Professional Fellows for Governance and Society, South and Central Asia

Countries: India, Nepal, Pakistan    |   Duration: September 2013 to December 2019    |   Funder: US Dept. of State - Bureau of Educational and Cult    |   Contact: APPLY NOW

Program Description

The Professional Fellows for Governance and Society, South and Central Asia program brings young professionals from India, Pakistan, and Nepal to the U.S. to exchange ideas, strategies, and best practices in legislative process and policymaking.

Professional Fellows for Governance and Society is administered by World Learning on behalf of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Through this two-way exchange for emerging leaders ages 25-40 from India, Pakistan, Nepal, and the United States, participants will exchange ideas and best practices, while also improving leadership skills and developing sustainable and enduring linkages with professional counterparts. Participants will be matched with a U.S. organization or government office for a professional fellowship in order to increase their understanding of the U.S. legislative process. They will also engage in civic life through enrichment activities such as meeting with key stakeholders, dialogues, and site visits and participate in the Professional Fellows Congress with other 200+ Fellows from 48 countries.

The following are themes and topics related to legislation and governance that may be included in the program: good governance (e.g. transparency and anti-corruption); legislative processes; the role of women, minorities, and marginalized populations in civil society and the political process; decentralization; youth engagement; development and strengthening of NGOs and civil society; post-conflict transitions; and non-violent civic participation.

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Spring 2018 Application

Spring 2018 application deadline: November 30, 2017


Program Goals

  • Promote mutual understanding
  • Establish networks among mid-level professionals in the U.S., India, Pakistan, and Nepal
  • Encourage increased knowledge of the legislative process and principles of good governance

The program includes the following components:

  • Participant selection and pre-departure orientation in India, Pakistan, or Nepal;
  • A one-month U.S. experiential program for participants from India, Pakistan, and Nepal that includes fellowships, interactive seminars, site visits, synthesis discussions, and designing follow-on projects (multiple cohorts)
  • In-country seminars and support of follow-on activities for participants from India, Pakistan, and Nepal, including workshops and consultations by American experts (multiple cohorts)
  • The U.S. program begins with an orientation in Washington, DC that focuses on the structure of the US government, the legislative process, and the role of civil society. Following is a four-week fellowship in several US cities, which includes professional fellowships, seminars, homestays, and civic engagement. Participants then return to Washington, DC for the concluding Professional Fellows’ Congress, which includes workshops, debriefs, and meetings with US government officials, and a program debrief.


Spring 2017 Professional Fellows Video Project



It was a wonderful experience to visit the United States of America, to interact with policy makers at key levels, to understand aspects of legislative processes, to experience American hospitality, and to make new friends from the USA, Pakistan and India.

India Participant, Spring 2017

The exchange program is wonderfully designed and as per my experience I have never witnessed such a comprehensive program, designed in a way not only boost our passion but also teaches how to achieve targets.

Pakistan Participant, Spring 2017