Applications Open for Professional Fellows Congress Program 2021

The Global Leaders Division (formerly the Professional Fellows Division) in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Office of Citizen Exchanges invites proposal submissions for the FY 2021 Professional Fellows Congress program to conduct two Professional Congress capstone events for the FY 2021 Professional Fellows Programs.

The Professional Fellows Program is a two-way global exchange program designed to promote mutual understanding, enhance leadership and professional skills, and build lasting and sustainable partnerships between mid-level emerging leaders from foreign countries and the United States. The Professional Fellows Congress brings all non-U.S. participants together at the end of their fellowship program and provides a larger context for their shared experiences, promotes collaboration, introduces them to alumni and other resources, and strengthens the Professional Fellows Program’s role as a vital element of U.S. public diplomacy.

As the capstone events of the fall 2022 and spring 2023 Professional Fellows Program, each Professional Fellows Congress will provide the fellows with:

  • the opportunity to network with colleagues from around the world, share their U.S. experiences, and learn from the experiences of other Professional Fellows;  
  • a contextual framework for the broader fellowship experience and exchange program;  
  • an opportunity to examine ways an individual, organization, or interest group can generate change for the common good; and
  • a greater understanding of public diplomacy in the global community.


The Professional Fellows Congress supports the following broad goals:

  • Promote mutual understanding and lasting partnerships between mid-level emerging leaders from foreign countries and the United States;
  • Provide opportunities for non-U.S. and American emerging leaders to collaborate and share ideas, approaches, and strategies regarding pressing challenges;
  • Enhance leadership and professional skills for both non-U.S. and American Fellows to encourage positive change in their workplaces and communities; and
  • Build a global network of like-minded professionals.


The three themes for the FY 2021 Open Competition for the Professional Fellows Program are:

  • Governance and Society,
  • Economic Empowerment, and
  • Civic Engagement.

Funding Information

  • Approximate Total Funding: $925,000
  • Approximate Number of Awards: 1
  • Approximate Average Award: $925,000
  • Floor of Award Range: $925,000
  • Ceiling of Award Range: $925,000


Professional Fellows Program participants are defined as those individuals who travel under Professional Fellow award funding from their country of origin to a designated exchange country. Participants in the FY 2021 Professional Fellows Program will come from Africa (AF), East Asia & Pacific (EAP), Europe & Eurasia (EUR), Middle East and North Africa (NEA), South and Central Asia (SCA), and the Western Hemisphere (WHA) geographic regions. Proposals for the FY 2021 Congress must demonstrate a high degree of cross-cultural sensitivity and the ability to engage a diverse group of program participants.

Eligibility Criteria

U.S. public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 USC 501(c)(3) may submit applications for this competition. Applicants must have nonprofit status with the IRS at the time of application.

For more information, visit


Important Dates

Post Date - 07 Nov 2020

Deadline Date - 07 Jun 2021

Donor Name

Bureau Of Educational and Cultural Affairs

Grant Size

500000 to $ 1000000



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Focus Areas of Interest

Civil Society (CSO)

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