Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program for Undergraduate Students 2014


For the seventh year, Meridian International Center, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, will be implementing the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program. This prestigious program is designed to provide talented, hard-working, and highly motivated Iraqi undergraduate students with an opportunity to spend five weeks studying at an intensive academic institute starting in June, 2014. The program aims to develop a cadre of young adults in Iraq and the United States who have a strong sense of civic responsibility, a commitment to community development, an awareness of current & global issues, strong interpersonal leadership skills, willingness to foster relationships among youth from different ethnic, religious, and national groups in Iraq and to promote mutual understanding, respect and collaboration between the United States and Iraq. Participants will be required to implement follow-up activities upon their return home that will help the participants stay in touch with each other, reflect on their experiences, and integrate that learning into their day-to-day lives at home. An important goal of the program is that the student leaders, now empowered, will train other student leaders through student led community oriented service projects. Program goals for IYLEP include:

  1. enabling the participants to understand civic participation and the rights and responsibilities of citizens in a democracy;
  2. developing leadership skills among high school students and adult leaders appropriate to their needs;
  3. fostering understanding and build relationships across ethnic, religious, and national groups; and
  4. promoting mutual understanding between the people of Iraq and the U.S.

Check back for updates on the 2014 IYLEP participants’ progress!


The Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP) is a series of summer exchange programs in the United States for Iraqi undergraduate students sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and executed by Meridian International Center. Participants in the IYLEP program attend daily classroom lectures on their program topic, learn about American society and civic engagement, and receive training to develop practical leadership skills. In addition, daily group activities are utilized to reinforce classroom learning and include site visits and weekly volunteer opportunities.