World Council Leadership Program Seeks Candidates

New initiative will serve credit union people under 40

February 28, 2012

Organization: World Council of Credit Unions
Phone: (608) 395-2000
2012_2_28_Professional Fellows logo

MADISON, Wis. — World Council of Credit Unions is calling for applications from U.S. credit unions for the latest phase of the organization's new International Credit Union Leadership Program. The program, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of Citizen Exchanges, is part of the larger U.S. Department of State Professional Fellows Program.

The International Credit Union Leadership Program, which promotes internships for young credit union people from various countries, is designed to facilitate idea exchanges, promote foreign language skill development, enhance cultural diversity and improve problem-solving skills as they relate to credit union development and management on a global basis. In addition, participants will focus on finding new ways to attract younger members to their credit unions.

A group of 10 participants from Guatemala already have been chosen to intern at credit unions in the United States. During the four-component program's second phase, 10 U.S. credit union professionals will be selected to intern at credit unions in Guatemala. The internships, which run from June 10–23, 2012, will offer excellent opportunities for emerging credit union leaders to better understand how Guatemalan credit unions serve underserved populations and support their communities through member education and other special projects.

The program provides each participant with lodging with a local host family, a meals stipend, local transportation, traveler's insurance and a limited communications stipend. Selected participants must be able to participate in the full two-week program in order to qualify. It is the applicants' responsibility to arrange for time away from their credit unions prior to application. The sponsoring U.S. credit union is responsible for covering an airfare cost of US$1,350 associated with the applicant's exchange program as a sign of commitment to building human capital within their organization.

The selection criteria for U.S. program participants are as follows:

  • Be 40 years of age or younger on Sept. 1, 2011
  • Demonstrate personal commitment and the ability to significantly influence the credit union
  • Show leadership and entrepreneurial skills and demonstrate how personal initiative has contributed to credit union development
  • Exhibit the potential to advance the national or international credit union system through initiatives that would also help the development of his or her community
  • Be actively involved as an employee or board member of a credit union or organization affiliated with the World Council through the Credit Union National Association or a state credit union league
  • Be available to travel on the specific dates outlined by the program
  • Not be a World Council employee or board member
  • Have intermediate-to-advanced Spanish language skills
  • Have a career trajectory in the credit union industry

All participants will be required to submit an application with an essay and pass a telephone or web interview process.

For those interested, more information and a program application form can found at For more information on the Department of State Professional Fellows program, visit

Please submit applications to Michael Suing, program specialist, at or by fax at +1-608-395-2001. If sent by fax, please follow up with an email. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. CST on Friday, March 30, 2012. Candidate interviews will take place the week of April 9, 2012, by telephone or a web-based program.

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 300+ technical assistance programs in 89 countries. Worldwide, 68,882 credit unions in 109 countries serve 235 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at

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