Professional Fellows Exchange Program Addresses Global Challenges

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
May 29, 2015

 The U.S. Department of State Professional Fellows Program culminates June 1-4 when more than 200 emerging leaders from 43 countries arrive in Washington, D.C.  The Professional Fellows have spent the past month in placements across the United States, including federal and state legislatures, businesses, media outlets, and non-governmental organizations, where they have explored challenges facing their societies in the thematic areas of rule of law, journalism, economic empowerment, NGO management, and inclusion of persons with disabilities.

Among the Professional Fellows are 55 Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) participants from member nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).  On June 1, the 55 YSEALI participants will join 20 YSEALI Academic Fellows for an event at the White House. YSEALI is an initiative launched by President Obama in December 2013 to strengthen leadership development and expand ties between the people of the United States and young leaders in the region.

Starting June 2, the Professional Fellows will participate in events to promote networking and further broaden their professional expertise.  Participants will share highlights from their fellowships in a video-photo project titled “Giving Voice to Our American Experience” at the National Public Radio (NPR) headquarters on June 4 from 1:30-5 p.m.  At a State Department reception, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Kelly Keiderling will acknowledge four distinguished alumni of the program who made an impact in their communities both domestically and globally.

To follow their experiences in the United States, follow @ProFellows and #ProFellows on Twitter. For media interested in covering the NPR event or interviewing the fellows, please contact