hubert-h.-humphrey-fellowship-program competition-2024-2025

(Last Updated On: May 8, 2023)

The Public Diplomacy Section of the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications from citizens of Serbia for participation in the prestigious Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program for the 2024-25 academic year. This is a competitive, worldwide competition. If you are interested in broadening your perspectives, becoming a global leader, and giving back to Serbian society upon your return, the Humphrey Fellowship is for you.

The Humphrey Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and supported in its implementation by the Institute of International Education. Almost 6,500 Fellows representing 163 countries have participated in the program since its inception in 1978. That has included 20 Serbians in the past decade.

Successful candidates are accomplished, young, mid-career professionals in leadership positions who have a demonstrated commitment to public service and have the potential for further advancement in their fields. Candidates should be interested in strengthening their leadership skills through a mutual exchange of knowledge and views with the Americans and with Fellows from other countries they meet during this program about issues of common concern. Practical experience in the United States gained through this program, plus greater familiarity with American society and culture, will provide Humphrey Fellows with the basis for lasting, productive ties with their American counterparts in the years to come. 


The Humphrey Fellowship is granted competitively to public and private sector candidates from Serbia with strong leadership potential and a commitment to service who are focused on the following fields:

  • Economic Development

Suitable candidates include policy makers and administrative managers focusing on contemporary development issues including population growth, agriculture and industrial development, poverty and income distribution, labor markets, and foreign trade. Individuals who are working in the fields of sustainable development and micro-finance in the public or private sector are also appropriate.

  • Finance and Banking

Suitable candidates include individuals who are involved in the management of financial institutions, the regulation of depository institutions and securities, transnational lending and trade financing, or public-private partnerships. Corporate financial managers and analysts are appropriate if they are interested in and able to convey how their work will impact the development of the country. Individuals in this field are not suitable for the Humphrey Fellowship Program if they are primarily concerned with expanding a corporate entity’s market share.

  • Public Policy Analysis and Public Administration

This field offers Fellows the opportunity to expand policy analysis and public management skills and equips them with the knowledge and experience to advance solutions to global challenges across diverse policy issues. Policy issues that past Fellows addressed have included: anti-corruption, cybersecurity and AI, institutional change and human resource management policies, leadership and financial management in public and non-profit organizations, poverty and inequality, gender, international development policies, and other related topics.

  • Technology Policy and Management

Network administrators, engineers, and urban planners involved in formulating technology policy and managing technological change and systems are suitable candidates in this field. Officials in the Ministry of Education and educators who teach technology and science in higher education institutions and can demonstrate leadership in curriculum development or administration in this field are also appropriate candidates. 

  • Communications/Journalism

Appropriate candidates include those using media in all its current forms to facilitate global development for their country. Journalists in this field could work for private media outlets or state-run public broadcasters with a focus on independent reporting and transparency. Journalists can work in any platform (print, broadcast, online) using digital and social media tools to cover a wide variety of subject beats, including, but not limited to public affairs, arts and features, social issues, business news and investigative topics. Other individuals might manage the public or internal communications for non-governmental organizations, for state-run media, governmental agencies, and private business enterprises.

  • Law and Human Rights

Attorneys, judges, foreign government officials, NGO activists, media specialists, and human rights activists are the most suitable candidates in this field. They may work in anti-trafficking, international religious freedom, and/or in specialty law such as: constitutional, criminal, civil rights, business, alternative dispute resolution, international humanitarian, telecommunications, and other related specializations. Individuals engaged in legal and judicial reform and the administration of justice also are appropriate candidates. 

  • Agricultural and Rural Development

Suitable candidates include individuals from the public sector, non-governmental organizations, and business focused on agricultural and food system development and/or rural development. The field includes, but is not limited to, the following areas of specialization: food security, climate-smart agriculture, sustainable farming systems, agricultural research, extension management, agricultural marketing and value- chain management, post-harvest technology and food safety, trade and food policy, and rural livelihood enhancement.

  • Natural Resources, Environmental Policy, and Climate Change

Natural resource and environmental managers are appropriate candidates for this field. Policymakers working on the protection of natural resources, water quality, pollution control, land use, conservation, and environmental impact assessment also are suitable. Climate change is a critical emerging field open to professionals working in a range of disciplines, including policy development, clean technologies, carbon management, and response planning or adaptation to new climate patterns.

  • Urban and Regional Planning

Appropriate candidates for this field include architects, engineers, planners, urban designers, urban economists and sociologists, and historic preservation specialists.

The field of Urban and Regional Planning should be broadly interpreted and can include: urban infrastructure, transportation policy and planning, water and sanitation, town and rural planning, land use and urban design, housing and real estate development, international and comparative planning, environmental protection and planning, ecological land development and other related fields and topics. 

  • Public Health Policy and Management

Physicians, clinicians with management responsibilities, health educators, and other practitioners with management and policymaking responsibilities in this field are suitable candidates. Past Fellows’ interests have included: contagious and infectious diseases and improving global health security, HIV/AIDS policy, treatment, and prevention, management of public health care organizations; health care delivery through community- based organizations; reproductive, adolescent and child health; and epidemiology in public health practice. Candidates who are primarily practitioners in their field are not appropriate. For example, dentists whose program goals are to be more effective dentists in a clinical setting are not appropriate candidates for the program. Instead, dentists or other practitioners who are interested in acquiring skills and knowledge to become better administrators of public health programs to promote health education in their community or country, would be a better fit for the program.

  • Educational Administration, Planning and Policy

Individuals who contribute to national or regional education policy and hold administrative positions at institutions of higher education, non-profit organizations, or government ministries make good candidates. Candidate profiles also include those focused in the more technical areas of education such as: curriculum development, instruction and learning assessment techniques, higher education inclusive of academic affairs, program design and adult learning, teacher training, and vocational/technical education programs. These individuals may also be teacher trainers and master teachers in the field of Teaching English as a Foreign Language if they also have additional responsibilities in the areas above. University professors with an exclusively academic focus are not suitable; however, university professors in administrative or policy-making positions are eligible. 


The yearlong Fellowship offers valuable opportunities for non-degree graduate level university study, leadership development, networking, and substantive professional collaboration with U.S. counterparts through practical work experience.

The freedom from the requirements necessary to obtain a degree gives each Fellow greater flexibility to pursue a self-directed, individualized program.  Though Humphrey Fellows are hosted at American universities, we would like to stress that this is a professional, non-academic exchange program.  Certain universities will host Fellows in the same field of interest, so candidates are unable to request placement at particular academic institutions.  Humphrey Fellows may not transfer from non-degree to degree status at their host university under any circumstances.

Beyond the graduate level courses, professional enrichment activities include participation in conferences, training programs, site visits, and a “professional affiliation,” i.e., practical job experience on a full-time basis in an American work environment for a minimum of six weeks.  Early in the academic year, with assistance from the Humphrey coordinator and faculty advisors at the university, each Fellow will develop a detailed plan of practical professional activities geared toward his/her Humphrey Program objectives.

During the year, Fellows both pursue their individual program goals and work closely with their Humphrey colleagues in workshops and seminars.  The Program also encourages Fellows to travel away from their host campus to learn more about American culture and to network with their American peers.


Appropriate candidates are young, mid-career professionals in leadership positions in either the public and private sector who have demonstrated a commitment to public service and the potential for further advancement.

We strongly encourage both men and women to apply, as well as persons with disabilities and individuals from other underserved groups.

The technical eligibility requirements:
  • Serbian citizenship and eligibility to obtain a U.S. visa.
  • An undergraduate university degree.
  • A minimum of five years of full-time, professional experience in the relevant field by June 2024.
  • Limited or no prior experience in the United States.
  • Demonstrated leadership qualities.
  • A record of public service in the community.
  • Proficiency* in written and spoken English. Candidates will normally have a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 525 (paper-based) or 71 (internet-based).  If you have taken a TOEFL exams in the past, scores are valid for two years.  The TOEFL exam is not a requirement at the time of application. Candidates who pass the interview will receive the instructions how to register for the TOEFL exam.

* Note:  In addition to the pre-academic language training traditionally available to all selected candidates, the Humphrey Program offers Long-Term English (LTE) language training opportunities to facilitate participation of individuals who might lack sufficiently advanced English language skills at the time of application.  Candidates for LTE typically have TOEFL scores in the 440-500 range (paper-based test) or 42-61 (internet-based test).  LTE participants will travel to the U.S early for intensive language training lasting 20-25 weeks to improve their English skills before transitioning to their host university campuses at the start of the 2024-25 academic year. 

Please be aware that the following individuals are ineligible to apply for the Humphrey Program:

  • Recent university graduates (even if they now hold significant positions in their organizations);
  • University teachers or academic researchers with no management responsibilities;
  • Individuals who have attended a graduate school in the United States for one academic year or more during the seven years prior to August 2024;
  • Individuals with U.S. in-country experience of any kind lasting more than six months during the five years prior to August 2024;
  • Individuals with dual U.S. citizenship or U.S. permanent resident status may not apply to the program; they are ineligible for a J visa;
  • Local employees of U.S. Missions abroad who work for the U.S. Department of State and members of their families as well as individuals who work for or are otherwise associated with an organization that is responsible for nominating or selecting individuals for participation in any Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) exchange program are ineligible for grants during the period of their employment and for one year following the termination of employment. 

Priority will be given to candidates with no recent experiences in a third country, especially in a developed country. 


Beyond demonstrating the required experience, skills, and a commitment to public service, candidates will also need to explain through the application process how they might benefit from the unique opportunities offered in the Humphrey Program.  The key questions to answer are:  Why exactly do you need this experience at this point in your career?  How exactly will you and how will Serbia benefit from your participation in this program?

Applications are due July 15, 2023.  Information on how to apply is below.

Within 30 days, we will contact short-listed applicants to attend an interview at the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade in the second half of September, 2023.

Candidates who pass the interview will be registered for the TOEFL exam.  We will then forward the application packets with TOEFL results to Washington.

The final selection of candidates will be announced in Washington, DC in February 2024.

Finalists will then need to apply for a visa.  The Embassy will assist the candidate with that process and other paperwork requirements, including the medical exam. 


The Humphrey Fellowship covers air travel, a stipend, and other costs, but all expenses are budgeted only for the Fellow himself/herself.  The award does not include additional allowances or funds of any sort for dependents, i.e., family members.  Candidates who are planning to have dependents join them during all or part of the fellowship year in the U.S. should bear in mind the high cost of living.  They must furthermore receive prior approval from the Humphrey Program that they have adequate personal funds to cover living expenses and dependents’ health insurance and (if applicable) child care.  Dependents absolutely may not come during the ELT period when the Fellow is engaged in intensive study of English in preparation for the Fellowship year.


Interested candidates should apply online at

You will need to gather additional documents:

  • Copy of passport (bio data page);
  • Evidence of your employment in Serbia (letter from employer confirming employment, and certified translation if the letter is in Serbian);
  • Copy of university diploma(s);
  • Certified university transcript(s), including course listings and grades received;
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) or résumé;
  • Two letters of reference in English; one must be from the applicant’s current employer;
  • TOEFL scores (if available).

These additional documents must be mailed by July 10, 2023 to:

U.S. Embassy Belgrade

Public Affairs Section

Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program

Bulevar kneza Aleksandra Karadjordjevica 92

11000 Belgrade

For additional information about the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship:

The Hubert Humphrey Fellowship program is administered by the Institute of International Education (

For more information on the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship program, you can visit:

If you have further questions, please contact U.S. Embassy Belgrade’s Public Affairs Section (PAS) via email at

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