Democracy Fellows and Grants Program

NEW YORK, September 19, 2012—The U.S. Agency for International Development has selected the Institute of International Education to administer the Agency’s Democracy Fellows and Grants Program under a five-year cooperative agreement. The program engages committed professionals at all levels who will advance democracy building, good governance, and human rights promotion around the world.  IIE will work with USAID to introduce new activities that will strengthen the Agency’s role as a resource to academic, think-tank and research organizations and promote new research and innovative solutions to democracy, human rights and governance challenges.

The DFG program expands on the Democracy Fellows program started by USAID in 1995 to promote democratic practices in emerging and transitional democracies by placing experienced democracy and governance professionals within USAID. 

“The Institute of International Education has had a longstanding commitment to improving the lives of people around the world through education and training,” said IIE President and CEO Allan Goodman. “We look forward to working closely with USAID to expand its commitment to building democracy and human rights capacity through the Democracy Fellows and Grants Program, and to introducing several major new elements to the program.”

The program will include new part-time and short-term fellowships, and will add an internship component that introduces students from diverse backgrounds to international development while expanding the opportunities available to experienced professionals to advance Agency goals. In addition, IIE and USAID will introduce an innovation and small research grants component that will foster collaboration between USAID’s Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance and academic research organizations to identify and support innovations to advance the fields of democracy and human rights.

These program elements will strengthen the Center’s ability to serve as a hub of knowledge on the most effective means of supporting democracy, human rights and governance both within USAID and as a resource to other U.S. government agencies and the broader international development community.

DFG Fellows engage in a variety of activities, such as measuring the impact and effectiveness of various approaches to democratic development; developing and advising on projects related to information and communication technology, social and new media; and providing technical support to USAID missions and offices/bureaus on integrating disability in program activities.

The Democracy Fellows and Grants Program is closely aligned with IIE’s mission to build leadership skills and enhance the capacity of individuals and organizations to address local and global challenges. The Institute administers some of the world’s most prestigious and innovative fellowship programs that provide talented professionals and students with technical skills and hands-on experience, enriching their professional development and contributing to the goals of sponsoring organizations. IIE brings staff expertise in large-scale program implementation, including managing the outreach, recruitment and selection of candidates and providing oversight, support and administrative systems that assist fellows in achieving their project and professional goals.

About the Institute of International Education

The Institute of International Education is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 18 offices worldwide and over 1,000 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. IIE also conducts policy research and program evaluations, and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad.


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