Student Leaders Program

The Student Leaders Program (SLP) is a rigorous leadership and civic engagement program for competitively selected undergraduate and graduate students between the ages of 20 and 24 from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. We seek a gender-balanced pool of candidates and give preference to traditionally under-served participants.  Students are placed in U.S. universities where they complete academic coursework, develop leadership and project management skills, and expand their understanding of civil society and participatory governance processes in the United States and MENA region. The cornerstone of the program is the development of Community Engagement Plans (CEP), where each student identifies an issue/opportunity that they would like to improve in their communities. During the program, students will have the opportunity to meet their American peers, engage in community service activities, and meet civil society organizations. 

The Student Leaders Program (SLP) is a yearlong three-part program: pre-summer, summer, and post-summer with the most intensive part taking place during the summer. The summer program is an intensive 5-week program, and is tentatively scheduled to take place from June 29 until July 28, 2022. The summer program will either be a virtual, hybrid, or in-person program depending on the state of the global pandemic. Upon completion of the summer program, students will implement their Community Engagement Plans and receive follow-on support, training, and professional networking opportunities, including joining the 2,000 strong MEPI Alumni network.  A competitive follow-on Accelerator Workshop may be held in the region. 

Who is eligible?

 Students from Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Qatar, Tunisia, Yemen, and the West Bank and Gaza are eligible to apply. Applicants must be undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in and attending university in their home countries.  Despite their  academic university major, applicants must demonstrate a commitment to leadership and civic engagement in their communities. Applicants must be between the ages of 20 and 24 with birth dates falling between July 28, 1998 and June 29, 2002. Applicants should have high English-language proficiency skills to participate in U.S. university-level classes. SLP does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical challenge or social status. We aim to create an inclusive and multicultural environment with a gender-balanced pool of candidates. Students from low-income backgrounds, limited travel experience, and/or an interest in environmental and climate needs are highly encouraged to apply.

The program will either be a virtual, hybrid, or in-person program depending on the state of the global pandemic. Please only apply to the program if you are willing to commit to participating in the program regardless of its modality.

 Who funds the program?

The Student Leaders Program (SLP) is sponsored by the U.S Department of State, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, Assistance Coordination, U.S.- Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), and has operated continually since 2003. Georgetown University is the prime implementer and manages the consortium of U.S. partner universities.

Application Timeline

Applications will be accepted starting on October 13, 2021 and the deadline for applications is December 13, 2021.

Want to learn more?

Before starting your application, please watch our video walkthrough/tutorial of the entire application process here! To learn more about the Student Leaders Program, eligibility requirements, application timeline and process, and general application questions and requirements, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the MEPI website:

Click here to begin your SLP application!

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