ICMA, with funding from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), offers the Professional Fellows Program–an opportunity for young professionals from Southeast Asia to learn about sustainable development and the environment through a five-week fellowship. Fellows are part of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), a program that enables young leaders from ASEAN countries and Timor-Leste to work directly with counterparts in local government offices across the United States to enhance their practical expertise, leadership skills, and professional contacts to address challenges and create new opportunities in their home communities.
Fellows come from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam. The goal of the program is to create institutionalized long-term partnerships that support these emerging leaders and their institutions in the ASEAN countries and Timor-Leste and the U.S. to inspire change in creating responsive, open, and accountable governance.
Participating host communities have an opportunity to apply for a two-week reciprocal exchange at the end of the program. Selected participants then travel overseas to spend approximately two weeks with their ASEAN and Timor-Leste counterparts on projects of mutual importance.
ICMA works with the following international affiliates and other partners to implement the program:
- Local Government Professionals Australia
- Association of Indonesia Municipalities
- The Asia Foundation
- ICLEI: Local Governments for Sustainability
The YSEALI Professional Fellows Program is a US Department of State Program.