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Host a Fellow: 3 Ways Next Gen Leaders from Southeast Asia Will Strengthen Your Community

Hosting an international fellow is a great professional development experience for team members who want to explore how cities solve problems outside of the United States.

Each spring and fall, up to 20 ICMA members welcome emerging leaders from Southeast Asia to their communities to complete professional fellowships. Our call for volunteers is open for this year and we’d love to hear from you! ICMA administers the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Professional Fellows Program for the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Past hosts have shared dozens of ways this experience has benefitted their communities—here are just three.

Serve as Ambassadors for the United States

By taking part in this program, host communities become a part of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ broader mandate of working toward building friendly, peaceful relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. This year marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the United States and the ASEAN region.

Cultivate Innovative Ideas and Solutions to Global Challenges

Host communities say the exchange of ideas with fellows and exposure to new ways of doing things when resources are scarce contribute to innovative solutions to longstanding problems. And on the flip side, there are nearly 400 million ASEAN youth who will be in a position to define the Asia Pacific region for decades to come. Through collaboration idea sharing, U.S. host communities are at the forefront of equipping program participants with the necessary skills and knowledge to work toward the development and prosperity of their home countries.

Develop Lasting International Networks

While the fellows spend four short weeks in their U.S. host communities, the impact lasts well beyond this timeframe. As an added bonus, the program provides an opportunity for hosts to nominate a member of their staff for the reciprocal exchange. Nominees who successfully complete the selection process will travel to Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, or Vietnam for two weeks to deliver technical support and contribute their technical expertise. To learn more about the program experience, watch the short videos below:

Legislative Governance Track

Environmental Sustainability  

The next cohort of fellows will spend April 29 through May 27, 2017, in their U.S. host communities. Consider hosting fellows from the YSEALI Professional Fellows Program.  Email us at or visit the following link for more information: U.S. Host Statement of Motivation.

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U.S. Department of State, DC

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