Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, October 11, 2011, Foreign Policy Magazine
The program is directed by Ms. Deena Mansour and Ms. Kelsey Stamm at the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center. Please contact Kelsey directly for any questions related to this program.
Deena has worked in the field of international exchange since 1990 and at the Mansfield Center since 2009. She has managed a number of State Department exchange programs and worked directly for the State Department as a diplomat, living in southeast Asia for four years and travelling extensively throughout the region. She has degrees in international relations, economics, and public administration.
Kelsey served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador, where she started a youth micro-enterprise and leadership group as well as a fuel-efficient cookstove project for the municipality. Since her service, she has gained professional experience in non-profit fundraising, publicity, and event planning. Kelsey has degrees in political science and women's studies, with a focus in international development.
Foreign and domestic partners are integral to the success of the program in terms of facilitating participant selection and local program development.
The primary goal of our program is to support participants in their efforts to broaden social opportunity so that the benefits of growth and trade are more widely distributed. Specific program objectives are:
Promote mutual understanding and lasting partnerships between mid-level, emerging leaders from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and the U.S. While the program focuses on 28 participants from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam and 10 participants from the U.S., the program is designed to have a ripple effect to promote such benefits throughout engaged organizations and communities. By the end of the project period, foreign participants will have action plans they have created together with their U.S. counterparts to effect positive change in the foreign participants' workplaces and communities and facilitate long-term engagement between the two groups.
Provide a forum for American and southeast Asian mid-level leaders to collaborate and share ideas, approaches, and strategies regarding some of the world's most pressing problems.
Build a global network of professionals able to work effectively in a dynamic and increasingly interconnected environment.
Develop existing leadership abilities in program participants to enhance their abilities to effect positive change in their workplaces and communities.
The program is designed to bolster the leadership and professional capabilities of both the southeast Asian and U.S. participants. Note that all costs of transportation, food, and lodging are covered by the program, though there is no funding available for salaries or honoraria for participants. There is also no funding available for host expenditures in their home country (i.e. lodging, transportation, meals, or ticket costs incurred during the course of hosting the counterpart).
Southeast Asian Participants Travelling to the U.S.
While the centerpiece of the U.S. program will be a fellowship placement for each participant, the program offers a practical, multi-dimensional approach to cultivating empowerment through a series of speakers, workshops and field trips that will address shared issues in enhancing leadership. It culminates in the development of a critical needs assessment whereby each southeast Asian participant will address a key issue in his/her organization to work on that advances the ultimate goal of the project: to support participants in their efforts to broaden social opportunity so that the benefits of growth and trade are more widely distributed.
Orientation. The first few days of the U.S. program will feature in-depth group workshops and training sessions aimed at a thorough introduction to program themes: orientation; introduction to the U.S. (sessions on U.S. government, economic issues, society, and culture); leadership workshops (conflict resolution, negotiation, and ethics); and business development workshops (basics of small business development).
Fellowship. Following this initial period, participants will be placed in individual Fellowships for a period of approximately three weeks, including the development of action plans. Fellowships will serve as the centerpiece of the project, as all participants will be placed in organizations that not only closely match their home organization but offer the maximum possible hands-on experience. Placement will allow the participants to get an insider look at the inner day-to-day work of the organization or business and to develop personal relationships. Note: The Fellowship will include a homestay so that Asian participants receive a firsthand look at life with an American family.
Critical Need Assessment/Action Plan. Throughout the Fellowship, participants should be considering a critical need in their field, business, or organization in their home country, integrating lessons learned during the course of the program. The identification of a critical need will provide the foundation for an Action Plan that they will develop together with input by the U.S. Fellowship Partner. Asian Fellows will re-group following the close of their Fellowships to evaluate experiences and receive facilitated assistance on finalizing an Action Plan. The Action Plan may include proposals for small program grants averaging $1,000 aimed at extending the impact of this program and cementing project goals.
Cultural Program. An important part of the program is immersing the Asian Fellows in U.S. society and culture. The cultural component is nearly as important as the professional content. As a result, we will be seeking opportunities for the Fellows to be introduced to various aspects of U.S. culture, including attendance at a service club meeting, participating in a service project, and attending cultural performances and activities.
Closing Visit to Washington, D.C. Each cohort of southeast Asian Fellows will spend one month in Missoula, followed by a one-week program in Washington, D.C. to pursue individual professional appointments, cultural activities, and to attend the Professional Exchange Congress of the U.S. Department of State. The Congress is an opportunity to meet other visiting Fellows from across the world and learn more on leadership and economic empowerment issues.
U.S.-Foreign Participant Relationship. Participants will be selected through a merit-based, competitive process. They should be mid-to-upper level professionals with experience and current employment related to economic empowerment issues. Current employment should be in a setting which facilitates a fellowship experience. We will draw from applicants in a variety of organizations, such as business, non-profit, and government. Because of the nature of this program, all selected participants must be self-directed, able to work effectively in a cross-cultural setting, and have demonstrated leadership abilities. While U.S. participants will be recruited widely from across the state, preference will go to those in our partner organizations and those who commit to supporting the southeast Asian participants as a Fellowship Partner. The expectation is that a relationship will form between U.S. and foreign participants, thus enabling greater potential for success and on-going cooperation. Expected benefits include a greater understanding of global economic relationships and cross-cultural understanding.
Travel. The program supports the travel of an estimated 10 U.S. participants to southeast Asia. The travel duration is 10-20 days, depending upon individual schedules and availability. The final determination of travel will be dependent upon a number of factors, including the greatest potential for tangible professional results as a result of the exchange program. U.S. participants therefore should not apply for this program based on the potential for travel, but rather for the commitment to learning about international practices and cultures. Because of the ratio of international to U.S. participants, exchange travel is not guaranteed for U.S. fellowship hosts.
For those U.S. participants who do travel, the Mansfield Center will fund all flights and visa requirements; lodging and in-country program; health coverage through the State Department for the travel period; and meal costs. Your southeast Asian counterpart will serve as your interpreter during much of your professional program, though the program may hire additional interpreters for meetings as required. Americans should be prepared that they will not have an interpreter for every moment of their free time, but this is part of the typical experience in visiting a foreign country. Mansfield Center staff do not speak the languages of the four partner countries but have comfortably travelled in the partner countries. Southeast Asians are very welcoming, so American participants should not feel intimidated by the thought of experiencing an unfamiliar language and culture. U.S. travellers should have a sense of adventure and interest in exploration of new cultures.
Overseas Program. During the overseas program, U.S. participants will first engage in an orientation period followed by a fellowship placement at the organization of the southeast Asian counterpart in order to gain a first-hand understanding of the issues experienced in the local culture. While these issues will have been discussed in Montana, this Fellowship experience will provide the opportunity for more in-depth understanding. Concurrent with the Fellowship, the U.S. participants will conduct informal on-site consultancies to assist the organization with an assessment of its structure, capacity, and strategic plan. Following the week-long Fellowship, U.S. participants will engage in a more formal consultancy, and be available to visit other similar organizations together with their foreign participant to meet colleagues at other organizations. Foreign partners will welcome a workshop that U.S. participants may be interested in offering. The local U.S. embassy or consulate may also be interested in drawing upon the expertise of the U.S. Fellow for seminars or workshops for their contacts. These activities are designed to maximize the impact of the U.S. expert to meet as many people as possible and expand networks. Each U.S. participant is expected to visit at least two cities within the target country so as to broaden the experience. The program is designed to maximize your exposure to cultural activities together with professional responsibilities.
Southeast Asian Participants
The recruitment period for the southeast Asian participants differs by country. Please see your specific country application for deadline information.
Application review will be conducted by local partners in conjunction with the Mansfield Center. Successful applicants will progress to a telephone interview in mid-December in order to assess English-language skills and further ascertain suitability for the program. A select number will be chosen for personal interviews between January 9-238, 2014. An estimated five to seven participants and one alternate will be chosen from each country and notified by February 28, 2014. A total of 28 southeast Asian participants will ultimately travel to the U.S. in one of two cohorts of 14 participants each, per scheduling on the attached calendar.
Selection Criteria for Southeast Asian Participants:
The recruitment period for U.S. participants is October 15 – December 15, 2013. However, given that the southeast Asian participants will not be selected until January, applications for U.S. participants will still be accepted through March 30, 2014. However, applications submitted by December 15 will have priority.
Selection Criteria for U.S. Participants
The ultimate selection of U.S. applicants is dependent upon the identification of Asian participants who would be a match in terms of compatible professions and responsibilities. Final selection of U.S. participants will not be made until Asian participants have been selected in February-March 2014.
Each separate Asian and U.S. cohort will be developed on the basis of a) individual schedule preferences; b) diversity in individual backgrounds, including country of origin and profession.
The Mansfield Center
Level 4, Mansfield Library
University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812
(406) 243-2181 fax
E-mail us your comments