2016 Environmental Sustainability Professional Fellows Program

2016 Environmental Sustainability Professional Fellows Program

Deadline: May 1, 2016

Application is ongoing for the Environmental Sustainability Professional Fellows Program. The International City/County Management Association (ICMA), with funding from the U.S. Department of State, is offering the fellowship program for participants from selected countries. The program focuses particularly on environmental sustainability challenges in their communities, specifically on climate change, sustainable energy and environmental justice. Part of the Professional Fellows Program will be in a U.S. local government, organization or company for four weeks.

The PFP brings several hundred emerging leaders from around the world to the United States each year for intensive fellowships designed to broaden their professional expertise. Fellows will learn practical skills focusing on local governments’ role and responsibility in civic engagement, promoting transparency while also fostering interaction with leaders from the federal, state, and local organizations.

Program Details

Fellows from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam will travel to the United Sates in April 2016 and October 2016. Participants will spend:

  • two day orientation at ICMA’s headquarters in Washington, DC;
  • four weeks in a host community;
  • one week attending a Professional Fellows Congress and a wrap-up session in Washington, DC.

In return, an International Host Community will host one American fellow for two (2) weeks. Please note: Not all American hosts will be able to travel to your home community. American fellows will be determined through a competitive process.

This reciprocal trip by the American fellows aims at:

  • promoting ongoing partnerships on citizen engagement and resilient communities at the local governance and community level; and
  • developing an international network of local government practitioners.


The following costs will be covered by the U.S. Department of State program:

  • International and domestic flights and local transfers;
  • J-1 visa;
  • Health benefit Insurance (does not cover pre-existing conditions);
  • Accommodation/lodging;
  • Meals stipend, $1,200 USD for entire length of program.


Candidate should

  • Be citizen of one of the participating countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam;
  • Be resident of one of the participating countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam;
  • Be between the ages of 25 to 35 at the time of application;
  • Be employed and have at least two years of professional experience at the time of application;
  • Have approval from your current employer to take a leave of absence for 5.5 weeks;
  • Show demonstrated interest, knowledge, or professional experience in the public sector and the YSEALI theme of environmental sustainability;
  • Be committed to returning to his/her home country after completion of the program to apply leadership skills and training to benefit their community, country, or the ASEAN region;
  • Be eligible to receive a U.S. J-1 visa (Individuals who have participated in an exchange visitor program sponsored or funded by the U.S. Government and who have not fulfilled their two-year home residency requirement by the time of application are not eligible for this program);
  • Have a track record of leadership or positive impact in their community or workplace;
  • Show demonstrated commitment to or interest in community service, volunteerism, or mentorship;
  • Show serious interest in the United States and ASEAN as a region;
  • Be willing to actively participate in a working placement to develop professional capacities;
  • Be a college graduate (equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree or higher);
  • Be able to adapt to new environment surroundings and challenges;
  • Be proficient in spoken and written English at the time of application; and
  • Have little or no prior work, study, or travel experience in the United States.

Application Process

Important Dates

  • Recruitment and selection of international fellows and recruitment and selection of U.S. organizations to host 3rd cohort of international fellows – April-May, 2016
  • Visa process for successful international applicants for 3rd cohort – June-July, 2016
  • Pre-departure orientation for 1st cohort of international Fellows (tentative) – September 12-16, 2016
  • 3rd  inbound international cohort to U.S. for fellowship (Note: Some Fellows may need to depart their home community a few days prior to the official start date of the program) – October 12, 2016 – November 18, 2016

For more information, read FAQs or visit Environmental Sustainability Fellow Program.