The Professional Fellows Program: Empowering Emerging Leaders

The U.S. Department of State will convene its largest ever group of Professional Fellows in Washington, D.C., May 31-June 2, as 265 emerging global leaders from 43 countries conclude intensive month-long fellowship placements with state and local government offices, NGOs, media outlets, and businesses in 29 states across the United States.

Nearly 100 of the fellows are participating in the program under the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), the U.S. government’s signature initiative to strengthen leadership development and networking and deepen engagement with young leaders in Southeast Asia on key regional and global challenges.

As part of the Professional Fellows Congress events, the State Department will recognize four distinguished alumni of the program whose activities have had a significant impact on their communities. They include an advocate for empowering women living with disabilities in Haiti and a Moroccan committed to building and strengthening public health programs and services. From the United States, they include a Michigan resident working to introduce career transition programs in Israel, the Palestinian Territories, and Egypt as well as a Californian who helped to further the development of legislative standards in Ukraine and Armenia.

Host organizations for the Professional Fellows include such organizations as the Corporation for National and Community Service, the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, Disability Rights Washington (Seattle), the Office of the Mayor of Chicago, the Washington Post, Deloitte Consulting, the Huffington Post, several members of Congress, and the Center for American Progress. Later this year many of the Americans who hosted Professional Fellows will travel overseas for follow-up programs in the communities and workplaces of the Fellows.

To see more about the Fellows’ experiences in the United States, follow @ProFellows and #ProFellows on Twitter. For press inquiries, please contact