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Application being accepted until April 15, 2020!

The East-West Center's Professional Development Program, in cooperation with the  Professional Fellows Division in the Office of Citizen Exchanges at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is currently accepting applications for the Pacific Islands Tourism Professional Fellows Program. This program brings two cohorts of tourism industry professionals from the Pacific Islands to Honolulu, Hawai‘i for intensive six-week programs that build significant new capacity and facilitate enduring professional bonds between industry leaders in the United States and the Pacific Islands. Participants receive leadership training, network with fellow professionals, visit exciting tourist sites, are placed in an organization/business/agency for a 4-week on the job learning experience, and travel to Washington DC for a wrap-up conference.

Professional Fellows chosen through an open competition will arrive with ideas for an applied project or business problem that bears directly on tourism growth in their home country. Rigorously curated placements, with a close pairing of each Fellow’s project objectives to the Designated Placement Host, will offer Professional Fellows fresh insights, new analytical perspectives, and practical approaches for building nascent island tourism sectors. Supplemental educational and cultural enrichment activities will ensure Fellows acquire substantive leadership skills as well as a deeper appreciation of American society. A smaller number of select U.S.-based fellows will work directly with their counterparts from the Pacific Islands to develop their projects and will participate in a 2-week follow-up trip to their partners' home countries.

If you are selected as a Professional Fellow, your full participation will be funded by the East-West Center through a grant from the U.S. Department of State.

For more details about the program go here.


Fall Cohort  

  • October 12 – November 14, 2020  Activities/Placement in Honolulu, Hawai‘i
  • November 15 – 20, 2020  Professional Fellows Congress in Washington, DC 


Applicants must:  

  • Be citizens/nationals of one of the eligible countries (dual U.S. citizens are NOT eligible)
  • Be between the ages of 25-40
  • Be currently employed in their home country (or one of the other eligible countries) and have a demonstrated history of at least 2 years of employment in the tourism industry
  • Be willing and able to obtain a J-1 visa and spend 6-weeks in the United States
  • Be committed to returning to their home country after the program
  • Have a track record of making an impact in their organziation, company, or community
  • Be capable of creating an action-orientated plan to address a specific business problem or policy challenge being faced by the tourism industry in their country
  • Have sufficient spoken and written English language proficiency to effectively function in an American workplace.

Eligible Countries

Applications will be accepted from the following Pacific Islands countries:

  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Fiji
  • Kiribati
  • Marshall Islands
  • Nauru
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Timor Leste
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu


Your application must be received by midnight April 15, 2020 (Hawaii Time).

The Professional Fellows Program strongly encourages people living with disabilities to apply for the program. 


If you would like more information or are having trouble filling out the online form contact us by email.

Pacific Islands Tourism Professional Fellows Program

Professional Development Program
East-West Center
Honolulu, HI 96848-1601 USA
Phone: +1.808.944.7721   

This is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government, administered by the East-West Center.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.