The Mickey Leland International Hunger Fellowship is a program of the Congressional Hunger Center, a bipartisan nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop, inspire, and connect leaders in the movement to end hunger, and to advocate for public policies that create a food-secure world.
The Leland Fellowship trains emerging leaders in the fight to end hunger worldwide. It is a two-year professional development program that combines program and policy work, leadership training, and facilitated cohort learning. Each class consists of 12-15 skilled and committed individuals ready to become agents of change.
Leland Fellows are matched with host organizations who design and supervise the fellow’s day-to-day work. Host organizations include international and local NGOs, research institutions, private sector entities and UN agencies. Click here to see the list of current Leland host organizations.
Each class of Leland Fellows forms a learning cohort, sharing knowledge and insight and growing together throughout the program. And the Hunger Center’s dynamic leadership development curriculum focuses on building the skills required to create change in the international development and humanitarian sectors. Fellows learn to see what works in international development—and what doesn’t—and how to make the system more efficient, more effective, and more just.
Fellows’ work at their host organizations covers a wide range of issues within food and nutrition security. Past work plans have focused on:
- Agricultural market systems
- Agriculture and livelihoods
- Agriculture and nutrition linkages/Nutrition-sensitive agriculture
- Chronic undernutrition
- Climate-smart agriculture
- Gender equity
- Humanitarian nutrition (MAM, SAM, and IYCF)
- Natural resource management
- Social inclusion
- Social protection and safety nets
- Water, sanitation and health
Fellows contribute to their host organization in many ways. Past work plans have included:
- Impact assessment
- Knowledge management
- Monitoring and evaluation
- Original research, quantitative and qualitative
- Policy analysis and design
- Project design
- Project management
- Secondary research
- Social and behavior change communication
- Strategy design
- Training design and delivery
Leland Fellows are chosen through a competitive application process. Candidates are first assessed on their fit for the fellowship, then matched to potential placements for another round of assessment. While the Hunger Center seeks candidates with the appropriate technical skills, soft skills and leadership potential play an equally significant role. The most competitive candidates for the Leland Program exhibit:
- Commitment to food and nutrition security
- Commitment to the Leland Program model of both community-focused and policy work
- Desire to be an agent of change for a more equitable development sector
- Flexibility and ability to adapt
- Resilience in the face of challenges
- Critical thinking skills
- A learning mindset
- Integrity and self-motivation
- Ability to communicate and work well across cultural contexts
- Note also that Leland Fellows must be US citizens or permanent legal residents.
**The Congressional Hunger Center seeks talented applicants from every sector and background who are dedicated to fighting hunger and poverty on a global scale. We know that a diversity of perspectives from different communities, cultures and lived experiences is critical solving the complex challenge of hunger. Accordingly, individuals from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds as well as those with lived experience of food insecurity are especially encouraged to apply.**
During their service, the Hunger Center provides Leland Fellows:
- Financial support: Each fellow receives a financial package designed to support living expenses (placement location specific), and help offset the costs of housing, relocation, and acquisition of public market health insurance.
- Leadership development training: Leland Fellows complete a leadership development curriculum during their two years in the fellowship. This curriculum is based in the Hunger Center’s Leadership Capabilities Model, content knowledge and cohort support and learning. It is delivered via a mix of platforms including in-person training weeks and virtual discussion fora.
- Advising: Each Leland Fellow receives advising and professional development support from the Hunger Center staff in formal and informal ways.
- Professional Development Funds (PDF): Leland Fellows are given access to funds that can be used for specific professional development activities identified by the fellow. PDF is especially useful in allowing each fellow to gain skills and experience different from and additional to the on-the-job learning they do at their host organizations.
- Membership in a dynamic learning cohort of fellows: Each fellowship class comprises a valuable learning community. Accordingly, we select placements and fellows that represent a diversity of subject matter, type of work, experience and background.
- Connection to an extensive network of alums, partners and experts.
Host organizations provide:
- Substantive work plan
- Active supervision
- Equipment and other resources necessary to carry out the work plan
- Travel to and from overseas placement locations
- Assistance in securing visa/work permit for overseas work locations
- First response in the case of a medical, political or security emergency
Per 2 U.S. Code § 1161, Leland Fellows are not employees of the Congressional Hunger Center nor their host organizations; instead, fellows are classified as 1099 contractors. As a contractor, fellows are subject to self-employment taxes and need to procure health coverage for themselves. To better understand your responsibilities as a contractor, we suggest starting with this information from the Internal Revenue Service: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/independent-contractor-defined
Please see the 2021-2023 Fellowship Application Guide for complete information! https://www.hungercenter.org/what-we-do/leland-fellowship/fellows/#apply