In 2012-2014, ICMA facilitated partnerships focused on the legislative process and governance to promote learning and knowledge exchange between professionals from China, New Zealand, and Thailand and their counterparts in the United States.
The U.S. Department of State selected ICMA to manage the program, based in part on our successful implementation of an earlier exchange program focused on climate change and sustainability. The exchange was 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.
Asian/Pacific Fellows in two cohorts spent four weeks in the United States in the spring and fall of 2013. They spent the first week in Washington, D.C., for an orientation, traveled to host communities for two weeks, then returned to Washington, D.C., for a Professional Fellows Congress.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Rancho Cordova, California
University Park, Texas
While in their U.S. host communities, participants had an opportunity to work on a project or initiative that sought to increase community engagement and resiliency, particularly as it relates to the role of women, minorities, and marginalized populations. They were also introduced to the local culture through home stays or visits, field trips, community events, and other experiences.
U.S. Fellows, drawn from those who host the international participants, traveled to their counterpart’s organization for two-week fellowships in July 2013 and early 2014.
ICMA partnered 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.
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.