Leadership Development Fellowship from MEPI Initiative in the United States and Tunisia (Fully Funded)

Leadership Development Fellowship from MEPI Initiative in the United States and Tunisia (Fully Funded)

The U.S Middle East Partnership Initiative MEPI

The U.S Middle East Partnership Initiative MEPI

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Nonprofit organization
17 Jan 2023
Study level
Opportunity type
Opportunity funding
Full funding
Eligible Countries
Eligible Region
All Regions

The US Department of State Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), in cooperation with World Learning, offers the Leadership Development Fellowship (LDF) Program 2023 to entrepreneurs from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region 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.

About the Program:

This is an intensive civic engagement and social entrepreneurship fellowship and selected candidates are expected to fully participate in each stage of the 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 training 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 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 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.

Eligibility Criteria:

For the English Track, which includes a visit to the U.S. as part of Stage Three, applicants must:

  • Be from Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Palestine.
  • 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:

  • Be from Syria, Yemen, Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Iraq.

Applicants for both tracks must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Applicants must be between 28 and 35 years of age.
  • Applicants must have at least five years of professional work experience in a relevant field.
  • Applicants must have a minimum of five years of relevant Civic Engagement and/or Social Entrepreneurship experience.
  • Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree.
  • Applicants in both tracks must able to function comfortably in Arabic-speaking academic and professional environments.
  • 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 Tunisia during Stage Three and again for three days at the end of the LDF Fellowship.
  • Applicants must have the capacity and ability to apply the knowledge and skills gained throughout the LDF.

Selection Criteria:

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.

Note: 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.

About the Middle East Partnership Initiative:

Aiming to advance stability and prosperity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) program supports governments and their citizens to achieve shared political, economic and stability objectives. The MEPI program responds to needs and emerging opportunities for citizens and organizations that target two core objectives: Participatory Governance and Economic Opportunity. A cross-cutting theme is a focus on government-citizen relations: empowering partnerships between citizens, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and government institutions to promote shared solutions for the people of MENA.

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