Eurasia Foundation (EF) invites emerging Eurasia specialists residing in the greater Washington, DC metropolitan area to apply for the 2020-2021 Young Professionals Network (YPN) fellowship. The Network was created to honor EF’s late chair, Sarah Carey, who was an indispensable advisor to young people interested in the Eurasia region. The YPN program identifies young professionals who share EF’s commitment to international engagement across the region and connects them with more established professionals from a variety of fields. Over the course of nine months, YPN provides opportunities for young people in Washington, DC to discuss developments in the Eurasia region with key decision-makers, diplomats, journalists and analysts.

Highlights of past YPN events include meeting former Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva and U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Rosenblum. During private briefings and Q&A sessions, members of YPN have interacted with influential Eurasia experts, including U.S. Ambassadors (ret.) William Courtney, Kenneth Yalowitz, John Herbst, Susan Thornton, Mary Warlick, and Richard Kauzlarich, as well as Dr. Fiona Hill, Dr. Jeffrey Mankoff, Thomas de Waal, Paul Stronski, and ambassadors from the Romanian, Moldovan, and German embassies, among others.

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Program Description

EF Young Professionals attend and participate in events with influential diplomats, scholars, and journalists up to twice per month between September 2020 and May 2021. All events will take place in Washington, DC at varied times after 5:00 PM. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, all events will be conducted in a virtual format until further notice.

Requirements & Expectations

Young professionals between the ages of 22 and 33 with a deep interest in the Eurasia region, who are working in government, media, the military, or the private or nonprofit sectors may apply. Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree and a demonstrable commitment to the Eurasia region. Selected participants will be expected to attend most program events, some of which will be scheduled during the workday to accommodate speakers’ schedules. Before applying, please consider if your professional and personal obligations will allow you to fully participate.

Application Process

If you are interested in becoming a YPN fellow, please submit your application online by Monday, August 31, 2020. UPDATE: The deadline to apply for YPN 2020-2021 has been extended to September 9, 2020, at 5:00pm EST.

You will need to create an account on EF’s application portal and upload the following documents:

  • Current resume
  • Cover letter describing how you will contribute to and benefit from the program
  • Letter of recommendation from a current or former employer or professor addressing the applicant’s motivation, commitment to the Eurasia region, and leadership qualities
  • A photo that may be uploaded to EF’s website, should you be offered and accept the fellowship

Please use the code YPN2020 to access the application.

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Young Professionals Network FAQs

What is the Young Professional Network Program? The Young Professionals Network (YPN) is a professional development network in Washington, DC that helps prepare the next generation of experts and leaders focusing on the Eurasia region. In 2020, YPN marked its eighth anniversary, and has now engaged more than 239 young and mid-career professionals from the private sector, nonprofits, the diplomatic community, and the media. The alumni network represents more than 13 countries from Eurasia region, who collectively speak 12 languages. YPN consists of monthly events, roundtables, and happy hours in Washington, DC to connect rising leaders and established professionals from DC think-tanks, media outlets, the diplomatic community, and activists from the region. As the name of the program implies, the program's goal is to create a place for young people to network and building lasting connections.

Who is eligible to apply? The program is open to all applicants between the ages of 22 to 33, regardless of their citizenship. The applicants should have a demonstrable commitment to the Eurasia region and hold a bachelor’s degree (master’s degree preferred). Network alumni work in government, media, the military, private, and nonprofit sectors.

Does the YPN program cover travel/relocation expenses, or provide a stipend/scholarship? No, YPN does not cover travel or relocation expenses or provide any kind of funding, stipend, or scholarship. The YPN program is designed to provide only networking opportunities for its participants where they can meet and build connections with established professionals.

Should participants reside in the Washington, DC area? Yes, the participants should be living, studying, or working in Washington, DC and its suburbs, at least for the duration of the program. The program runs from September through May and all networking events take place in Washington, DC and its environs.

Where should the application materials be submitted? Please submit your application via EF's portal. Applicants must use the code YPN2020 to access the application.

How long is the program? The program begins in September 2020 and ends in May 2021.

How do you choose speakers for the events? EF tailors its activities, meetings, and roundtables to address current events in the Eurasia region. Program speakers and events vary from year to year.

When is the deadline to apply? The application materials for YPN Class of 2020-2021 are due by 11:59 PM EST on Monday, August 31, 2020.

Should reference letter be sent separately? The reference letter may be submitted by applicants along with other application materials, or it may be sent separately by the writer. If the writer of the reference letter prefers to send it on their own, they should forward it to ypn@eurasia.org and put “Reference Applicant’s Name” (e.g. “Reference Jane Doe”) in the subject line. All materials should be submitted before the deadline, Monday, August 31, 2020. 

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