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MEPI Student Leaders Program
Program Information


Since 2003, the U.S. Department of State's Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) has sponsored a series of specially designed, high-level training Institutes for outstanding student leaders from the countries of the North African and Middle Eastern region.

The MEPI Student Leaders Program provides a unique opportunity for participants to develop their leadership and civic engagement skills, with a specific emphasis on applying those skills in their home communities and countries to effect change. Additionally, the program enables the participants to learn about and discuss values, issues, and institutions that have played important roles throughout the history of the United States.

Upon completion of the program, alumni are offered a unique opportunity of support for their follow-on projects and initiatives through MEPI's follow-on grant program. This is the Alumni Follow-On Grant Application for that program.


U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI)

MEPI is a presidential initiative to promote democracy and reform in the Middle East and North Africa through diplomatic efforts and through results-oriented programs, both regional and specific to individual countries. Reform is of strategic, long-term importance to the national security interests of the United States and to the U.S. goal of ensuring that the people of the region experience the benefits that come with more open economies, greater educational opportunities, and political freedom. A key element of MEPI is creating links and partnerships with Arab, U.S., and global civil society, governments, and private sector businesses to jointly achieve genuine and lasting reforms at the local level.

Under the direction of MEPI, the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the U.S. Department of State- in coordination with partners in the region-MEPI is funding programs that help put in place the building blocks for democratic change. MEPI has set in motion more than 350 programs in 15 countries of the Middle East and in the Palestinian territories. Our partners include local and international non-governmental organizations, businesses, universities, international institutions, and in some cases, the governments of the region. To date, the U.S. Congress has committed almost $400 million to MEPI over five fiscal years. MEPI's funding is in addition to the bilateral economic assistance the United States provides annually to the Middle East.


The MEPI Student Leaders Program Alumni Follow-On Grant Program was created to support alumni to further develop their leadership and problem-solving skills by applying these skills in home communities and countries to affect change. The program provides limited financial support (up to $5,000) in the form of small grants to alumni, who seek to implement programs in their own communities that further democratic values and address community needs.

The grant program endeavors to support alumni as they establish themselves as leaders in the community. By devising and implementing their own projects, alumni have the opportunity to structure their initiatives to best serve their own local communities, their countries, or the region. The grant program's flexibility allows alumni to address the most diverse array of issues, from political and social engagement to civic involvement to freedom of the press, and many more that support MEPI objectives. For a detailed list of MEPI objectives, please refer to the 'goals' section of This website also lists examples of current MEPI programs in the Middle East and North Africa.

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