Meet Atlas Corps Class 13! (Grows Network to 200+)

Today, we announce the largest class of Atlas Corps Fellows EVER - Atlas Corps Class 13 and celebrate the achievement of 200 Fellows! In fact, Atlas Corps is now 206 Fellows from 54 countries and 109 Host Organizations. Awesome! Beyond the dynamic Host Organizations that will welcome these Fellows, we also recognize the additional support received from American Express, Humanity United, U.S. State Department Office of the Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, U.S. Embassy Pakistan, and the TOMODACHI Initiative. Thank you for helping us recruit, place, and engage these Fellows! Atlas Corps is truly a collaboration of inspiring individuals and organizations. Now, let’s give a warm Atlas Corps Welcome to Class 13. Thanks!

Atlas Corps Class 13 Fellows – September 2013

  Francis EnriqueHajira KhanHakim Monykuer AwuokHamid AliMaisoon Ibrahim-AteemMari SetoMay Abd ElnasirMoeko ShinoharaJane ThirikwaKunihiro ShimojiLukudu WilliamMachien Luoi

Nabeel BiajoNeimat AbasSuzan AbdallahThembi PictureTushar MalikZuhal Ahmed Fadl

-Francis Gallardo Enrique (Philippines, Host: Points of Light)
-Hajira Khan (Pakistan, Host: Meridian International)
-Hakim Monykuer Awuok (South Sudan, Host: Lost Boys Center for Leadership Development)
-Hamid Ali (Pakistan, Host: Islamic Leadership Institute of America)
-Jane Wothaya Thirikwa (Kenya, Host: Human Rights Campaign)
-Kunihiro Shimoji (Japan, Host: National Bureau of Asian Research)
-Lukudu William (South Sudan, Host: National Endowment for Democracy)
-Machien Luoi (South Sudan, Host: BRAC USA)
-Maisoon Ibrahim-Ateem (Sudan, Host: Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation)
-Mari Seto (Japan, Host: GlobalGiving Foundation)
-May Abd Elnasir (Sudan, Host: Voice of America)
-Moeko Shinohara (Japan, Host: GlobalGiving Foundation)
-Nabeel Biajo (Sudan, Host: Voice of America)
-Neimat Abubaker-Abas (Sudan, Host: Women for Women International)
-Randa Osman (Sudan, Host: CARE)
-Suzan Abdallah (Sudan, Host: Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation)
-Thembi Mdachi (Malawi, Host: Agora Partnerships)
-Tomoko Yamashita (Japan, Host: Mercy Corps)
-Tushar Malik (India, Host: Human Rights Campaign)
-Zuhal Ahmed Fadl (Sudan, Host: Oxfam America)

Celebrate on Thursday, September 5, 2013, in Washington, DC.

Tickets available at!



With Special Support from

American ExpressHumanity UnitedTOMODACHIUS Embassy Islamabad

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American Express Announces Three-Year Partnership to Support

Atlas Corps and American Express

In 2011, Atlas Corps and Anna Flores (American Express) celebrated achieving our “50 in the 50th” goal with support from the American Express Foundation.

Yes, the headline is true! The American Express Foundation just announced a three-year partnership to support the expansion of Atlas Corps.

In 2011, the American Express Foundation helped double the size of Atlas Corps as we achieved our goal of 50 in the 50th—to engage 50 nonprofit leaders as Atlas Corps Fellows in the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps and our 5th Anniversary. Now, in 2012, we take that partnership to the next level as we initiate Vision 2015—a three-year scaling strategy to expand our program to engage 100 Fellows per year. The American Express Foundation will support Vision 2015 with a three-year, $150,000 commitment that will support the expansion and enhancement of the Atlas Corps model.

“We are thrilled to engage in a multi-year partnership with Atlas Corps and its Fellowship program,” said Timothy J. McClimon, President, American Express Foundation. “These Fellows will have a unique opportunity to help to shape this increasingly globally connected nonprofit world, and their ability to lead will be critical to the sector’s long-term success.”

Each international Fellow commits to a 12 to 18 month fellowship in organizations located in Washington, DC, New York, and other cities throughout the United States as well as Colombia. These Fellows serve in some of the most dynamic organizations in the United States and Latin American. Currently, the Atlas Corps network includes 140 Fellows from 40 countries who have served at organizations that include: American Jewish World Service, Ashoka, Fundacion Escuela Nueva, Grameen Foundation, Oxfam GB, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, UN Foundation, and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. I invite you to meet our current Fellows. (Our Class 10 Fellows just started Orientation Week THIS WEEK!)

This innovative investment supports the future of international service—programs that go beyond a short-term experience to give participants the depth of long-term engagement and cultural immersion. Now, more than ever, we see the value in building bridges across cultures and countries in our increasingly globalized world. Atlas Corps achieves this goal by addressing social issues, developing leaders, and strengthening organizations through an innovative approach that facilitating international cooperation in the nonprofit sector through face-to-face interaction.

Can you help spread the word as we continue recruitment for our first January 2013 Class? Just share this message with your networks: Global development professionals invited to apply for prestigious @atlascorps fellowship

Congrats on this exciting news that we celebrate as a network!

Scott Beale

Scott Beale
CEO & Founder, Atlas Corps

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Are You a Policy Enthusiast?

Calling all young researchers! If you’re interested in increasing the visibility of youth’s voice in your country’s policy-making process, don’t miss out on this great opportunity.

CIPE and Atlas Corps invites young researchers interested in democratic and or economic reform issues to become Think Tank LINKS Fellows and gain useful tools and leadership skills to increase their advocacy skills. Find out more about the Think Tank LINKS Fellowship here.

Time is running out – the deadline for submitting application is August 15, 2012. Don’t wait until the last minute to apply!


Branding for the non profit organizations: Talk more about the solution than the problem.

Branding in the non profit sector.

One of the most important forces, I’d say the main tool, which can have a Fundraiser or even the responsible for government relations of the organization is the ability to show the impact of the organization’s work.

Here there will be a great debate on criteria, some will say that there are some organizations working more on marketing than they actually do on projects or programs.
and could be true but the reality is in any plan for growth and sustainability can not miss a branding strategy for the organization.

Often, organizations are engaged in generating attractive proposals for others (corporate partners and seek funds through non-profit marketing strategies in which they argue benefits for donors, but this is done even before generating an own branding for the itself organization).

The trends are changing and and one of the strategies I am learning during my fellowship is the benefits of the “previous branding” it means how to build a ideal profile before calling that potential donor we want..
This principle called “previous branding” has been successful for many organizations both large and small, it’s about how influence outside and after demonstrate that we are after the best organization to fulfill that mission.

Every organization needs to have good public image.Even the smallest organization and little inclined to communicate with the outside needs to reflect a good image if you want to attract and retain the support of
funders and volunteers.

While some are directed to small audiences and others to the very large audiences, all must call the attention but the mere act of reporting and create a website is not guaranteed to receive attention

The first challenge is to be heard. Then you have to get the understanding from people And finally, build confidence on what you says.
To start the experts recommend two points:

1. A brand is not the logo.
Here I would say to form a brand identity is not enough to design a logo, letterhead printing and business cards.
It means make that relevant and put it where donors can hear, beyond the most creative logo.
2. Make sure you are communicating a hopeful vision of the future trough your brand.
And here I would say to start before calling the designer is important to identify and if necessary investigate the preferences of our audiences and the most important point talk more about the change that you’re make than the problem that you are facing. Everybody likes to hear a hopeful vision about the future.
Even if the reality that we are facing is so hard you must show always you’re part of the solution.

To build branding inspired on this hopeful vision about the future according to the experts  it’s more common here in the new yorker organizations. than in other countries or U.S. states, I will be sharing with you in the next entries my taughts and recommendations while I’m discovering that.

Can the Atlas Corps Fellowship be Likened to a Game of Chess?

In the game of Chess, the ultimate goal is to checkmate the king of the opponent – which essentially means that the king is conquered. In this vein, the goal of Atlas Corps Fellows can be likened to checkmating “Ending the Program in Good Standing” in 12 or 18 months as the case may be.

Atlas Corps and the host organizations can be likened to the Chess Board. The Fellows represent the white pieces – while the tasks (e.g. attending training programs, satisfying the needs of the host organization, etc.) that Fellows need to accomplish are the black pieces. In Chess, the white pieces are on the offensive.

For class 9 Fellows who are just starting the game, one very pertinent life lesson from Chess is to “see well ahead into the future”: Chess masters are reputed as being able to see most of their possible moves (i.e. from the beginning to the end of a Chess game) before a game commences – including how to counter any moves by the opponent. In other words, foresight and dynamism remains invaluable for a Fellow’s success in the program.

I am going to need the readers of this blog to tackle this challenge: In a Chess game, a “stalemate” is a situation in which the king cannot be checkmated by either of the opponents – and essentially, it is interpreted as a draw. Does anyone have the answer regarding what a stalemate in the Atlas Corps Fellowship program could mean for a Fellow?

Go Global in DC – Celebrate Atlas Corps Class 9!

Atlas Corps Welcomes Class 9*
Thursday, June 7, 2012, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Pasara Thai (1219 Connecticut Ave NW)
Join us to celebrate our growing network of 100+ Fellows from 32 countries!

RSVP by Wednesday, June 6 (

Meet the many faces of Atlas Corps!

Since we welcomed our first Class of Fellows in 2007, we thank you for helping us to engage all these dynamic leaders. Now, let’s get ready to welcome the next group of inspired leaders to the United States.

RSVP by Wednesday, June 6 (

Atlas Corps, founded in 2006, is an international network of nonprofit leaders and organizations that promotes innovation, cooperation, and solutions to address the world’s 21st century challenges. Our mission is to address critical social issues by developing leaders, strengthening organizations, and promoting innovation through an overseas fellowship of skilled nonprofit professionals. Profiled as a “best practice” in international exchange by the Brookings Institution and featured in the Washington Post as a model social entrepreneurship program, Atlas Corps engages leaders committed to the nonprofit sector in 12 to 18 month, professional fellowships at organizations to learn best practices, build organizational capacity, and return home to create a network of global changemakers. Our network of Fellows includes 115 nonprofit leaders from 32 countries, and thousands of individuals around the world who share our commitment to international collaboration.

Questions? Contact Abby Flottemesch,, 202.263.4565

Atlas Corps CFC #35006

Stockholm+40: Fellow Featured on High Level Panel

Where in the world are Atlas Corps Fellows?

This week, we follow Esther Agbarakwe (Class 7, Nigeria, serving at Population Action International) as she participates in the Stockholm+40 Conference. The event, occurring from April 23-25, organized by the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs commemorates the first UN Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm in 1972.

Esther presented on the panel, A Supportive Framework for Sustainable Choices. Here, she shares her views on youth sexual and reproductive health and rights and the relation to sustainable living.

Atlas Corps Invites Applications for September 2012 Fellowships in the United States and Latin America

Priority Deadline: April 15, 2012 (see below for details)

Atlas Corps is an overseas fellowship for the world’s best nonprofit leaders. Our mission is to address critical social issues by developing leaders, strengthening organizations, and promoting innovation through an overseas fellowship of skilled nonprofit professionals.

The Atlas Corps Fellowship is a 12-18 month, professional fellowship offered three times a year. Fellows serve full-time at Host Organizations such as Ashoka, the Grameen Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the UN Foundation, Oxfam, World Wildlife Fund, and the U.S. Peace Corps. In addition to serving at an organization related to their experience, Fellows will develop their leadership skills and nonprofit best practices while networking with other Fellows who are skilled nonprofit professionals from around the world.

Atlas Corps seeks overseas nonprofit leaders to apply for a September 2012 Fellowship in the U.S. or Latin America. This prestigious fellowship includes a living stipend to cover basic expenses (food, local transportation, and housing), basic health insurance, and enrollment in the Atlas Corps Nonprofit Management Series.

Our U.S. Fellowship program is specifically seeking the profiles below for specific Host Organizations in our September 2012 class:

    • Spanish speakers, especially those with social work or legal experience
    • Asia: event planning and project management experience, background in global health or trade and energy preferred
    • China: event planning and knowledge of security in China
    • South Sudan and Sudan: nonprofit leaders
    • Iraq: nonprofit leaders
    • East Africa (especially Tanzania and Madagascar): environmental conservation, communications, fundraising experience
    • Global: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights experience
    • Global: ehealth/mobile health technology experience
    • Global: strong technology expertise, especially in programs like Ruby on Rails, Java, HTML, website development, and social media
    • Global: Individuals with experience in early childhood development, international teaching, and international education

Eligibility Requirements:

  • 2 or more years of relevant experience in the nonprofit/NGO/social sector
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • English proficiency (oral, writing, reading) for U.S. and Latin American program
  • Spanish proficiency for Latin American program; Portuguese helpful but not required
  • 35 years or younger (average age is 28 years old)
  • Applying to volunteer in a country other than where you are from
  • Commitment to return to your home country after the 12-18 month fellowship

Deadline: Atlas Corps considers applications on a rolling basis. Apply by April 15 to be considered for the September 2012 class; applications received after that date will be considered for our next class. Candidates who have already applied since March 2011 should NOT apply again. We will be sending updates to applicants from those application cycles very soon, and finalists from those application cycles will be considered for the September 2012 Fellowship as well.

For more details about eligibility requirements, benefits and responsibilities of being a Fellow, please visit:

Questions about Atlas Corps Fellowship to the U.S.? Email

Questions about Atlas Corps Fellowship to Latin America? Email

Voice of America Features Atlas Corps Fellows

See the coverage of the recent Atlas Corps Fellow-organized event: Africa Through Our Eyes: Atlas Corps African Fellows share first-hand views on changing trends on the continent

Voice of America Coverage:

PANELISTS – Atlas Corps Fellows

Eva Baguma (Uganda) is an Atlas Corps Fellow from Uganda serving at Ashoka. With more than five years of experience in the nonprofit sector, Eva has a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism from Makerere University in Uganda and holds Certificates in Fundraising Database Management (Blackbaud, UK) and Monitoring and Evaluation and Project Management. Eva served as the Program Officer of Fundraising and Resource Mobilization at the Uganda Society for Disabled Children (USDC). In this capacity, Eva directed the organization’s public relations and media and communications campaigns, which included the development and production of the organization’s print media products and online communications. Prior to this role, Eva served as a hospitality and events manager in several capacities before finding her true calling in the development sector, where she has found a heightened sense of fulfillment in her work.

Mirette Bahgat (Egypt) is an Atlas Corps Fellow from Egypt serving at Earth Conservation Corps. Mirette graduated from Cairo University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Professional Development at the American University in Cairo. Mirette started her career as a banker at HSBC bank in Egypt. In her spare time, Mirette devoted herself to community-based social work. She volunteered at an orphanage where she employed games and experiments to teach English and science using an interactive approach. Mirette later volunteered as a facilitator with ILO-Cairo on the SCREAM project, which supports child rights through education, arts, and the media. Mirette’s enriching experience with this project led to a life-changing decision to devote her career to community development. Mirette is currently working as a non-formal education coordinator and youth educator at Alwan Wa Awtar NGO, an arts-for-development organization situated in rural Cairo.

Takawira Kapikinyu (Zimbabwe)is an Atlas Corps Fellow from Zimbabwe serving at Refugees International. Takawira has seven years of experience in the nonprofit sector. He has earned several degrees, including a Postgraduate Diploma in Project Planning and Management, and a Master of Science in Rural and Urban Planning from the University of Zimbabwe. As a university student, Takawira was an active member of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace Zimbabwe and a representative to the Students Representative Council for his faculty. Most recently, Takawira worked as an Associate Researcher with Gender and Rural Development Consultants (GERUDE), where he provided consultancy services to many NGOs and development agencies. At GERUDE he gained vast experience in project planning and management, monitoring and evaluation, and report writing. He is currently the vice president of the Proudly Zimbabwean Trust Zimbabwe Chapter.

Yaw Adu-Gyamfi (Ghana) is an Atlas Corps Fellow from Ghana serving at CentroNia and a Consultant on Governance and Sustainable Development with over 5 years experience in community development, organizational, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises-SME capacity building. He is also the Co-Founder and Executive Director at Kumasi Center for Lifelong Learning, a center for business and technology skills development, entrepreneurship, research and policy advocacy based in Ghana’s second and ancient city of Kumasi. Yaw is also a Director at SpanAfrica and member of the Pan-African Competitiveness Forum, promoting shared best practices for bottom up development across the continent. But most importantly, he is a member of the famed Cheetah Generation, an emerging crop of African leaders who are hands-on problem solvers, identifying opportunities in challenges.

Voice of America Coverage:

Real Empowerment of Young People At the Work Place

The word empowerment has been used for more than a decade now in the development conversations. In my experience as a development worker in the non profit sector, it is often that I use the sociological definition as defined by Wikipedia “ Empowerment often addresses members of groups that social discrimination processes have excluded from decision-making processes through – for example – discrimination based on disability, race, ethnicity, religion, or gender”. I like the simplified interpretation of giving/sharing power with those groups/persons who do not possess it, or developing capabilities of others. This is what comes to my mind when I think of the word Empowerment.

Most organization while developing their empowerment programs to the achievement of their missions design programs/projects to enhance status of their target population, often labeled as the “marginalized”, “vulnerable”, “beneficiaries”…who are outside the organization and often times condone putting strategies to empowering those, especially the young working within the organization. Of course the primary purpose of why any organization would be established is to service its primary stakeholders, and be/ give voice to its primary constituents. But I strongly believe that only an empowered organization that invests in empowering its young aspiring leaders can bring about the change it desires to see in the community, society and the nation as a whole.

Although this seems like a simple management concept perhaps common knowledge to most in positions of power, and some may even go further as having it in a written statement in their human resource development manuals, I observe few follow through to empowering young aspiring leaders in the “ Real” sense.

Why? I ask myself. One reason is fear of insecurity of loosing positions.
Young people bring in new ideas, which may require changing process of doing things from business as usual and require new set of skills. This threatens comfort zones of those in position and creates a fear of being replaced by those possessing new skills. I see insecurity also coming from people’s perception of low self worth. They view that empowering and bringing those young leaders a level closer will uncover their perceived knowledge, skills and leadership gaps. This often requires a certain degree of humility and vulnerability, which leaders must sometimes show to their young coworkers.
I also often observe that young coworker’s effort is seldom mentioned for accomplishments gained through team efforts. People on top claim the credit whereas if the outcome was otherwise, it is blamed on the young coworkers lack of experience. This I believe emanates from an egocentric nature of humans, a quest for a constant affirmation to service ones ego.

The top five simple principles that worked well from my experience in empowering young leaders in organizations are: 1) Provide opportunities- potential young leaders must be provided with opportunities to assume leadership positions. Exposure is the best way to synthesize gains from academic institutions and the best way to reinforce knowledge and develop leadership skills. 2) Further opportunities through formal and informal trainings. Organizations must create ways for their young employees to access short term trainings/courses related to their work as well as look out for means for them to pursue higher studies. 3) Mentor/couch: pair up employees with similar job positions either from within or outside of the organization to share experiences, challenges, skills and more. I found this to be the most effective whereby the learning from one another is tailor made and meets the specific needs of one another. This method is the least costly and can happen over a long period of time. 4) Create structures for growth: Organizations in their growth model need to be making rooms for internal upward movement, which is pivotal to motivation and brings out latent potential. 5) Trust, trust, trust and give responsibilities! This is perhaps the most difficult to do for most leaders. A very good role model of mine in a leadership discussion once said to me “ I give people responsibilities, not tasks. Job designs must be carefully thought of to help exercise leadership skills. Believe in the capabilities of the young, open doors to tolerate mistakes, provide challenges to stretch and use abilities to the maximum and ensure to delegate responsibilities not tasks.