Professional Exchange Programs

Engage young professionals in the United States Government and in American political processes

Initiated in 2005 under the auspices of the Legislative Education and Practice (LEAP) program, the LFP affords up to 55 promising young professionals from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine the opportunity to gain practical experience in United States government. The knowledge and interest of these young Eurasian professionals in American political processes will be expanded through short-term fellowships in state legislatures, city halls, federal offices and NGOs across the United States. In addition, the LFP will enable up to 35 Americans to travel outbound on reciprocal visits. There are two LFP groups per year, one in the spring and one in the fall. Fellows will attend orientation sessions prior to departing for the U.S. Upon arrival they will participate in a three-day intensive introduction to the U.S. political process in Washington, DC and then begin their four-week fellowships across the United States. Additionally, host family stays will deepen fellows’ awareness of the U.S. and also provide them the opportunity to share about their own countries.

Improve Americans’ ability to communicate

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. Launched in 1940, the IVLP seeks to build mutual understanding between the U.S. and other nations through carefully designed short-term visits to the U.S. for current and emerging foreign leaders. Turkey’s current president, Mr. Abdullah Gul, came to the U.S. on the IVLP program in 1995. These visits reflect the International Visitors’ professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the United States. International Visitors travel in a variety of thematic programs, either individually or in groups, for up to three weeks. While in the U.S., International Visitors typically visit Washington, DC and three additional towns or cities that highlight the tremendous diversity of the U.S. They attend professional appointments with their American counterparts, learn about the U.S. system of government at the national, state and local levels, visit American schools, and experience American culture and social life. International Visitors also share with their culture and offer insight on best practices and perspectives with their American hosts.

The U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce a special opportunity for emerging civil society leaders to participate in a 6-18 month professional fellowship in the United States.  All Fellows will be placed at a leading social change organization in the United States.  Individuals in the nonprofit/NGO sectors with two or more years of experience, a college degree and English proficiency are encouraged to apply.

Atlas Corps has supported over 300 emerging leaders from over 60 different countries and seeks candidates to apply as soon as possible for their next class of Fellows.

To apply and to find out more information, please visit

Atlas Corps facilitates overseas fellowships for the best of the world’s rising leaders. They volunteer at outstanding organizations addressing social issues and are enrolled in an ongoing training program. After 12 or 18 months, they return to their countries to work for at least one year (and usually their entire career) back in the nonprofit sector, sharing new skills, best practices, valuable experiences and a global network of change makers.