MEPI Student Leaders Program

The MEPI Student Leaders Program is a U.S. Department of State sponsored exchange program for undergraduate student leaders from the Middle East and North Africa. The CIED-designed curriculum allows students to develop leadership skills and expand their understanding of civil society and democratic leadership. Following the exchange, CIED supports students as they apply what they have learned in their home communities.

Program Details

Students, selected through a competitive and merit-based process, take part in an intensive 6-week exchange program in the United States that combines theory and practice. Academic sessions and professional site visits allow students to gain a deeper understanding of governance, civil society, and democratic processes. Practical training in the form of leadership retreats and volunteer internships allow them to develop concrete leadership and organizational skills.

Students also have many opportunities to meet their American peers, engage in local activities, and observe governmental functions at the local, state, and federal levels. The program includes study tours to various regions of the United States which give students the ability to explore program themes in multiple American communities.

After the exchange, CIED works with participants to implement civic engagement programs in their home communities. In addition, CIED develops an alumni conference, held approximately six months after the U.S. exchange, to assess student learning and provide additional leadership training.

The MEPI Student Leaders Program is sponsored by the U.S Department of State, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). CIED has administered this initiative since 2004 and leads the partnership institutions since 2017 that include University of Delaware, Montana State University and Portland State University.

Case Studies

Salyne El Samarany

“MEPI instilled in me the core value of celebrating the value of diversity with a continuous pursuit of equality. Living with a group of people from the Arab world who are all so different and diverse highlighted the importance of gaining exposure to other cultures, understanding others’ perspectives, and finding mutual ground of agreement.”

“The MEPI program taught me to be a leader. Change is possible only by seeking it in the people around us, as well as in ourselves.”

-Mohamed Tahar Belkheir, Algeria

Related News

Request for Proposal (RFP) – 2019 Student Leaders Program Accelerator Workshop Local Partner Support

RFP Posting Date: November 1, 2018
RFP Closing Date: November 13, 2018
Request for Proposal: Georgetown University (GU) is seeking a local partner organization that is legally registered in Morocco skilled in event management, specifically providing planning, logistics, trainer/expert identification, and implementation support for an international youth conference for Middle Eastern and North African participants. The city of the Accelerator Workshop is still being determined, and may take place in Casablanca, Rabat, or Marrakesh.


Are you interested in helping emerging leaders in your country become more engaged and effective in giving back to their community?
We are pleased to share with you the following mentorship opportunity!
The U.S. Department of State MEPI funded, and Georgetown University administered, Student Leaders Program (SLP) is looking for MEPI alumni mentors to voluntarily mentor, guide, and coach 2018 Student Leaders from their country on civic engagement and activism.

Request for Application (RFA) – 2019 Student Leaders Program Libya

Request for Application: Georgetown University's Center for Intercultural Education and Development (GU/CIED) is seeking to subcontract a local partner organization with office presence in the MENA region skilled in recruiting qualified Libyan candidates for Middle East Partner Initiative (MEPI) sponsored programs. The local partner will recruit and assist in the review of qualified candidates from Libya to participate in the MEPI Student Leaders Program (SLP) that will take place in the summer of 2019.