Think Tank LINKS Fellowship

Many thanks to all who generously supported this program on #GivingTuesday! It is not too late to donate and help more young leaders from around the world transform their lives and their countries!

What is Think Tank LINKS?

Investing in youth is crucial because as each society’s most idealistic and driven group, young people are drivers of change and leaders of the next generation. CIPE is committed to developing young people’s leadership and professional skills so that they can become champions of change.

The Think Tank LINKS (Leaders, Innovators, and Knowledge Sharing) Fellowship, an innovative joint program of CIPE and Atlas Corps, connects talented young researchers from developing countries with the leading U.S. think tanks. Fellows spend six months at their host think tanks researching issues of democratic and economic reforms and gaining valuable experience they apply back home. Participating think tanks benefit equally from working with experienced, bilingual professionals with international perspective.

The inaugural 2013 class included four young professionals from three continents. While at their host organization, the participants:

  • Become an integral part of issue research teams
  • Publish and present research results through blogs, articles, and other outlets
  • Learn best practices in think tank management through CIPE seminars and Atlas Corps Global Leadership Lab
  • Network with research experts in Washington, DC and other international young leaders
  • Bring their new skills, knowledge, and enthusiasm back to their home countries and apply them in their lives and workplaces

2014 Class Fellows

Atlantic Council - Fayyaz Bhidal from the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (Pakistan) will conduct research concerning US-Pakistan security, public policy, and economic development
Heritage Foundation- Iryna Fedets from the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting (Ukraine) will conduct research for the Index of Economic Freedom
Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) - Mahmoud Bader from H2O (Libya) will help expand and refine POMED’s Libya-focused programs
Urban Institute - Naledi Modisaatsone from the Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis in will contribute to the expansion of Urban Institute’s program on urban service delivery in developing nations
Accountability Lab - Narayan Adhikari from the Nepal Economic Forum will provide wide-ranging support to the Accountability Lab’s organizational development, including conducting research and program management


From our inaugural 2013 class:

“One of my greatest achievements from this Fellowship was learning best practices and know-how in managing a think tank/research institution in terms of organizing the work of a research team, setting goals and responsibilities, ensuring efficiency, and managing robust and uninterrupted workflow. I fulfilled this goal in two ways. First, through my day-to-day activities at the Cato Institute. Second, through meetings and discussions with individual professionals from other think tanks in Washington, DC.” Maksim Karliuk, the Belarusian Institute of Strategic Studies (Belarus), placed at the Cato Institute

“One of my goals for this Fellowship was to develop long-lasting relationships with U.S. think tanks, stakeholders, potential donors and non-profit international organizations that support independent research institutions and have strong interest in helping establish pro-market economic reforms and strong commitment to democracy in Bolivia and in Latin America. All of this was possible because I was placed at the Heritage Foundation, which helped me attend various events with think tanks, and therefore I had the opportunity to meet with top U.S. public figures in politics, academia and business…In addition, I traveled on behalf of the Heritage Foundation to Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Guatemala and had the opportunity to network with various think tanks throughout Latin America as well.” Sergio Daga, the Políticas Públicas para la Libertad (Bolivia), placed at the Heritage Foundation

“The most important goal for me was to improve my writing skills, as well as editing policy papers and policy briefs relating to Egypt and the Middle East. This Fellowship gave me the opportunity to write, analyze, and publish my writings in different platforms. Through this process, I improved my research skills, especially after receiving feedback from editors at POMED. I was also engaged in reviewing policy briefs produced by POMED’s partners, which helped me learn about the basics of writing policy briefs.” Sally Roshdy, the One World Foundation (Egypt) , placed at the Project on Middle East Democracy

Want to learn more?

Blogs by Think Tank LINKS fellows

One Month into the Fellowship (by Maksim Karliuk)

The Quality of Democracy and Economic Freedom in Latin America and the Caribbean (by Sergio Daga)

The Most Important Lessons from My Think Tank LINKS Fellowship (by Sally Roshdy)

Media coverage of fellows

Lag persists in applying economic bases of freedom, El Universal, Venezuela (Spanish, Article)

Economic freedom in the country has ‘plateaued’, El País, Uruguay (Spanish, Article)

Democracy Think Tanks in action: Translating Research into Policy in young and Emerging Democracies, National Endowment for Democracy/International Forum for Democratic Studies (Video)


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