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MEPI LDF Program

The MEPI Leaders for Democracy Fellowship (LDF) Program is a 3-month program in the United States for 20-25 young civic leaders from the Middle East and North Africa. The LDF program begins with five weeks of academic training on leadership, peace and conflict mitigation, comparative politics, civic engagement, advocacy, communication, and change management, at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The program includes seminars, workshops and activities including theoretical debates and active skills-building sessions. After completing the academic portion of the program, each participant will engage in a nine-week practicum placement within a relevant non-governmental or public policy organization. Through this component participants will gain practical work experience and learn about the ways that such organizations interact with government and civil society. Fellows will also gain valuable knowledge, experience, skills and further professional contacts to benefit their respective professional pursuits back home. For each Fellow the internship component will culminate in the development and finalization of a project or deliverable of benefit to both the Fellow and the organization.


The program is open to applicants between the ages of 25 and 40 with a minimum of a bachelor's degree and sufficient English or Arabic language fluency to successfully function in an American or Arabic language university and professional working environment. Applicants also should 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.


Recruitment for 2016 program is now OPEN. Please refer to the local MEPI Office at your U.S. Embassy for information on how to apply. Applicants must submit both an application form and a professional reference form. 


The LDF Lebanon Program runs from July 16 – October 15, 2016.
The LDF U.S. Program runs from September 5 – December 9, 2016.