Press Releases: Professional Fellows Exchange Program Empowers Young Leaders

More than 200 emerging leaders from 45 countries and territories arrive in cities across the United States this month for the U.S. Department of State’s Professional Fellows Program, which culminates in Washington, D.C. with the Professional Fellows Congress, November 5-7. The Professional Fellows Program is a two-way exchange program embracing the power of individual citizens to find solutions to challenges facing their societies in legislative affairs, economic empowerment, and the rule of law.

The fall 2014 Professional Fellows include 30 participants of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI). YSEALI is an initiative launched by President Obama at last December’s ASEAN Youth Summit in Manila, Philippines to strengthen leadership development and networking, deepen engagement with young leaders, and strengthen people-to-people ties between people in the United States and young leaders in the region.

The Fellows participate in intensive, month-long placements at non-profit organizations, private sector businesses, and government offices in 33 states across the country. In the second phase of the program, Americans who hosted foreign Professional Fellows in the United States travel overseas on reciprocal exchanges to work with their foreign counterparts on implementation of action plans and individual projects.

During the Professional Fellows Congress, the Fellows will participate in workshops and networking events to broaden their professional expertise. Participants will share action plans for projects to be implemented upon their return home in a featured event called the “Ideas Market” at the Washington Marriott Georgetown Hotel on November 6, which is open to the media. During the congress, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan will also acknowledge distinguished alumni of the program who made an impact both domestically and globally.

More than 400 international Fellows have come to the United States in 2014, with nearly 130 U.S. Fellows participating in reciprocal exchanges abroad.

To follow their experiences in the United States, follow @ProFellows and #ProFellows on Twitter. For media inquiries, please contact

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