United States Department Of State Professional Fellows Program 2023

By CampusLifestyle

Host Country



24 FEBRUARY 2023

Target audience


Program Overview

Applications are now open for the United States Department of State Professional Fellows Program 2023. The Fellowship runs under the theme: Advancing Young Women Agribusiness Entrepreneurs and Innovators: A Rwanda-South Africa-Zambia-Zimbabwe-U.S. Partnership

The Advancing Young Women Professional Fellows Program is sponsored by the US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

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It is administered by Michigan State University (US), University of Rwanda (Rwanda), University of Pretoria (South Africa), University of Zambia (Zambia), and Chinhoyi University of Technology (Zimbabwe).

The goal of the program is to build Fellows’ capacity and skills in agro-entrepreneurship and agri-food system innovation and advance their ability to support women’s economic empowerment.

Rwandan, South African, Zambian, and Zimbabwean Fellows will develop their leadership capacity and professional skills through a fully funded five-week fellowship program in the U.S.

The US program will include a four-week professional internship with Michigan organizations focused on agriculture, innovation, agro-entrepreneurship, and women’s empowerment and additional seminars and training with professionals from Michigan State University and throughout the state of Michigan.

They are recruiting young Rwandan, South African, Zambian, and Zimbabwean professionals from diverse backgrounds in the private, public, non-governmental, and education sectors who are either women agribusiness entrepreneurs or individuals working to increase women’s economic engagement in the agricultural sector.

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Who Should Apply

  • Women entrepreneurs, social innovators, or small and medium business owners or managers and other leaders working in the agriculture and food sectors
  • Individuals (of any gender) in civil society and NGOs working on programs that support women in the agriculture and food sectors in their respective countries
  • Policymakers, ministry employees, and others in the public sector (of any gender) focused on supporting and improving opportunities for women in the agriculture or food sector
  • Academic staff (of any gender) who are implementing programs that advance women in the agriculture and food sectors

Eligibility Requirements

  • 25-40 years old
  • A citizen, national, or permanent resident of Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia, or Zimbabwe
  • Is living and working in Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia, or Zimbabwe at the time of the application
  • Fluent in both spoken and written English
  • ●      Has at least two years of professional/working experience in their field
  • Has demonstrated leadership and collaborative skills and a commitment to community development
  • Has employer’s support for participating in the program (for those not self-employed). For those self-employed, has a recommendation from local authorities at the district and/or community levels
  • Is interested in participating in a reciprocal program for American participants coming to your country
  • Preference will be given to those who are in an earlier stage of their careers
  • Preference will be given to applicants who have not previously had the opportunity to travel to the


  • Finalists must be fully vaccinated in accordance with current CDC guidelines, in order to travel to the United States.

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Detailed Program Information

The first five-week program in the U.S. is tentatively scheduled for September 1 – October 7, 2023, and the second for May 3 – June 7, 2024. Both programs will include:

Part 1: Three-month virtual program lead-in prior to travel to East Lansing, Michigan

Program partners will deliver synchronous and asynchronous virtual sessions to prepare Fellows for their professional exchanges, introduce them to the program team and hosts, and end with a pre-departure orientation.

Part 2: Post-Arrival Orientation in East Lansing, Michigan

The orientation will familiarize the program participants with each other as well as the program and topics to be covered during the exchange. Fellows will also be given resources to help acclimate to U.S. culture and East Lansing.

Part 3: Four-Week Program in Michigan Communities

Participants will take part in internships with Michigan institutions and participate in seminars and meetings with U.S. leaders in economic development in the food and agriculture sector.

Fellows will also identify an agricultural challenge faced by their community and design an individual project to address the issue, which the Fellows will implement upon returning home.

Seminars will combine presentations and discussions to provide an opportunity for Fellows to share experiences from their home countries and organizations and observations from their internship placements. Fellows will also have the opportunity to experience U.S. culture by sharing dinners with local families.

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Application Timeline

  • The initial application for the program will remain open until February 24, 2023.
  • Interviews for selected finalists will take place in April 2023.
  • Tentative Fall 2023 program dates: September 1 – October 7, 2023.
  • Tentative Spring 2024 program dates: May 3 – June 7, 2024.

The Fellowship program will culminate with a three-day Congress in Washington, DC. The Congress will allow participants the opportunity to meet and share their experience with Fellows from around the world and participate in dialogue to examine the roles of individual and institutional leadership in economic development and women’s economic empowerment.

How to Apply

For further information and to apply for this exciting program, please click: LINK TO APPLY.

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