The 2018/19 Class of the Iraq Leadership Fellows Program met for their first training from 21st-23rd October 2018. This year our class of fellows has doubled in size, to fifty fellows, and is split between two tracks: a Social Activist track and a Political Candidate track. The Social Activists are focusing on building their campaigning and advocacy skills with experienced international trainer Nizar Farsakh, while the Political Candidates are learning about what it means to effectively participate in the Iraqi political process with Professor Akeel Abbas. After two days of intensive training at the American University of Iraq in Sulaimani, the fellows travelled to Erbil where they were guests at the MERI Forum. In breakout sessions from the MERI Forum, the Fellows met with a range of political, diplomatic, and public figures including the former Governor of Najaf and the Ambassador of the EU to Iraq. The Iraq Leadership Fellows Program would like to thank MERI for their generous partnership.