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News Releases

March 13, 2013

World Council International Leadership Program Seeks U.S. Candidates

U.S. CU leaders encouraged to apply for U.S. State Department scholarships to intern at Costa Rica CUs in June

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 DOS Professional Fellows Program




MADISON, Wis. — World Council of Credit Unions is calling U.S. credit union professionals to apply for an intensive, two-week credit union internship in Costa Rica, June 9-22, 2013, through its International Credit Union Leadership Program. A committee will select 12 candidates to participate in the scholarship program, which covers all expenses but airfare. The application deadline is April 12.

"The International Credit Union Leadership Program offers excellent opportunities for emerging credit union leaders to better understand how another country's credit unions reach underserved populations and support their communities through member education and other special projects," said Brian Branch, World Council president and CEO. "At the same time, interns gain deeper cultural appreciation and foreign language practice while living with host families."

The International Credit Union Leadership Program is designed to facilitate idea exchanges, promote foreign language skills, expose participants to cultural diversity and improve problem-solving skills as they relate to the credit union industry. Participating U.S. credit union leaders learn firsthand about methods to better serve an increasingly diverse membership, including youth, businesses and low-income and Hispanic members. In exchange, credit union professionals from Costa Rica also have the opportunity to intern in the United States. Twelve Costa Rican credit union professionals will begin their U.S. internships on April 7. The International Credit Union Leadership Program is part of the U.S. Department of State's Professional Fellows Program and is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of Citizen Exchanges.

U.S. participant Rodney Wilson, California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues legislative and regulatory lobbyist, shares best practices on government relations at a credit union conference in the Dominican Republic.

"Participating in the International Credit Union Leadership Program was by far the best short-term professional credit union experience of my life," said Rodney Wilson, California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues legislative and regulatory lobbyist. "I was humbled to have the opportunity to take my experience in government and politics across international borders to educate our credit union colleagues in the Dominican Republic about the best practices of government affairs in my native language of Spanish."

The leadership program provides each participant with credit union placement, lodging with a local host family, meals and communication stipends, local transportation and traveler's insurance. Sponsoring U.S. credit unions are responsible for covering an airfare cost of approximately US$950 as a sign of commitment to building human capital within their organization.

Applications are due April 12. For more information about World Council's International Credit Union Leadership Program and how to apply, visit or contact Michael Suing at or +1-608-395-2075.

For more information on the Department of State Professional Fellows program, visit

World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.

World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 57,000 credit unions in 105 countries serve 217 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at


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Contact: Rebecca Carpenter
Organization: World Council of Credit Unions
Phone: +1-608-395-2031
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