Seeking U.S. organizations to host young international professionals

Seeking U.S. organizations to host young international professionals

The Community Engagement Exchange Program, Community Solutions Program, Mandela Washington Fellowship, and Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative are seeking U.S. organizations in the private, public, and non-profit sectors to host young international professionals for short-term workplace experiences.

Graphic representing host organization application timelinesProfessional hosting provides U.S. companies, non-profits, and government agencies with a unique opportunity to gain a global perspective on their work while offering a tailored experience to accomplished young professionals looking to share their expertise, hone transferable skills, and forge lasting professional relationships with their U.S. counterparts. 

As a host, organizations will:

  • Benefit from having international professionals contribute their skills and expertise.
  • Develop employees’ professional capacities by mentoring and supervising participants.
  • Build their cross-cultural and international communication skills.
  • Learn from participants’ global perspective on industries in their home countries.
  • Grow their networks by connecting virtually with other hosts, participants, alumni, and more.

Eligibility requirements

Different organizations may be appropriate for different programs (see below), but all organizations must:

  • Be located in and operate from the United States, although they may have a global presence.
  • Align with program priorities and individual participants’ skill-building goals.
  • Have the organizational capacity to designate at least one supervisor who can dedicate time to mentoring the participants and curating a substantive work experience.
  • Embody values of cross-cultural collaboration and diversity.
  • Have at least three full-time employees active during the participant’s placement.

Community Engagement Exchange Program

  • Geographic focus: Global
  • Participant ages: 21-28 years old
  • Sector focus: All sectors
  • Placement length: 3 months

The Community Engagement Exchange (CEE) Program is a dynamic global network of innovators working with communities to address critical 21st Century issues.  CEE equips dedicated visionaries with the expertise, skills, and resources to develop multisector approaches and build healthy and engaged communities in over 100 countries.

A transformational leadership development experience, CEE is a year-long program designed to enable civil society leaders, ages 21-28, to harness the power of networks, relationships, and information for the public good, specifically on issues related to civic dialogue and peacebuilding, open and participatory government, women and gender, resilience and sustainable development, and youth engagement.

Fellowship components include a comprehensive leadership and civic engagement curriculum, a three-month fellowship at a U.S. community-based organization, and results-oriented projects in fellows’ home communities.

During their three months in the U.S., CEE Fellows acquire technical and leadership skills to catalyze their communities.  Embedded in U.S. community-based organizations, CEE Fellows closely collaborate with American counterparts on the most pressing local challenges.  This collaboration builds a strong, global network of young innovators and leaders that drive positive change, both in the United States and in local communities around the globe.

Find out more about hosting a CEE Fellow on our website and express your interest in hosting a Fellow for a U.S.-based Practicum by completing the Host Interest Form.

Community Solutions Program

  • Geographic focus: Global
  • Participant ages: 25-38 years old
  • Sector focus: Community-based development professionals working in four thematic areas: Environmental Issues, Peace and Conflict Resolution, Transparency and Accountability, and Women and Gender Issues
  • Placement length: 4 months

The Community Solutions Program (CSP) is a U.S. Department of State sponsored leadership development program under the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for mid-career, engaged community leaders. The goal of the Community Solutions Program is for engaged community leaders to positively impact the complex economic, environmental, political, and social challenges in their communities and become ambassadors for mutual understanding.

Community Solutions participants are among the best and brightest global community leaders working in transparency and accountability, tolerance and conflict resolution, environmental issues, and women and gender issues. Leaders participating in the program come from over 100 countries for a fellowship in the United States from August to December each year.

The Community Solutions Program also increases the capacity of U.S. partner organizations by nurturing collaboration and partnerships with international professionals and organizations. Host organizations collaborate with fellows on mutually beneficial projects during their U.S. practicum. Hosts also provide guidance as their leaders design six-month follow-on projects to implement in their home countries after the fellowship and are encouraged to collaborate with their fellows on the implementation of these projects. In addition to hosting a fellow at your U.S. organization for a four-month practicum, partnering opportunities can include connecting fellows to the local community during their four-month U.S. fellowship, helping recruit fellows for the program, and serving as a Community Liaison supporting fellows introduction to their new host cities.

Mandela Washington Fellowship

  • Geographic focus: Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Participant ages: 25-35 years old
  • Sector focus: All sectors
  • Placement length: 4-6 weeks

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of the U.S. Government’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). The Fellows, between the ages of 25 and 35, are accomplished leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa and have established records of promoting innovation and positive impact in their communities and countries. Each June, the Fellowship hosts 700 young African professionals for intensive six-week executive-style Leadership Institutes with top American educational institutions, followed by an annual Summit. After the Summit, a competitively selected group of Fellows complete in-person Professional Development Experiences with U.S. companies and organizations during the month of August.

Professional Development Experiences (PDEs) offer enriching opportunities for U.S. organizations and communities to participate in a collaborative exchange by hosting young African professionals for substantive work experiences that explore issues and workplace culture from U.S. and African perspectives. In addition to the in-person PDEs in August, the Fellowship also offers an opportunity for organizations to host six-week virtual professional placements from early February – mid-March.

Find more information on the PDEs and a link to express interest in hosting on the Mandela Washington Fellowship website.

Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative Fellowship

  • Geographic focus: Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada
  • Participant ages: 25-35 years old
  • Sector focus: Business and non-profit sectors
  • Placement length: 4 weeks

The Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Fellowship Program is the U.S. Department of State’s flagship program for entrepreneurs and business leaders from 37 countries across Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada. YLAI Fellows range between the ages of 25-35 with at least two years of experience in leadership positions at small and medium sized businesses or social ventures. YLAI Fellows come from both for-profits and non-profits across diverse business sectors ranging from food & beverage, education, agriculture, artisan products, electronics and IT, and more.

U.S.-based businesses and organizations have the unique opportunity to join a network that fosters mutual understanding and sustainable business partnerships across the Americas by participating as a host organization partner. During the fellowship, YLAI Fellows complete substantive one-month, in-person placements with host organizations across the United States to grow their networks, expertise, and leadership skills. After the fellowship, host organizations and fellows have additional opportunities to continue their collaboration.

Find more information about partnering with the YLAI Fellowship and a link to express your interest in hosting a YLAI Fellow.