Applications are open for Iraq Leadership Fellows 2022

The Iraq Leadership Fellows program helps Iraq’s next generation of leaders develop the skills they need to build sustainable and transformative social and political movements. The Fellowship brings together young activists from around Iraq for three residential training sessions over the course of a year, with each training consisting of three to four days of intensive learning with professional instructors. The ILF program has invested in developing a bespoke and world-class curriculum that is targeted at the specific challenges faced by young Iraqis and that has been continually adapted and improved based on the experiences of previous classes. Graduates of the program will join an illustrious alumni network of former fellows representing the next generation of Iraqi change-makers.

The Fellowship is supported by the Syria/Iraq office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) and DT Institute and is hosted at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani. Tuition costs, accommodation, and travel are all covered by the Fellowship.


Workshop I – May 2022 (4 days)

Workshop II – August 2022 (4 days)

Workshop III – November 2022 (4 days)


Two Fellowship tracks are offered in 2022. Applicants have to choose one track while filling the application form. Only (25) candidates will be accepted in each of the ILF tracks.

Social Activist Track: This track targets young civil society activists who wish to bring about positive change in Iraq through community organizing, and those who intend to broaden their areas of activism and take leadership positions in their organizations. Graduates of this track are expected to be able to develop campaign strategies, identify constituencies of support, advocate with policymakers, and build public awareness.

Political Candidate Track: This track targets young political activists who wish to bring about positive change in Iraq through participating in the political process and who intend to run for election at some point during their careers. Graduates of this track are expected to be able to develop their political values and principles, engage in political negotiations, communicate with different types of audiences, and mobilize political support.

Fellows of both tracks will learn how to explore their own leadership styles, articulate their leadership journeys as stories, manage difficult conversations with their team members effectively, build and manage their networks authentically, and engage effectively with various audiences.

Selection Criteria:

Candidates applying to the ILF program should:

  • Be Iraqi citizens and residents of Iraq

  • Be between the ages of 25 and 35

  • Have 2+ years of experience in either social activism or political campaigning/activities

  • Have exceptional academic, professional, or personal achievements

  • Be vaccinated (two doses minimum) against Covid-19

  • Be committed to attending all three residential training sessions, to reading all preparatory materials, to engaging in the mentorship sessions in between the trainings, and to pursuing follow-on activities.

  • Be fluent in either Arabic or English

We also expect Fellows to be:

  • Dedicated to expanding their roles as political or social leaders, and passionate about peacefully bringing about positive change in Iraq

  • Positive in their attitude, and have demonstrated perseverance and initiative

  • Intellectually curious, tolerant of diverse perspectives, and willing to take risks

  • Committed to upholding democratic values and to exercising personal integrity

  • Mentors with a passion for investing in others, and ready to contribute to and enhance the experience of other fellows

  • Coachable and in search of feedback

  • Humble and able to ask for help

  • Results-oriented, mission-driven, and innovative

  • Service-oriented coalition-builders who can effectively negotiate and manage conflict as a member of a team

  • Capable of listening and communicating effectively in written and spoken word

  • Able to demonstrate leadership potential

The Fellowship seeks diversity of representation in terms of governorate, gender, and vocation.

To apply to the Iraq Leadership Fellows 2022, fill and submit the application form before 12:00 midnight Baghdad time on the 10th of March 2022.  If you have any questions about the fellowship or the application process, please email [email protected]

English Application Form

Arabic Application Form