Asia Leadership Fellow Program (ALFP) - 2011


The Asia Leadership Fellow Program (ALFP) is accepting applications from citizens of Northeast, Southeast and South Asian countries to apply for its 2011 program. The program is open to persons involved in the academia, journalism, business, national and local politics, education, administration, the arts, publications, and NGO and non-profit activities.

In 1996, the International House of Japan and the Japan Foundation jointly launched the Asia Leadership Fellow Program (ALFP). The ALFP seeks to create a close, personal and professional network of public intellectuals in Asia, deeply rooted in and committed to civil society beyond their own cultural, disciplinary and geopolitical backgrounds. 

Since the initiation of the program, the ALFP has annually invited six to seven fellows. Nearly90 Fellows from 16 Asian countries from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds have participated to date. 

The ALFP believes that the fellows' critical voices against the status quo and proposals for alternative solutions will lead to developing new norms and value-orientations for the future of the region.


More than 60 percent of the world's population lives in the region called Asia, where different social institutions, economic systems, cultures, religions and ethnicities co-exist. This rich diversity includes a wide variety of problems. There is violence against human life and dignity in the form of socio-economic disparity, environmental deterioration, and racial, religious and cultural conflicts. 

While globalization apparently offers the potential for broader unity across borders, there are also many stereotypes about and within Asia and a limited flow of information that often results in mistrust, intolerance, ignorance and indifference. It is obvious that states or the market alone are incapable of coping with the region's challenges.  

The challenges are many but should be and can be articulated, understood and addressed from the perspective of civil society. Indeed, the ALFP believes that the key to breakthrough lies in the solidarity of concerned people who recognize and respect each other's cultural backgrounds and value systems while playing a leading role in initiating effective action. Such people are considered public intellectuals by the ALFP. 

It is imperative to enhance intellectual dialogue and exchange among public intellectuals who share the same concerns about the future of the globe, and feel the need to build an equitable civil society in the region while reaching out to regional communities in other parts of the world. 

Although there are many frameworks in Asia for governmental and semi-governmental dialogue on specific issues, few arenas exist for Asian public intellectuals to interact on long-standing concerns in the region and beyond from a holistic perspective. The ALFP, therefore, seeks to be a central voice in creating such a forum. 

In order to address various regional and global concerns from the perspectives of civil society, ALFP seeks to create a "Forum of Public Intellectuals."

Who is Eligible for ALFP?

The ALFP is open to citizens of Northeast-, Southeast- and South-Asian countries, aged 35 to 59, inclusive. A postgraduate degree is not a prerequisite, but applicants must have a good command of English and have demonstrated outstanding leadership ability or potential in their own professions. 

There is no prescribed set of professions for an ALFP fellow; the professions of past fellows include, but are not limited to, academia, journalism, business, national and local politics, education, administration, the arts, publications, and NGO and non-profit activities. The ALFP is also eager to broaden the professional and disciplinary backgrounds of fellows. Regardless of his/her profession, a fellow is expected to have access to a wide audience in his/her country or region through publications, teaching, media, performance, etc. to disseminate his/her thoughts and findings.

General Theme for 2011

Asia in Dialogue: Visions and Actions for a Humane Society


Program Period

September 12 to November 11, 2011

Number of Fellows

Maximum of seven fellows selected from Northeast-, Southeast- and South-Asian countries

Selection Policy

ALFP seeks public intellectuals who are deeply rooted in and committed to civil society beyond their own cultural, disciplinary and geopolitical backgrounds.  

Selection criteria include, but are not limited to, the following:  

1. Having a certain degree of achievement and having demonstrated outstanding leadership ability or potential. 

2. Going beyond one's discipline or field of speciality and having an intellectual impact in order to solve the problems facing global society today, from the broader perspective of the common public good and humanitarian causes.  

3. Being able to think tolerantly and alternatively about different way of thinking and cultural values, and being willing to develop new social norms and value-orientations.  

4. Being ready and willing to work, share concerns, and embrace differences with other fellows, who have diverse specialities and cultural backgrounds, in order to contribute to the building of an equitable civil society in the region while reaching out to the general public.

           5. Having a good command of English that will enable one to communicate and engage in deep/substantial discussions in English.


ALFP is not intended for:  

Leadership Development training for students and young professionals 

Japanese Studies 

Supporting individual research projects of any kind

Fellowship Terms & Conditions

Selection criteria include, but are not limited to, the following:


1. Round-trip airfare between Tokyo and the city where the fellow is based


2. A daily allowance (to cover accommodations, meals and other incidentals)


3. Medical insurance during the Fellowship in Japan


4. Other costs related to group activities, including a field trip and a retreat


Fellows must participate in all the program's activities, including workshops, seminars, the retreat meeting, field trips and the public symposium, and make necessary preparations for these activities as set by the program.

Fellows must spend the entire fellowship period at the International House of Japan in Tokyo except for the two-week individual activities period. Families cannot be accommodated for the duration of the fellowship.

Fellows are required to submit a final report, reflecting their fellowship experience, for publication in the Program Report.


Documents to be Submitted

Applicants should submit the following documents by post to the ALFP Secretariat by Monday, December 20, 2010. 
  1. Designated Application Form (pp. 6-7), completed, dated and signed.

The form can be downloaded at 

2. Curriculum Vitae in English. This must not exceed 5 pages in length.  

3. An essay of 500-600 words in English on 1) the applicant's objectives and expectations in participating in the ALFP and 2) the 2011 general theme of "Asia in Dialogue: Visions and Actions for a Humane Society."  

 4. Two Letters of Recommendations, signed and sealed (using the designated form; pp.8-9), from people familiar with the applicant's work who can comment on his/her professional achievements. The signed letters of recommendations must be sent directly to the ALFP Secretariat by the recommender.
6. Two samples of recent written works in English, less than 10 pages in length (short essays, newspaper articles, etc.).


Selection Schedule

December 20, 2010 - Application deadline 

January to March, 2011 Stage 1: Screening of application materials

Stage 2: Interviewing of applicants (for those who passed stage 1) 

April 2011 - Notice of selections

ALFP Secretariat

c/o Program Department

International House of Japan

5-11-16, Roppongi, Minato-ku,

Tokyo 106-0032, JAPAN

Tel: +81-3-3470-3211

Fax: +81-3-3470-3170




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Geo. Coverage: Asia, Africa and Europe