ICMA members and their local governments will have opportunities to participate in a Legislative Process and Governance Fellows Program that will arrange exchanges for professionals from China, New Zealand, Thailand, and the United States, thanks to new funding by the U.S. Department of State.
The goal of this Legislative Fellows program is to promote learning and knowledge sharing among key local government practitioners from the four countries. The program will be carried out through exchange visits focusing on the key themes of legislative process and governance, especially citizen engagement, transparency, and the role of women, minorities, and marginalized populations.
About 18 Asian/Pacific Fellows in two cohorts will spend four weeks in the United States. They will travel first to Washington, D.C., for an orientation, then travel to communities across the country for two weeks, and finally return to Washington for a Professional Fellows Congress.
About 12 U.S. Fellows, drawn from those who host the international participants, will then travel to their counterpart’s organization for two-week fellowships. The program continues through June 2014.
ICMA will partner with the New Zealand Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM), Local Government Managers Australia (LGMA), and the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) to select the Asian/Pacific participants and identify host country communities. SOLGM and LGMA are ICMA International Affiliate organizations, and CUPL is ICMA’s partner in the ICMA China Center.
To identify U.S.-based participants, ICMA is soliciting expressions of interest from communities that would be willing to host Fellows from China, Thailand, or New Zealand for up to two weeks. Expenses are covered by the program. As part of the exchange, host community staff may have an opportunity to travel abroad to learn and provide technical expertise on the ground. If your community is interested in this reciprocal exchange, please contact Lauren Crawford, email@example.com or Laura Hagg, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The exchanges are a part of the Professional Fellows Program, which is sponsored by the Office of Citizen Exchanges of the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Professional Fellows Program brings several hundred emerging leaders from around the world to the United States each year for intensive fellowships designed to broaden their professional expertise.
The State Department award to ICMA was based in part on the successful implementation of an earlier exchange program focused on climate change and sustainability. Participants in that program captured their experiences and impressions in an active blog.
To learn more about ICMA’s international programs, visit the ICMA International website and the International Development topic area in the Knowledge Network, or e-mail email@example.com.