EF welcomes 2023 Eastern Europe Fellows to U.S. this fall

Dynamic leaders work to strengthen democracy, protect human rights and aid Ukrainian refugees in troubled region

In October, Eisenhower Fellowships will welcome 20 exceptional leaders from 11 countries in the U.S. for its groundbreaking Fall 2023 Eastern Europe Program, more than five weeks of intensive travel across the United States for dialogue with experts in their fields.

The 2023 Eastern Europe Fellows come from the worlds of politics, media, human rights law, innovative design, counterterrorism, energy security, European integration, the arts, finance and conflict mediation. The Fellows will use their travels across the U.S. in October and November to help shape concrete projects of impact they will undertake after they return home.

The program will host Fellows from Turkey, Romania, Hungary, Poland, Finland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and four countries that never have had an Eisenhower Fellow—Lithuania, Latvia, Moldova and Ukraine. Applicants for the program came from as far afield as Albania and Georgia.

The Eastern Europe Fellows lead public foundations that provide leadership courses for policymakers in the region, provide legal assistance to protect human rights and assure freedom of speech for dissidents and counter hybrid threats to regional security often used by authoritarian regimes to destabilize their adversaries.

They advise NATO and its member nations on energy security and environmental sustainability, serve as top advisers to the president and prime minister of their governments, advance international cultural and media cooperation across the region and serve as elected legislators and trusted aides to the leaders of their nations’ Parliaments.

The Eastern Europe Fellows provide aid and support to Ukrainian war refugees, serve in senior roles in their nations’ foreign ministries and create innovative television productions to tell the stories of a region with too much history.

All of them are committed to EF’s mission to enhance international understanding to help create a world more peaceful, prosperous and just. At the end of their travels across the U.S., the Eastern Europe Fellows return home to apply what they have learned and make a positive impact on their societies.

Eisenhower Fellowships Chairman, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, welcomed the Eastern Europe Fellows into the EF global network of leaders. “At this difficult moment of war and fear in the world, these connections and friendships across borders and cultures that Eisenhower Fellowships provides will advance the cause of peace,” Gates said.

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