Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 4, 2014


The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs welcomes nearly 200 emerging leaders from 45 countries and territories to Washington, D.C., for the Professional Fellows Congress, June 4 - 6. The Professional Fellows Program is a two-way exchange, embracing the power of individual citizens to find solutions to challenges that face their societies. Approximately 400 international Fellows will come to the United States in the fall of 2014 and spring of 2015, and nearly 130 U.S. Fellows will participate in reciprocal exchanges abroad.

The Fellows work in fields related to legislative affairs, economic empowerment, and rule of law. All of the Fellows have completed intensive, month-long placements at non-profit organizations, private sector businesses, and government offices in 33 states across the country. While in Washington, the Fellows will participate in workshops and networking events to broaden their professional expertise and promote the State Department’s goal of connecting and empowering emerging leaders globally.

During the Professional Fellows Congress, participants will share their action plans for projects to be implemented upon their return home in the featured event, the Poster Showcase. Presentations include: Increasing Single Mothers’ Household Income through Clothing & Fashion in Uganda; Linking Ethnic Producer Groups to the Market in Laos; Community Lobbying & Advocacy about Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Baku; and Cancer Prevention among Adolescents in Brazil. A full list of poster show presentations by region can be found here and is open for coverage at the Washington Marriott Georgetown Hotel (1221 22nd St NW), Friday, June 6, 3:00 – 5:30pm.

During the program, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan will acknowledge distinguished alumni of the program who have made impacts both domestically and abroad. The alumni include a media professional from Morocco who is working to strengthen citizen participation in democracy through social media; a former legislative fellow from the Kyrgyz Republic who has worked to increase dialogue between Members of Parliament and their constituents through YouTube and other digital platforms; and three American alumni, including a teacher who is working with Brazilian entrepreneurs.

To follow their experiences in the United States, follow @ProFellows and #ProFellows on Twitter.

For press inquiries, please contact eca-press@state.gov.