Program Information

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 Asia Foundation Development Fellows program will be deferred to 2021. Please check back in August 2021 to apply to be a 2022 Asia Foundation Development Fellow.

The Asia Foundation Development Fellows program is a dynamic and multifaceted learning program designed for highly talented Asian individuals, under age 40, to enhance their leadership skills, Asian development knowledge, professional networks, and international exposure. The program reflects the Foundation’s six-decade tradition of investing in the region’s most promising future leaders. The 2020 program will consist of two intensive modules, including two weeks in Asia and two weeks in the United States, allowing Fellows to stay in their current occupations during the Fellowship year.

Program Description

The Asia Foundation Development Fellows program is comprised of the following components:

Leadership Dialogue and Exchange Program (Asia) –

The Leadership Dialogue and Exchange program in Asia includes leadership training modules—involving intensive coursework in a retreat setting to facilitate deep learning—and an Asian Development study tour program involving leading development practitioners and thinkers, recognized policy leaders, and local innovators who will help Fellows explore approaches that deliver positive impact and advance development knowledge. In previous years, the program has taken place in the Philippines, Nepal, Mongolia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Singapore and Korea.

Forum on Leadership for Asia’s Future (Asia) –

The biennial Forum on Leadership for Asia’s Future: At the Frontlines of Change presents an invaluable opportunity to gather alumni of the seven current and former cohorts of Asia Foundation Development Fellows and other young and inspirational changemakers from across Asia to discuss shared development challenges, build and deepen networks of support, promote knowledge sharing, recognize achievements, and highlight creative avenues for innovation and collaboration.

Leadership Dialogue and Exchange Program (United States) –

Asia Foundation Development Fellows will take part in a leadership dialogue and exchange program in the United States, providing important opportunities to extend personal bonds with their cohort, as well as building new international perspectives and networks of support and inspiration. Over a two-week period, the Fellows will take part in a comprehensive series of programs, policy discussions, and unique learning and leadership development opportunities organized in and around San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Professional Development Award – An award of up to US$5,000 will be made available to each of the selected Fellows. This cash award will allow each Fellow the opportunity to design individualized plans to further their leadership skills and relevant professional experience in areas of particular importance to their career growth. Each Fellow will be asked to develop a personalized, year-long work plan that can involve such areas as enrollment in specialized training programs or short courses, language study, travel to attend key regional forums or workshops, or engagement in a series of other enrichment activities.

Mentoring – Building on the regional network and local capacity of The Asia Foundation, the program offers a mentoring component that is tailored around the background and professional interests of the Fellows. The Foundation has valuable perspectives to lend to the field of leadership development, with a proven program history and record of commitment throughout Asia. Fellows will also become part of an active and engaged alumni network.