Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
April 29, 2010

The U.S. Department of State and six non-profit organizations will co-host the Legislative Fellows Congress May 3-4, 2010. As part of the Department’s Educational and Cultural Affairs Professional Exchanges, the Legislative Fellows Program was created in 2005 to provide young professionals direct exposure to the U.S. political process. Fellows are placed in month-long internships in U.S. Congressional offices, state legislatures, city councils, local governments or other related offices across the United States. Fellowship activities are designed to cultivate an increased understanding of the U.S. legislative process and enhanced appreciation of the role of civic society in the political process.

The May 2010 Fellows Congress marks the culmination of the spring Fellowship and brings together over 80 participants from Brazil, Colombia, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, Taiwan, and Ukraine. The two-day Congress provides a forum for Fellows to address key issues related to the legislative process and how these apply to governments and systems in their home countries and territories. The Congress will explore such themes as women in government; advocacy and influence; transparency and accountability; grassroots efforts and youth involvement.

Included in the sessions at the State Department and on Capitol Hill, the Fellows will be addressed by former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel. Hagel was a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and chaired the Foreign Relations International Economic Policy, Export and Trade Promotion Subcommittee. He is currently Co-Chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board and Chairman of the Atlantic Council.

The Department of State is partnering with American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL), American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, Appalachian State University, Legacy International, World Learning and the League of Women Voters to conduct the Legislative Fellows Program. As a part of the Legislative Fellows Program, in the summer and fall of 2010, reciprocal groups of American Legislative Fellows will travel overseas for programming in many of the partner countries and territories, and a second cohort of Legislative Fellows will arrive in the U.S. for an additional round of Fellowships.

For more information about the Legislative Fellows Program, please visit the website of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, or contact Laura Tischler, 202-632-6454 or

PRN: 2010/540