Apply for 2018 Open World Grant Program: Bringing Emerging Leaders!

Deadline: 23 October 2017

Open World Leadership Center (Open World) has announced its 2018 Grant program to bring emerging leaders from participating countries to the United States in order to give them firsthand exposure to the American system of participatory democracy and free enterprise.

The program allows American leaders and their counterparts from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Peru, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan to engage constructively with one another in a manner that complements the U.S. Congress’s public diplomacy efforts on timely issues such as accountable governance and the legislative process, young leadership development, entrepreneurship, health issues, education, environment, and the rule of law.

The 2018 Open World Program will focus on emerging political, civic, and community leaders from the national, regional, and local levels, and will put a strong emphasis on:

  • acquainting participants with American lawmakers and legislative functions and processes at different levels of government;
  • helping develop new, or further existing, networks and/or partnerships between delegates and their U.S. counterparts; and
  • hosting delegates age 30 and under.


  • Develop an understanding of the people who interact with their American professional counterparts. For example, a delegation of mayors and other city officials might meet with the host community’s mayor, city manager, city council members, mayor’s office staff, key departmental staff, and local political reporters.
  • Share their professional expertise through planned formal presentations, panel discussions, and/or roundtables with their American counterparts and contacts, and present information about their country’s culture, history, and current affairs to members of their host community (this is a program requirement).
  • Develop an understanding of the role of the U.S. Congress and state, county, and local legislatures in shaping, overseeing, and/or funding programs and institutions connected with the applicable Open World Hosting Theme and Subtheme.
  • Develop an understanding of how citizens and interest groups work to affect the legislative process (at the federal, state, county, and local levels) on issues related to the delegates’ Hosting Theme.
  • Network with American professionals and hosts who are interested in maintaining contact beyond the eight-day community visit for ongoing cooperation and collaboration.
  • Exchange views with influential representatives of appropriate federal, state, county, and local government agencies; legislators; civic organizations and other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); and the business and education communities.
  • Participate in community events to gain an understanding of the role of community organizations’ interactions with government.
  • Receive an overview of the relationships among:
    • the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state, county, and local government;
    • the business and civic communities and government; and
    • individual citizens and government.

Eligibility Criteria

Any U.S.-based organization with either established foreign visitor programs or demonstrated ability to host foreign visitors is eligible.

  • U.S.-based organizations with ongoing project activity or initiatives in any of the countries covered by this solicitation that can be furthered by an Open World visit should describe this activity. An applicant proposal:
  • Must demonstrate that the applicant organization has the ability, experience, and expertise to provide excellent programming in the Hosting Theme(s) for which it is applying and/or will establish cooperative agreements with expert local host organizations that can do so.
  • Will be given preference if it demonstrates that the applicant organization has the ability to provide programmatic activities with federal, state, county, and local legislators and legislative staff that will enhance the delegates’ understanding of the legislative process and the structure and functions of American legislative bodies.
  • Will be given preference if it is likely to produce new partnerships or further existing ones.
  • Will be given preference if it includes ideas for specific follow-on project activities and/or significant projected results, such as plans for substantive future reverse travel.
  • Will be given preference for a grant award if it demonstrates how the applicant organization will involve one or more organizations composed of young American professionals in providing some of the delegates’ professional, networking, and cross-cultural programming. To the extent possible, such young professional organizations should be focused on activities relevant to a delegation’s Hosting Theme.
  • Will be given preference for a grant award if its accompanying budget submission includes a significant cost share/in-kind contribution for Open World delegations, such as paying all or a significant portion of local hosting expenses, or all or portions of airfares.
  • Will be given preference for a grant award if it demonstrates how results (as defined on pp. 36-37 below) will be accomplished, particularly if this programming would further ongoing or proposed projects/partnerships with the applicant organization or one of its proposed local host organizations.

How to Apply

Proposals should be submitted via email at the address given on the website.

For more information, please visit Open World Leadership Center.

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