Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 6, 2010


The U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) is pleased to announce a new award to support the ongoing Leaders for Democracy Fellowship project (LDF), which provides mid-career democracy advocates from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with the practical skills and networking opportunities needed to build civic engagement and support citizen empowerment in the region.

Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs has been awarded approximately $1,000,000 to continue the flagship project. In Spring 2011, Syracuse will host between 20 and 25 fellows, providing them with training, experiential learning, and networking opportunities with like-minded professionals. Participants will receive targeted classroom instruction and internships with Washington, D.C.-based organizations and institutions that also focus on democracy.

For the first time, an additional group of 15-20 fellows will receive similar training and internship opportunities, in Arabic, through a partner institution based in the MENA region. Alumni from the U.S. and regionally-based components of this new award, as well as past cohorts, will participate in future networking and training workshops in the Middle East and North Africa.

Syracuse University has implemented MEPI’s LDF project since 2007. To date, 80 democracy advocates from the MENA region have benefited from the initiative. This most recent award is based on a competitive Request for Applications conducted in June 2010.

The Leaders for Democracy Fellowship project helps to advance MEPI’s mission to create vibrant partnerships between America and the citizens of the Middle East and North Africa to support them as they build more pluralistic, participatory, and prosperous societies throughout the region. To learn more about MEPI, please visit www.mepi.state.gov



PRN: 2010/1428