Apply for “The Asia Foundation Development Fellowship Program”

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Apply for “The Asia Foundation Development Fellowship Program”

Applications for the 2020 Asia Foundation Development Fellows Program will be accepted August 19 – October 7, 2019. Application guidelines and instructions.

The Asia Foundation Development Fellows program is a dynamic and multifaceted learning program designed for highly talented Asian individuals, under age 40, to enhance their leadership skills, Asian development knowledge, professional networks, and international exposure. The program reflects the Foundation’s six-decade tradition of investing in the region’s most promising future leaders. The 2020 program will consist of two intensive modules, including two weeks in Asia and two weeks in the United States, allowing Fellows to stay in their current occupations during the Fellowship year.

If you are interested in becoming a Fellow, please read application instructions below.


The 2020 program will be conducted in Laos, Singapore, and the USA (San Francisco, and Washington DC) and includes a flexible small grant award of US $5,000.

August 19, 2019: Application opens

October 7, 2019 (Monday, 11:59pm PDT [UTC-7]): Application deadline

January 2020: Selection finalized

March 21 – April 2, 2020:  Laos – Leadership Dialogue and Exchange, Part 1

April 3-5, 2020: Singapore – Forum on Leadership for Asia’s Future: At the Frontlines of Change Development Fellows Alumni Gathering

September 12-26, 2020: USA – Leadership Dialogue and Exchange, Part 2

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Asia Foundation Development Fellows must:

  • Have a demonstrable record of experience and accomplishment related to The Asia Foundation’s fields of expertise: governance and law, economic development, women’s empowerment, environment, and regional cooperation;
  • Be thoughtful, committed, respected and inspirational leaders within their professional fields and within their larger community;
  • Be under 40 years of age by January 1, 2020;
  • Be conversant in English (TOEFL exam results are not required);
  • Be available and able to participate in all program components on the program dates specified; and
  • Be resident nationals or citizens of the following countries where The Asia Foundation has programs: Afghanistan; Bangladesh; Cambodia; China; India; Indonesia; Japan; Korea; Laos; Malaysia; Mongolia; Myanmar; Nepal; Pakistan; Philippines; Singapore; Sri Lanka; Thailand; Timor-Leste; and, Vietnam.

Selection Process

The program is highly competitive. Staff from The Asia Foundation will evaluate each application thoroughly and narrow down the pool of applicants. Final selections will be conducted by a distinguished committee with expertise on Asia’s needs and development conditions. Fellows will be chosen without regard to gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic background, marital status, or financial need. All submitted application information will be treated as confidential unless stated otherwise in the application. The identities of nominees will also remain confidential throughout the final selection process.

Please direct any inquiries to the Asia Foundation Development Fellows staff at



Please carefully read the Eligibility and Selection criteria above, including our Frequently Asked Questions.


Download: 2020 Application Guidelines and Instructions (PDF)

Review the Application Guidelines and Instructions and complete each component of the application:

  • Personal information
  • Written submission
  • Supplementary materials: CV and transcript
  • Short video submission
  • Letters of recommendation (handled online)


Application deadline is Monday, October 7, 2019 (11:59pm PDT [UTC-7]):

Apply now

To know more about the fellowship, visit their website.

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