Professional Exchanges

The International Visitors Leadership Program is administered by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, operating under authority of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 (Fulbright-Hays Act). The emphasis of the program is to increase mutual understanding through communication at the personal and professional levels.

The International Visitors Leadership Program brings participants to the United States from all over the world each year to meet and confer with their professional counterparts and to experience the United States firsthand. The visitors, who are current or potential leaders in government, politics, the media, education, and other fields, are selected by American Foreign Service Officers overseas. More than 500 current or former Chiefs of State or Heads of Government, 1,500 cabinet-level ministers, and many other distinguished world leaders in government and the private sector have participated in the International Visitors Leadership Program.


The Open World Leadership Center administers the Open World Program in collaboration with U.S. Embassies around the world.  It was started in 1999 by U.S. Congress based on the initiative of two famous scholars, Academician Dmitriy Likhachov and Dr. James Billington, and spread to Ukraine in 2003.  The Open World Program is designed to enhance mutual understanding and cooperation between Ukraine and the United States by providing Ukrainian leaders an opportunity to meet with their American counterparts in an exchange of culture and best practices on the priority issues. The Open World Program typically features 10-day visits where participants engage with Americans working in similar professional fields.

The Open World Program targets public policy decision-makers, as well as those who influence policy and public opinion. Open World aims to reach leaders from all levels of government (national, regional, and local) and nonprofit organizations, who promote the public interest. The most appropriate nominees are talented leaders (relevant to their nomination theme), who are relatively young but have already demonstrated leadership skills and commitment to democracy building, free markets, and the rule of law. Nominees, if possible, should be open to maintain communication with their U.S. hosts and counterparts after their return to Ukraine. Vetting committees will look favorably on nominees with ideas for joint projects or other follow-on activities.

The Open World Program is the only exchange program within the U.S. legislative branch and receives annual funding from the U.S. Congress. Therefore, nominating, as well as participation, is free for the participants.  The Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. oversees the program management, and American Councils for International Education (ACTR/ACCELS) is contracted to administer the program and coordinate logistics.

Who Can Nominate

The Open World Leadership Center partnered with a broad group of Ukrainian and U.S. agencies, institutions and international organizations to submit nominations, and has allocated each organization a specific number of nominee slots. Each organization designates one staff member to serve as its central contact person and nominations coordinator.

How to Nominate

Nominating organizations may identify appropriate nominees through their central office, regional branches, or affiliated organizations.  Designated staff and contacts may serve as local nominators, and one nominating organization’s allocation of nominee slots may be divided among individual nominators. Nominators should be individuals affiliated with the nominating organization who are qualified to identify appropriate nominees.  Nominating organizations are discouraged from nominating their own employees (especially those in leadership positions), unless such persons are part-time workers or volunteers.

More details about the program may be found at: .

For more information, please, contact American Councils at: .

The Citizen’s Exchanges Program focuses on enhancing institutional ties between U.S. and Ukrainian institutions in specialized fields. Fields and geographic eligibility are announced on an annual basis and proposals are accepted from U.S. exchange organizations. Some recent programs include tourism development and the development of professional associations for economists and political scientists.

Implementer: World Learning/Project Harmony/Consortium for Enhancement of Ukrainian Management Education
April 3, 2013 – April 2, 2018

The Participant Training Program promotes USAID/Ukraine’s strategic vision of a stable, democratic, and prosperous Ukraine integrated into Europe. The program seeks to transfer new knowledge, skills, and attitudes to Ukrainians to improve the political, social, and economic context in Ukraine and to create a network of professionals that shares international best practices and knowledge.

The Program offers practical training opportunities and internships in the United States and Europe for entrepreneurs, local government officials, non-governmental organization leaders, education administrators, as well as medical, business, and environmental professionals. The program combines seminars, workshops, site visits and meetings with American and European professionals with hands-on practical internships.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Special American Business Internship Training (SABIT) program is aimed at training mid and top level business professionals in various sectors from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. SABIT provides trainees the opportunity to become familiar with various U.S. industry sectors and their regulations, establish valuable business relationships, learn about and purchase innovative technologies, equipment, and services, and come to understand market-based business concepts.

The program is two weeks in length, beginning with one week of training which may include sessions on policy, legislation, standards, certification, business plan development, cross-cultural negotiations and management for both associations and businesses. This will be complemented by site visits and meetings with U.S. companies and supporting industry associations.

The list of program topics and applications are available at: .

The Professional Fellows Program (PFP) is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. For Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Turkey, and Ukraine PFP has a legislative focus and is administered by American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS.

The Professional Fellows Program offers promising young professionals in Ukraine the opportunity to gain practical experience in, and exposure to, United States government institutions and non-profits. The fellows will be part of the larger cohort of the Professional Fellows Program, joining fellows from other countries.  The knowledge and interest of these young professionals in American political processes will be expanded through short-term fellowships in state legislatures and city halls across the United States, as well as on Capitol Hill and in non-profit organizations that address policy issues.

All fellowship expenses, i.e. travel, home stay, visa fees, are paid for by the program, and free for the participant.

Program Goals:

  • Strengthen understanding of the U.S. legislative process;
  • Enhance appreciation of the role civil society plays in shaping public policy and holding the government accountable;
  • Create partnerships between institutions in the U.S. and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine; and
  • Establish a common language to develop practical solutions for shared problems and concerns.

Eligibility Requirements for Ukrainian Applicants:

To be eligible for PFP, applicants must:

  • Be a citizen of, and currently reside in, Ukraine. Applicants living outside of Ukraine or on a long term program outside of Ukraine will not be considered eligible to apply;
  • Be 25 to 35 years of age at the time of application;
  • Be a college graduate (equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree or higher);
  • Be proficient in English. If you are selected as a semi-finalist we will give you an institutional TOEFL exam, unless you have a valid TOEFL score over 500 (paper test) or over 60 (iBT test) or its equivalent (for example, valid IELTS band 6 or higher);
  • Have relevant experience in and commitment to a career in the public sector and/or nonprofit sector (e.g., legislative, executive, and NGOs that address policy issues); and
  • Have demonstrated leadership and collaborative skills (you can elaborate on your leadership and collaborative activities in essays in the end of application, and submit/upload any certificates/diplomas/materials that can prove your leadership skills).

Individuals with the following circumstances are NOT eligible to apply to participate as Fellows in the Professional Fellows Program:

  • U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States;
  • Individuals currently participating in academic, training, research programs, or who are currently working in the United States;
  • Individuals who have already been recipients of and participated in the LEAP/LFP/PFP;
  • Individuals who are not citizens, qualified to hold a passport from one of the participating countries;
  • Individuals currently residing or working outside their country of citizenship;
  • Individuals who have participated in an exchange visitor program sponsored or funded by the U.S. government (e.g., Public Affairs Sections at U.S. embassies or other U.S. government agency) and who have not fulfilled their two-year home residency requirement by the time of the application;
  • Individuals who have applied for U.S. permanent residency in the past three years;
  • Persons arrested for, charged with, or convicted of a crime as further detailed by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

More details about the program may be found at: .

For additional information, please, contact American Councils at: .

The Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (YTILI) is the U.S. Department of State’s flagship program for emerging entrepreneurs from Europe. In 2021-2022, a cohort of young European entrepreneurs from 45 European countries will participate in a robust fellowship program.

Application deadline: March 1, 2021.