The Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center welcomed fifteen Pakistani civil society leaders, the 2015 Emerging Leaders of Pakistan, to the United States last month.
From October 17 to November 8, the fellows visited New York City; Washington DC; Austin, Texas; and the San Francisco Bay Area.
The ELP Fellowship aims to identify, cultivate, and support the next generation of Pakistan’s leaders. Each year, the Center selects fifteen fellows that embody Pakistan’s geographic, religious, and gender diversity who are working across various sectors.
The US visit enables the fellows to develop practical skills and glean best practices from the people they meet, to adapt to their own context in Pakistan. The visit sparks long-term and collaborative relationships between fellows across Pakistan that continue beyond the US visit. Finally, through meetings and informal interactions with Americans, the visit addresses misperceptions on both sides of the relationship—building a foundation for a more informed US-Pakistan relationship.
In New York City, the fellows visited media agencies, philanthropic and grassroots organizations. En route to Washington DC, the fellows visited Princeton University’s Innovations for Successful Societies, in which they learned from a real case-studies for development in Pakistan. In Washington DC, the fellows met with several government agencies, the Embassy of Pakistan, and think tanks to discuss US policy, US-Pakistan relations, and various on-ground efforts in Pakistan.
The Atlantic Council showcased the fellows work and perspectives on the challenges facing youth in Pakistan at a public panel. Watch it here.
The fellows experienced home hospitality in Austin by staying with local American families. They also met with entrepreneurs and city and state government representatives. The visit concluded in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the fellows met with entrepreneurs from the tech and startup industry, and also visited a Charter school, a LGBT Center, a Synagogue, and Stanford University.
Fellows after a meeting with New York Times Assistant International Editor Douglas Schorzman and International Managing Editor Michael Slackman
Visit the ELP Facebook page here to see more about each meeting and overall perceptions from the visit.
The US visit is the launching point for a longer term engagement with the Atlantic Council and the larger ELP cohort in Pakistan, which now consists of nearly 60 changemakers across the country.
This project is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the US Embassy Islamabad through its partnership with Meridian International Center in Washington DC.