Central Asia-Caucasus Fellowship Program


We support rising leaders across all sectors from the countries of Central Asia, the Caucasus, Afghanistan and Mongolia through our Central Asia-Caucasus Fellowship Program.  The Program connects talented professionals from across the region, encouraging an intraregional network and exchange of ideas, as well as fosters better understanding and stronger relations between the United States and the region.


Click each country below to learn more

  • Afghanistan
  • Azerbaijan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Mongolia
  • Turkmenistan
  • Armenia
  • Georgia
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Tajikistan
  • Uzbekistan


Each spring and fall, 10-13 applicants are selected to participate in the 6-week Central Asia-Caucasus Fellowship Program. The Program consists of a series of high-level meetings during which Fellows have an opportunity to engage and interact with top policy-makers, business leaders,  journalists, academics, military personnel, non-governmental organizations and regional experts, exposing them to inside perspectives on how the U.S. public and private sectors work. The Program also incorporates opportunities for professional development and networking.  As part of the Fellowship, Fellows additionally spend the fourth week of the Program traveling to two major U.S. cities for meetings with local businesses and government representatives, providing them with insights into the United States beyond the nation's capital. In the final weeks of the Program, Fellows collaborate on and complete a group presentation on a topic of their choice at a Central Asia-Caucasus Institute public forum, which serves as a platform for the Fellows to present their thoughts and engage with representatives from local embassies, businesses, universities, media and others interested in the region.


The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program is a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center, affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington D.C., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy in Stockholm. 




Country Teams

The alumni from each of the ten countries are led by a nominated representative called the National Coordinator who serves on the Fellowship Alumni Council. Each National Coordinator is responsible for organizing alumni meetings within their country as well as serving as a key representative and point of contact for the broader CAMCA network and its activities. Learn more about our National Coordinators.

Alumni Conferences

After five years of successful Fellowship sessions, in 2012 the Foundation began hosting annual regional alumni gatherings. Since 2014, these annual meetings have taken place alongside the CAMCA Regional Forums.

CAMCA Regional Forums

The CAMCA (Central Asia-Mongolia-Caucasus-Afghanistan) Regional Forum was established in 2014 by the Fellowship alumni in collaboration with the Foundation and Central Asia-Caucasus Institute to create a platform for the alumni to engage with a broader international audience invested in the future of the region. Read more about the CAMCA Network.


  • “I feel privileged to become part of the growing Rumsfeld Fellows network which, I am confident, will make a change and contribute towards the integration of the CAMCA region. The Fellowship lays the foundation of strong professional and interpersonal relationships between the young leaders of the region and sets a vision for long-term cooperation. The dynamics and the diversity of the program make participants think beyond their countries, regionally and continentally.”
    Azerbaijan Fellow, Fall 2016
  • “This experience within six week has filled the gaps of many diplomacy and policy books and has enriched our career-driven endeavors.”
    Uzbekistan Fellow, Spring 2011
  • “Intimate and vibrant. This is the only program I have ever seen that reveals the full spectrum of contemporary United States politics, society and culture.”
    Uzbekistan Fellow, Fall 2009
  • “These undoubtedly were the best six weeks of my life.”
    Kazakhstan Fellow, Fall 2009