I am from (X country) and my country is no longer included as an eligible country for the Student Leaders, Leadership Development Fellowship, or Tomorrow’s Leaders program. Can I still participate in the program?
Thank you for your interest in our programs. Due to budget constraints, we are unable to support all countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Only those countries listed in the specific announcement are eligible.
I’m a DOS employee and want to know if I or my immediate family members am/are eligible to apply for a DOS-funded MEPI leadership exchange program?
- DOS and USAID employees and their immediate family members (spouses and dependent children) are NOT eligible to apply to any of the MEPI exchange programs (Tomorrow’s Leaders Program, Leaders for Democracy Fellowship Program, and Student Leaders Program).
- If a State Department Officer or Locally Employed Staff and/or his or her immediate family members would like to apply to a DOS-funded MEPI exchange program, the applicant(s) may only do so after a period of one year after termination of DOS employment.
I’m an employee of a public or private agency working with DOS to perform administrative, implementation, and/or screening services on behalf of DOS for a MEPI leadership exchange program. Can I or my immediate family members apply to the MEPI leadership exchange program that I work on?
Current employees (and their immediate family members) of any private and public agencies under contract to DOS that perform administrative, implementation, and/or screening services on behalf of DOS for the exchange program (e.g. AMIDEAST, the American University of Beirut, and the Lebanese American University for the Tomorrow’s Leaders Program; World Learning and sub-awardees for the Leaders for Democracy Fellowship Program; and Georgetown University and sub-awardees for the Student Leaders Program) are NOT eligible to apply to the program that the employee works on.
2019 MEPI Tomorrow’s Leaders Program
What is the Tomorrow’s Leaders (TL) Program?
The Tomorrow’s Leaders Undergraduate Program (TLU) supports students in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by providing undergraduate level academic matriculation, civic education, and leadership development. TLU is a leadership-training program, partnering with leading U.S.-accredited American universities in the MENA region to build a cadre of community, business, and national leaders who are civic-minded, intellectually able, and professionally trained.
TLU targets students from the MENA region who are academically qualified, but who are otherwise unable to afford American-style higher education. Students will enroll at the undergraduate level in a four-year program in one of the host institutions: The American University of Beirut (AUB), The Lebanese American University (LAU) in Lebanon and The American University in Cairo (AUC) in Egypt. Each host university offers a civic awareness and leadership-based component as well as mentoring and internship opportunities with local civil society, business, and non-governmental organizations. In addition, each student has an opportunity to study abroad in the U.S. for one semester.
Which benefits does the Tomorrow’s Leaders (TL) undergraduate program include?
Tomorrow’s Leaders may pursue an eligible undergraduate degree in a selected field at one of the host institutions and should be prepared to begin the program in the Fall 2021 term. Participants are expected to maintain at least a 3.0 GPA, engage in community service activities, and participate in career-relevant internships. Students may also have an opportunity for a study abroad semester in the U.S.. Students are expected to have strong English language skills; however, limited English- language training will be provided for some participants.
Participation in the program includes: Full tuition coverage (for a maximum period of four academic years) at one of the participating universities, health insurance, housing, monthly living allowance, a semester study abroad in the U.S., yearly round trip tickets from and to your home country, civic leadership and career-oriented workshops, internship opportunities, and faculty mentorship and guidance.
Who is eligible to apply for and which criteria must Tomorrow’s Leaders undergraduate applicants meet?
- This program is open to high school graduates in the Middle East and North Africa, who are qualified but unable to afford a college education. For the Fall 2021 enrollment class, applicants must be citizens of Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, (Syrians residing outside of Syria), and Yemen. U.S. Citizens or U.S. Legal Permanent Residents are not eligible to apply.Applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Be a high school senior or recent high school graduate at the time of application;
- Demonstrate strong leadership potential;
- Be proficient in written and spoken English;
- Demonstrate strong academic performance;
- Ability to start the program in August/September 2021.
When is the undergraduate program application period for the 2019 Tomorrow’s Leaders Program?
Deadline for the Tomorrow’s Leaders Program is December 4, 2020.
How can I submit an application for the undergraduate Tomorrow’s Leaders Program?
To apply, go to this website: www.amideast.org/tl
At the bottom of the page, click the drop down list to select your country for country-specific contact information and application criteria.
For French and Arabic information, please see these websites:
I have questions about the Tomorrow’s Leaders Program related to English testing requirements, application/admission requirements, etc. Who can I contact?
Where can I find more information about the Tomorrow’s Leaders, Student Leaders and other U.S. State Department programs that I may be eligible to apply for?
Some U.S. Embassies/Consulates/posts may publicize recruitment on various online platforms. See the following online platforms where certain countries may post additional information:
- Regional MEPI websites:
- (English) https://mepi.state.gov/leadership/tomorrows-leaders-program/
- (Arabic) https://mepi.state.gov/ar/education-ar/tomorrows-leaders-scholarship-program/
- (English) https://mepi.state.gov/leadership/student-leaders-program/
- (Arabic) https://mepi.state.gov/ar/education-ar/tomorrows-leaders-scholarship-program/
2020 MEPI Student Leaders Program
What is the Student Leaders (SL) Program?
The Student Leaders (SL) program is an intensive 5-week training program in four U.S.-based universities for about 60 undergraduate and graduate students (age 20-24) from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Students learn about leadership, civil society, and government processes and how they may apply these skills in their home countries.
Students are divided up among U.S. academic institutions where they develop leadership skills and expand their understanding of civil society, as well as the democratic process and how both may be applied in their home communities. Participants have the opportunity to meet their American peers, engage in local community service activities, and observe and take part in the governmental process on the local, state, and federal levels.
The institutes include academic coursework, as well as site visits to local and regional community organizations in the United States. Upon completion of the U.S.-based programs, host institutes work with participants to implement civic engagement programs in their home communities.
After the U.S. program concludes and as funding allows, the U.S. Department of State may hold follow-on trainings and events overseas in the region that program alumni can apply for through a competitive, application-based selection process.
Expenses for the U.S. program are fully paid by the U.S. Department of State.
Who is eligible to apply for the 2020 Student Leaders program?
Applicants must hold citizenship of Algeria, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, or Libya; Applicants cannot hold U.S. citizenship and cannot be a U.S. Legal Permanent Resident.
- Must have ability to fully participate in the program in the USA in late June 2020 to the end of July 2020;
- Are 20 to 24 years of age as of the program start date of June 24, 2020 and end date of July 29, 2020 (birthdates falling between July 29, 1996 and June 24, 2000);
- Demonstrate the strong English language skills needed to participate in a U.S. academic program;
- Are committed to returning to their home country/community following completion of the program;
- Demonstrate strong leadership potential;
- Indicate a serious interest in learning about the United States;
- Are not a third country national of the nominating country;
- Have a sustained high level of academic achievement and currently attending an undergraduate or graduate program, have graduated from an undergraduate program within 6 months or less from the program start date of June 24, 2020 or will commence graduate studies in the fall 2020 semester in their home country; will not be commencing study in an undergraduate or graduate degree program in the USA during the fall 2020 USA academic semester;
- Demonstrate a commitment to civic engagement;
- Preference will be given to those who have no prior travel experience in the United States or Canada and limited to no study or travel experience outside their home country;
- Are willing and able to participate fully in intensive academic, community service, and educational travel activities;
- Are comfortable with campus life, sharing living accommodations while traveling with a multinational group of participants from the Middle East and North Africa region and with U.S. citizens, and making adjustments to cultural and social practices different from those of their home countries/communities; and
- Are comfortable living with another program participant of the same sex in a shared room as well as traveling to the USA and participating in the program without any accompanying friends or family members.
I thought students from my country were eligible to apply to the program. What if my country is no longer listed as a participating country for the Student Leaders Program?
Due to significant budget constraints in 2017, the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) Student Leaders Program is limited to 60 students and has been shortened to 5 weeks. MEPI will also not be able to offer the program in all MENA countries this year.
When is the application period for the 2020 Student Leaders Program?
Applications for the Student Leaders Program will be accepted starting on October 1, 2019 and the deadline for applications is December 3, 2019 for Bahrain, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Qatar, and Tunisia. The deadline for applications from Algeria and Lebanon is December 17, 2019.
How can I submit an application for the Student Leaders Program?
When can I expect to hear the results of my Student Leaders application?
Some students will be invited by their U.S. Embassy or Consulate to do interviews in January 2020. All students will hear the results of their application no later than April 2020 via email sent through the Fluid Review application database. Due to the volume of applications, U.S. Embassies and Consulates will only reach out to short-listed candidates for interviews. Being selected for an interview does NOT mean that a candidate is then automatically selected as a Finalist or Alternate for the program. U.S. Embassies and Consulates will notify those short-listed candidates selected for an interview whether or not they are selected as a Finalist or Alternate candidate by the end of April 2020.
How many recommendation letters do I need?
You only need one.
Does my recommender have to use the recommendation form provided?
Yes, your recommender has to fill out the provided recommendation form.
What is the format of the recommendation letter (hand-written, PDF, or Word)?
Please use the required recommendation format that is provided. The answers can be hand-written or typed by the recommender.
How do I choose a recommender?
A recommender should be someone other than a friend or family member, who knows you well and has observed your academic, professional, or volunteer work (ex. professor, supervisor, co-worker).
What will happen if I choose “invite recommender”?
If you choose to “invite a recommender” an email will be sent to your recommender asking him/her to fill out a recommendation form and submit it on your behalf through the link provided.
If I do not have a letter of recommendation, can I upload a certificate instead?
No, applicants are required to submit a recommendation letter.
Do I have to submit my school transcripts?
You aren’t required to upload actual transcripts but are required to upload documentation (which could include transcripts) to demonstrate your academic results from your most recent year of university studies.
Do I have to translate my documents before attaching them to the application form?
Your passport or identification card copy as well as academic records supporting your academic results from your most recent year of university studies do not need to be translated into English. However, other documents like your recommendation letter should be submitted in English.
Who pays for the Student Leaders exchange program?
The cost of the program is fully covered by the U.S. Department of State.
I do not have a passport; can I apply with my identification card (ID)?
Yes, you can apply and upload a copy of your identification card if you do not have a passport. If you do not have a passport OR if your passport has expired, please provide a copy of your national ID instead. In the meantime, be sure to apply for your passport or passport renewal, because, if selected as a program participant, you will need a passport valid for at least 6 months after the program end date.
I visited the United States before. Does that make me ineligible to participate in MEPI exchange programs such as Student Leaders?
It does not make you ineligible. You can still apply for MEPI programs, although generally we give priority to people who have never visited the United States before.
How will you inform me of the application results?
Each applicant will receive an email notifying them of the result of their application through the Fluid Review online application database by the program implementer Georgetown University.
The Student Leaders program is for students ages 20-24, but I missed my chance to apply last year and I am already 25! Can I still apply?
Only undergraduates and graduate students ages 20-24 at the time they participate in the program may apply. Individuals ages 28-35 may be eligible for a different program called the Leaders for Democracy Fellowship (LDF) Program. Please view: https://mepi.state.gov/leadership/student-leaders-program/ to see whether you may be eligible for that program.
Can I apply for the program if my birth date falls few days before or after (+/-a week) the set range of July 29, 1996 and June 24, 2000?
No, you cannot. Only applicants who were born between July 29 1996 and June 24, 2000 may apply. You must be 20 to 24 years of age as of the program start date of June 24, 2020 and end date of July 29, 2020.
I will graduate in May right before the Student Leaders program begins. Can I still apply to it?
Yes, you can apply. If a student graduates before the Student Leaders Program begins in late June 2020, they must not graduate more than 6 months before the Student Leaders Program begins. In other words, they must not graduate before January 2020 (unless they will be enrolled in a Graduate program in the August/September fall 2020 semester – see next question below).
I graduated from my undergraduate program one year ago and am not enrolled in graduate school. Can I apply to the Student Leaders program?
Students must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program when they apply. If a student is accepted to a Graduate program but has not started it yet and will start the Graduate program the semester immediately following the Student Leaders program (in the fall 2020 semester, starting August/September 2020), the student can apply.
I do not know how to convert my scores to Grade Point Average (GPA); can I provide my scores as shown in my transcripts or other academic records?
Yes, you can enter your scores as shown in your school transcripts or as shown in your other academic records. You can also use this calculator to convert your scores into a GPA: http://www.wes.org/students/igpacalc.asp
2022 Leadership Development Fellowship
What is the Leadership Development Fellowship (LDF) Program?
Since 2007, the Leadership Development Fellowship (LDF Fellowship) has provided leaders from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with the opportunity to complete training in civic engagement, social entrepreneurship, and leadership. Emerging civic engagement and social entrepreneurship leaders across sectors from the MENA region will participate in a 5-stage, 12-month Fellowship to identify innovative ways to address social and economic challenges in local communities. The LDF Fellowship is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and implemented by World Learning.
The LDF Fellowship is an intensive civic engagement and social entrepreneurship fellowship, and selected candidates are expected to fully participate in each stage of the LDF Fellowship. The LDF Fellowship will take place over 12 months and include 5 stages:
- Stage One: Fellowship begins with two weeks of in-person workshops and trainings with World Learning in partnership with Duke University focused on: studying the systems that contribute to societal challenges; building effective partnerships for social change; and developing inclusive and equitable interventions.
- Stage Two: Fellows refine interventions and complete exercises that provide local focus on systems analysis, inclusive interventions, building partnerships, and other acquired tools and knowledge from Stage One.
- Stage Three: Fellows spend three weeks in the United States as part of the English Track (for high-proficiency English speakers), or in Tunisia as part of the Arabic Track (for high-proficiency Arabic speakers), to gain academic and local insights into civic engagement and social entrepreneurship and to reflect on the findings of their Stage Two activities.
- Stage Four: Over six months, fellows apply the lessons of the LDF Fellowship and report on results to strengthen their ongoing civic and social entrepreneurial activities. During this stage, Fellows may apply for small grants or technical assistance.
- Stage Five: In the final month, the Fellows reconvene for three days to learn and share the impact of their LDF experience.
The 2022 LDF Fellowship is approximately twelve months in total starting from May 2022.
Which MENA countries are eligible to apply to the 2022 LDF Fellowship?
Participants from the following countries are eligible to apply to the English Track of the 2022 LDF Fellowship: Algeria, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Israel, or Bahrain.
Participants from the following countries are eligible to apply to the Arabic Track of the 2022 LDF Fellowship: Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen, or Bahrain.
Who is eligible to apply for and which eligibility criteria must the 2022 LDF applicants meet?
For the English Track, which includes a visit to the U.S. as part of Stage Three, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Eligible Countries: Applicants must be from Algeria, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Israel or Bahrain.
- English Fluency: Applicants must have strong written and oral English proficiency and be able to function comfortably in English-speaking academic and professional environments. All U.S.-based activities are conducted in English.
For the Arabic Track, which includes a visit to Tunisia as part of Stage Three, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Eligible Countries: Applicants must be from Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen, or Bahrain.
For both tracks, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Age: Applicants must be between 28 and 35 years of age.
- Professional Experience: Applicants must have at least five years of professional work experience in a relevant field.
- Civic Engagement and/or Social Entrepreneurship Experience: Applicants must have a minimum of five years of civic engagement and/or social entrepreneurship experience.
- Academic Background: Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree.
- Arabic Fluency: Applicants in both tracks must be able to function comfortably in Arabic-speaking academic and professional environments. Almost all virtual activities are conducted in Arabic.
- Full Participation: Applicants must be willing and able to participate fully in all five stages of the LDF Fellowship. Fellows will travel out of the MENA region for two weeks at the beginning of the fellowship, for three weeks to either the U.S. or Tunisia during Stage Three, and again for three days at the end of the fellowship.
- Application: Applicants must have the capacity and ability to immediately apply the knowledge and skills gained throughout the LDF Fellowship.
What are the lodging and traveling requirements of the LDF Fellowship?
Participants must be comfortable living with another participant of the same sex in a shared room, traveling internationally, and participating in the LDF Fellowship without any accompanying friends or family members during Stages One, Three, and Five.
When is the application period for the 2022 LDF Fellowship?
Applications for the 2022 LDF Fellowship will be available online from July 26, 2021 to August 27, 2021.
How can I apply for the LDF Fellowship?
All applications will be submitted online. Please apply using this link: https://ldf.secure-platform.com/a.
The application process includes completing an online application; recording a short video statement; and submitting a resume, a professional reference form, a certificate of graduation, and a passport copy (if available). For more info on LDF Fellowship, visit this link: https://mepi.state.gov/leadership/ldf/
For questions about the LDF Fellowship please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I apply to both the English and Arabic Tracks of the LDF Fellowship?
Applicants are free to submit separate applications to the English and Arabic Tracks of the LDF Fellowship. However, applicants will only be offered a spot in one of the tracks. The candidate’s preference may be considered during the interview process. If the applicant is selected for an interview and has the high English language proficiency required for the English Track, then the applicants might be offered a spot on the English Track. The same is true for the Arabic Track.
When can I expect to hear the results of my LDF Fellowship application?
Due to the volume of applications, we will only contact semi-finalists.
I thought participants from my country were eligible to apply to the LDF Fellowship. What if my country is no longer listed as a participating country for the LDF Fellowship?
Due to significant budget constraints, the U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative’s (MEPI) LDF Fellowship was reduced in size. MEPI will not be able to offer the LDF Fellowship in all previous countries this year.
If I do not have a professional reference, can I upload a certificate instead?
No, applicants are required to submit a professional reference form.
Do I have to submit my school transcripts or academic records?
Applicants are not required to upload actual transcripts but are required to upload academic documentation (which could include transcripts) to demonstrate that they hold a bachelor’s degree. If an applicant holds a master’s degree, Ph.D., or another degree, they are required to upload documentation to demonstrate that they hold these degrees.
Do I have to translate my documents before attaching them to the application form?
Your passport or identification card copy as well as academic records supporting your academic degrees DO NOT need to be translated into English and can be submitted in the original language they are printed in. However, all other application documents such as your professional reference form, essay questions, video statement, and other application materials should be submitted in English for the English Track application and Arabic for the Arabic Track application.
Who pays for the LDF Fellowship?
The LDF Fellowship is funded by MEPI, which will cover the cost of international travel, lodging, and health insurance, and provide a modest living stipend to cover meals and incidentals during the in-person engagements.
I do not have a passport. Can I apply with my identification card (ID)?
Yes, applicants can apply and upload a copy of their identification card if they do not have a passport. If applicants do not have a passport OR the passport has expired, they can provide a copy of the national ID instead. If an applicant is selected, they will need to have a passport valid for at least 6 months after the LDF Fellowship’s end date in order to participate.
I visited the United States before. Does this make me ineligible to participate in the English track of the LDF Fellowship?
Previous visits to the United States do not make you ineligible. You can still apply for the LDF Fellowship, although generally we give priority to people who have never visited the United States before.
The LDF Fellowship is for applicants ages 28-35. I’m younger or older than this age range. Can I still apply?
Only applicants aged 28-35 years old at the time of the fellowship may apply for the LDF Fellowship. Younger individuals may be eligible for the Student Leaders Program. Please visit this website to read about the Student Leaders Program: https://mepi.state.gov/leadership/student-leaders-program/
I applied last year and did not get selected. Can I apply again this year?
Yes, applicants who applied in previous years and still meet the eligibility criteria can apply for the 2022 LDF Fellowship.