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 environmental sustainability through a four-week fellowship. Fellows are part of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), a program that enables young leaders from ASEAN countries 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, and Vietnam. The goal of the program is to develop long-term partnerships that inspire citizens to create more sustainable communities in the ASEAN countries and the United States.
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 counterparts on projects of mutual importance.
“This was an AMAZING opportunity for our community and we would do it all over again without hesitation! It was an incredible professional resource to have industry experts with a fresh and unique perspective and experiences working alongside us on issues and to expand our collegial network. As a host city, we also were able to come together as a community to learn more about the beliefs, systems, and culture of our fellows’ communities, and examine and discuss differences and similarities. We hope we have built lifelong professional and personal bonds.” -- Christal Weber, Assistant City manager, Lee’s Summit, Missouri.
ICMA works with the following international affiliates and partners to implement the program:
- Local Government Professionals Australia
- Association of Indonesia Municipalities
- League of Cities of the Philippines
- ICLEI: Local Governments for Sustainability
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