WASHINGTON: The Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center is pleased to announce the launch of its Emerging Leaders of Pakistan (ELP) program. The fellowship seeks to support and empower the next generation of Pakistan’s civil society leaders through the creation of a sustainable forum of collaboration. Fifteen leaders from across Pakistan, representing various issue areas, view points, and socio-economic backgrounds, were selected through a highly-competitive process.

The ELP Fellows will begin their program by visiting the United States for a period of three weeks, from October 27 to November 17 and traveling to New York City; Washington, DC; Atlanta; and the San Francisco/Bay Area. The goal of this trip will be to encourage peer-to-peer collaboration, strengthen relations between Americans and Pakistanis, and empower the Fellows with skills and ideas through sessions with prominent American thinkers, innovators, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and civil society leaders. The Fellows are expected to utilize these resources to build their own movements back in Pakistan as they work for the betterment of their country through their various initiatives. An online forum will also facilitate this collaboration, and the Atlantic Council has identified partners on the ground in Pakistan who will complement this initiative through various types of long term support.

The Emerging Leaders of Pakistan is being supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. US logistics and travel is sponsored by the US Embassy, Islamabad, through their partnership with the Meridian International Center. Lodging and conference needs during the selection process were sponsored by the generosity of the Hashoo Group. The Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center would also like to thank its on the ground partners, Youth Engagement Series (YES), Teach For Pakistan, and PAIMAN Trust, for all their help during the recruitment, selection, and assessment process.

Click here for more information about the program and the 2012 class of ELP Fellow. Follow us on Twitter at @ELPakForum and on Facebook at facebook.com/elpakforum.