Since 2007, the Leadership Development Fellowship (LDF) 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 LDF 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.
This is an intensive civic engagement and social entrepreneurship fellowship and selected candidates are expected to fully participate in each stage of the fellowship. Starting in 2020, 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 and 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 Lebanon 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 report and 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 twelfth month, the Fellows reconvene for three days to learn and share the impact of their LDF experience.
The 2020-2021 LDF Fellowship is approximately twelve months in total starting June 2020 through May 2021.
For the English Track, which includes a visit to the U.S. as part of Stage Three, applicants must:
- Eligible Countries: Be from Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Israel.
- English Fluency: 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 Lebanon as part of Stage Three, applicants must:
- Eligible Countries: Be from Syria, Yemen, Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Iraq.
Applicants for both tracks must meet the following eligibility 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 relevant Civic Engagement and/or Social Entrepreneurship experience.
- Academic Background: Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree.
- Arabic Fluency: Applicants in both tracks must able to function comfortably in Arabic-speaking academic and professional environments.
- Full Participation:Applicants must be willing and able to participate fully in all five stages of the LDF Fellows will travel out of the MENA region for two weeks at the beginning of the LDF Fellowship, for three weeks to either the U.S. or Lebanon during Stage Three, and again for three days at the end of the LDF Fellowship.
- Application: Applicants must have the capacity and ability to apply the knowledge and skills gained throughout the LDF
MEPI seeks emerging leaders who are innovators and problem-solvers, are currently engaged in civic engagement and social entrepreneurship, can work in a cross-cultural setting, have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, and commit to applying the learning and skills built during the LDF Fellowship.
Applications will be reviewed based on clearly defined criteria, including that the applicant:
- Demonstrate that they are emerging leaders with a strong commitment to affecting positive change in their communities;
- Demonstrate that they have already been actively engaged in civic engagement and/or social innovation activities for a minimum of five years;
- Demonstrate that they can immediately apply the knowledge and skills gained during the 12-month LDF Fellowship; and
- Demonstrate through practical examples their capacity to adapt to a multi-cultural environment and their ability to work collaboratively with a diverse cohort of peers regardless of their gender identity, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, political view and socioeconomic status.
Those selected will come from diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, organizations, and political affiliations. The LDF Fellowship does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical challenge or social status.
The LDF Fellowship 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.
Application Process: The online application process for the LDF Fellowship is now open. Application will be live from January 20, 2020 to February 17, 2020. The 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).
Application Link: https://ldf.secure-platform.com
Please see the Frequently Asked Questions page here for common questions: https://mepi.state.gov/education/faqs/
For questions about the LDF Fellowship please email firstname.lastname@example.org
For the latest updates and announcements, please visit the LDF Fellowship Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LDFProgram/