create a multiplier effect, participants will create and implement follow-on projects in their home communities. The actions plans for the follow-on projects will be developed and finalized throughout the course of the program.

Applications will be reviewed based on clearly defined criteria, including:

  • Demonstrated a strong commitment to being a leader of positive change in your community

  • Demonstrated tolerance and a desire to work collaboratively with a diverse cohort of peers irrespective of their gender, ethnicity, religion, political views and socioeconomic status

  • Interest in participating in the program and sharing the experience with others

  • Commitment to the implementation of a follow-on project.

Those selected will come from diverse backgrounds and LDF aims for gender balance.

The LDF English language program in the United States will take place from February 20 to May 20, 2017. Applicants who apply for and are accepted into this program will first attend a five week academic component at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia and then be placed in host organizations aligned with their professional interests for an eight-week practicum experience in Washington, D.C.


  • Applicants with written and high oral English proficiency is required for the US-based program as the participants will need to converse about complex political and global issues with U.S. peers and experts.

  • Applicants between the ages of 25 and 35 with a minimum of a bachelor's degree and fluency in English to successfully function in an American English language based university and professional working environment.

  • Applicants that have at least five years of professional work experience and both the capacity and commitment to apply the experience gained through the Fellowship in developing and implementing a project that will benefit an organization, specific community and/or sector in their home countries.

Preference will be given to applicants with relevant professional achievements who have not previously visited the United States.