Frequently Asked Questions about EF's Young Professionals Network

Eurasia Foundation (EF) invites young Eurasia specialists to apply for membership to its 2017-18 Young Professionals Network (YPN). The Network was created to honor EF’s late chair Sarah Carey, who was an indispensable advisor to young people interested in the Eurasia region. The program identifies young professionals who share EF’s commitment to international engagement across the region and connects them with more established professionals from a variety of fields.
Over nine months, YPN creates regular opportunities for young people in Washington, D.C., to discuss developments in the Eurasia region with key decision-makers, diplomats, journalists and analysts.

Highlights of past YPN events include meeting former Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva and special access to television hosts Vladimir Pozner and Phil Donahue. As part of the program’s series of intimate briefings and question and answer sessions, members of YPN have interacted with influential Eurasia experts including U.S. Ambassadors (ret.) Thomas Pickering, William Courtney, Kenneth Yalowitz and Richard Kauzlarich, Dr. Fiona Hill, Dr. Jeffrey Mankoff, Christian Caryl, and Ambassadors from the Romanian, Moldovan, Turkish, and German embassies, among others.

Program Description
EF Young Professionals will participate in events once or twice per month with influential diplomats, scholars and journalists between September 2017 and May 2018. All events will take place in Washington, D.C. at varied times of the day or evening.

Requirements & Expectations
EF invites young professionals with a deep interest in the Eurasia region between the ages of 22 and 33 working in government, media, the military, and the private and nonprofit sectors. Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree (preferably a Masters degree) and a demonstrable commitment to the Eurasia region. Chosen participants will be expected to attend most program events, some of which will be scheduled during the weekday to accommodate speakers’ schedules. Before applying, please consider if your professional and personal obligations will allow you to fully participate.

Application Process
To apply, please submit the following materials to ypn@eurasia.org by July 21, 2017:

  • Current resume
  • Letter of interest describing how the applicant will contribute to and benefit from the program
  • Letter of reference from a current or former employer or professor addressing the applicant’s motivation, commitment to the Eurasia region, and leadership qualities
  • The name, title, organization and contact information of the person who has written the applicant's letter of reference

All application materials must be submitted to ypn@eurasia.org in full by 5:00 P.M. on Friday, July 21, 2017.
Applicants will be notified by mid-August. Any questions should be directed to Laurens Ayvazian, Director for Education, Leadership and Exchange, and the address ypn@eurasia.org

Young Professionals Network FAQs

What is the Young Professional Network Program?
The Young Professionals Network (YPN) is a professional development network in Washington, D.C. to help prepare the next generation of experts and leaders focusing on the Eurasia region. In 2017, the YPN marked its fifth anniversary engaging more than 150 young and mid-career professionals from the private sector, nonprofits, the diplomatic community, and the media. The alumni network represents more than 13 countries from Eurasia region and they collectively speak 12 languages. 

YPN consists monthly events, roundtables, and happy hours in Washington, D.C. to connect rising leaders and established professionals from DC think-tanks, journalists, diplomatic community, and activists from the region. As the name of the program implies, the program goal is networking and building connections.

Who is eligible to apply?
The program is open to all applicants between the ages of 22 to 33, regardless of their citizenship. The applicants should have a demonstrable commitment to the Eurasia region, and hold bachelor’s degree (preferably a Masters degree). Network alumni have worked in government, media, the military, as well as in the private and nonprofit sectors. 

Does the YPN program cover travel/relocation expenses, or provide a stipend/scholarship?
No, YPN does not cover travel or relocation expenses or provide any kind of funding, stipend, or scholarship. The YPN program is designed to provide only networking opportunities for its participants where they can meet and build connections with established professionals from D.C. think-tanks, journalists, and diplomatic community. 

Should participants reside in the Washington, D.C. area?
Yes, the participants should be living, studying, or working in Washington, DC and its suburbs, at least for the duration of the program. The program lasts from September through May and all networking events take place in Washington, D.C. and its environs. 

Where the application materials should be submitted?
Please send your application materials to ypn@eurasia.org

How long is the program?
The program starts in September 2017 and ends in May 2018.

How do you choose speakers for the events?
EF tailors its activities, meetings, and roundtables around current events in the region to increase the relevance of the program to YPNers. The speakers and events vary from year to year. 

When is the deadline to apply?
The application materials to YPN Class 2017-2018 are due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 21, 2017.

To whom should the letters of interest and reference letter be addressed?
Letters should be addressed to Laurens Ayvazian, Director for Education, Leadership and Exchange.

Should reference letter be sent separately?
The reference letter can be submitted by applicants along with other application materials, or it could be sent separately by the writer of the reference letter. If the writer of the reference letter prefers to send the letter on their own, s/he should forward it to ypn@eurasia.org and put in the subject line “Reference_Applicant’s Name” (e.g. “Reference_Jane Doe”). All materials should be submitted before the deadline, July 21.