Leaders for Democracy Fellowship

Leaders for Democracy Fellowship Program

Country: Global
Duration: October 2015 to February 2020
Funder: U.S. Department of State

The US State Department-funded Leaders for Democracy Fellowship (LDF) program supports civil society leaders from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to more effectively address political and social challenges in their communities. In either Lebanon or the US, Fellows participate in several weeks of academic training followed by a practicum. The Fellows gain knowledge, skills, and experience needed to address complex local economic, environmental, political, and social challenges and cultivate professional ties with US and MENA institutions. Under successive awards, World Learning is providing fellowships for at least 230 leaders.

These 3 months gave me hope for the next 3 years at least. I want to thank you all for the support and guidance and making me feel home. …LDF with World Learning was a turning point on my personal level.

LDF participant


Photo: Omar Chatriwala/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

The LDF academic component is implemented in partnership with prestigious universities in Lebanon or the US. Fellows complete practical coursework in leadership, communication, advocacy, peace and conflict transformation, democracy, and change management. Self-reflection assignments, one-on-one advising and group discussion help Fellows link their academic coursework to their program objectives and longer-term professional goals.

Following the academic component, Fellows are placed in an eight-week practicum with organizations that match their professional interests, in Beirut or Washington, DC. Fellows have the opportunity to apply and test their academic learning and build on their professional skills in a practical setting while working with their host organization on a mutually beneficial project.

Throughout the program LDF supports current and new alumni by developing and providing a platform for the network of alumni practitioners to maintain contact, share resources and information, and collaborate on joint initiatives across the MENA region. Additionally online and in-person activities are conducted to assist with the professional development of the alumni and the network itself.


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