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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 program begins with 6 weeks of academic coursework, where fellows focus on the concepts of leadership, democracy, communication, and conflict resolution among others. Fellows complete relevant seminars and workshops that address theoretical debates as well as active, practical skills-building sessions. After completing the academic portion of the program, participants engage in a 7-week professional assignment with a political, non-governmental, or public policy organization of professional interest in Washington, DC. Through this program component, participants gain a practical understanding of the interactions between government and civil society, while also gaining valuable knowledge, skills, and professional contacts to benefit their professional pursuits in their home countries.


Places targeted: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Qatar, Syria, Tunisia, West Bank/Gaza, and Yemen


The program is open to young professionals between the ages of 25 and 40 with a bachelor's degree and English language fluency. Fellows should be able to function at full capacity in an English-speaking academic and professional environment. Applicants should have 5 years of work experience, as well as demonstrated leadership skills and a desire to apply the skills they have learned during the fellowship to benefit an organization, sector, or specific community. Fellows’ travel to the U.S. must be unaccompanied. At the time of application and while participating in the program, Fellows must be citizens of the Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Qatar, Syria, Tunisia, West Bank/Gaza, and Yemen and cannot hold U.S. citizenship or be a U.S. Legal Permanent Resident.


All applicants must submit an current resume, brief biography, and an essay of no more than 1,000 words (in English), which answers the following questions:

A. The Leaders for Democracy Fellowship Program selects qualified and dedicated individuals from throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region who have demonstrated their potential to be leaders in their respective communities. Please tell us why you think you have the potential to be a real leader in your country or local community.

B. What do you hope to gain from this program and what are your plans to apply the experience it offers?

Biography: Candidates are asked to provide a brief biography of no more than 200 words that describes their personal background and professional experience as it relates to democracy building in their country of origin. The biography should include their current position, recent professional affiliations, and any noteworthy accomplishments (such as articles published or awards received).

The project implementer will work with MEPI DC and selected participants to facilitate J-visa processing at posts.


Recruitment for 2015 program is now CLOSED.

Recruitment Information

  • Recruitment for 2015 program is now CLOSED.