YSEALI Civil Society Development Fellows

YSEALI Group Photo
The Professional Fellows Program is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and managed by the Mansfield Center. The focus for 2017 is Civil Society Development. The program for Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam is designed to promote mutual understanding, enhance leadership and professional skills, and build sustainable partnerships between emerging leaders from ASEAN countries and the U.S. 

This program is a component of YSEALI:  the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative. YSEALI consists of bright young leaders aged 18-35 years from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Laos, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. These young leaders have innovative ideas for tackling what they have identified as their generation's greatest challenges in the ASEAN region: economic development, environmental protection, education, and civic engagement. Every day, they are coming up with creative solutions - like using beneficial microbes to clean rivers or creating job opportunities by selling products made from water lilies. The United States is partnering with these extraordinary young men and women by providing training and funding to up-and-coming community leaders and social entrepreneurs to support their work in their home communities. This Fellows program of the University of Montana is specifically open to young leaders aged 25-35 from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.  

In the 2017 program, 32 Southeast Asians and a minimum of 12 Americans will travel between May 2017 and January 2018.  Southeast Asian participants will engage in a 38-day program in the U.S. in one of two cohorts:  16 Southeast Asian Fellows will travel to the U.S. early May to mid-June, and 16 Southeast Asian Fellows will travel in a second group from mid-October to mid-November.

With participant Fellowships as a centerpiece, our program offers a hands-on approach to shared issues in non-profit organization, management, and development.  The program features a multi-dimensional approach to cultivating Civil Society Development through a series of workshops and field studies, including Non-Profit Administration Workshops, Social Media Marketing, and field visits to successful Civil Society Organizations.

As professional interests allow, some Southeast Asian Fellows will be placed together in U.S. fellowship organizations. This allows for more processing and discussion with the Fellows, resulting in enhanced coordination between the Fellows after the program. A critical component of this program is to foster inter-ASEAN relationships. 

How do Montana and Southeast Asian Fellows Benefit? 
Follow the Fellows’ daily experiences in our program blog

Become a State Department Fellow!


Read roles and responsibilities for Southeast Asian participants. 

Read the Professional Fellows Program description from the U.S. Department of State.

Individual Partner Organizations by Country:

Cambodia Partner for Participants

Laos Partner for Participants

Myanmar Partner for Participants

Thailand Partner for Participants

Vietnam Partner for Participants

American participants:

You may participate in either of two capacities – as a Fellowship Coordinator or as a Host Family. The Fellowship Coordinator is responsible for the professional exchange and Fellowship schedule, and the Host Family provides the equally important cultural exchange component.

Fellowship Coordinators: Professionals from the non-profit community in Montana participate as Fellowship Coordinators for our foreign participants. 

Application for American Fellowship Coordinator

Read roles and responsibilities for American Participants.

Host families: Host families can be anything from hosting participants for an evening at your home or at a community event to a two-week homestay. If you’re interested in being involved, please contact Kelsey Stamm Jimenez.

Form for Host Families

Read guidelines for Host Families

Our Foreign Partners

Our Local Partners


This segment of the Mansfield Center website is funded by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and managed by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at the University of Montana. The content of this site does not reflect the opinion of the U.S. Department of State, the United States, or its officers or employees.