Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP) for Undergraduate Students – Request for Proposal

Issuance Date: March 18, 2019
Deadline for Proposal Submission: April 10, 2019

Meridian International Center is seeking U.S. university partners to implement the FY2020 Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP) for Undergraduate Students, sponsored by the U.S. Embassy Baghdad. IYLEP is a four-week exchange program that will engage approximately 100 Iraqi undergraduate university students aged 18-24 with at least one academic year of study remaining. IYLEP aims to cultivate the next generation of Iraqi leaders by exposing Iraqi undergraduate students to U.S. society and culture and providing them skills development in leadership, civic education and responsibility, diversity awareness and tolerance, and civic engagement. The defining program activity for the selected students is a substantive four-week, thematic academic institute, hosted by universities throughout the United States, complemented by an opening and closing conference at the beginning and end of the U.S. program. Meridian International Center will host both opening and closing conferences.

The academic institute will take place in July/August 2020, with a networking and reunion conference in Iraq in spring 2021. Selected students will be proficient in written and spoken English and represent an appropriate gender balance and Iraq’s geographic and socio-economic diversity, including future Iraqi leaders from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

University program activities should include:

  • Academic and leadership training on U.S. campuses;
  • Homestays and activities with U.S. families;
  • Significant exposure and interaction with American youth;
  • Presentations and meetings with youth organizations, community organizations, and state/local government officials;
  • Volunteer work with community organizations;
  • Meetings with campus and/or local organizations/groups dedicated to diversity, inclusion, and tolerance.

University partners will focus on one of the following proposed themes:

  • Entrepreneurship and Workforce Development
  • Public Health and Community Empowerment
  • Policymaking and Civic Engagement
  • Journalism and Media

Qualified U.S.-based colleges and universities that would like to be considered as a partner for Meridian’s proposal should carefully review the information enclosed, detailing proposal requirements and submit the online application and required documents no later than Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to register their interest with the proposal team at to receive updates on this competition. Questions regarding the RFP may be directed to the same email address, with the subject line, “IYLEP Proposal.” Please no phone calls. The full Department of State NOFO can be accessed here.

Proposal Requirements: