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Watanabe Democracy Fellowship—Application and Selection

2024 Watanabe Democracy Fellowship

Applications for the 2024 Watanabe Democracy Fellowship are now closed.


  • 2024 Fellows Notified: May 17
  • Fellowship Orientation: June 7, 2024
  • Fellowship Delegation Visit: July 14 – 26, 2024

See the Criteria page for eligibility requirements. 



Candidates are invited to apply during the application period by submitting the following materials via the application form. Form will open to accept applications on March 1, 2024. All materials must be in English:

  1. Resume (two pages or less)

  2. Biography (200 words or less)

  3. Personal statement (500 words or less)

    • Briefly describe your interest and prior experience relating to the themes of the Watanabe Democracy Fellowship.
    • What are your goals as a future leader? What are your specific interest areas, and how are they aligned with the Watanabe Democracy Fellowship?
  4. Nominator information. Please note that nominators will be notified of this application and asked to affirm their nomination of the candidate through a separate form:

    • Name
    • Title
    • Organization
    • Email address
  5. Confirmation of ability to travel to the US from July 14-26, 2024 (arriving in Japan on July 27). 



Following the submission of an application, JANM staff will contact the nominator listed by the candidate to schedule a short (20 minute) conversation. In this conversation, the nominator can expect to be asked to affirm their nomination of the candidate, and briefly discuss the merits of the candidate as applicable to the Fellowship.



After an initial internal review of applications, a selection committee composed of representatives from the community, corporate, academic, and government partners, will process and review the top candidates. Review will focus on an applicant’s alignment with the established selection criteria. In deciding the candidate finalists, the selection committee will further consider additional group standards for the cohort, such as diversity of experience, gender balance, regional representation, and various professions. 

Finalists will receive an invitation to interview with a panel of senior leaders across sectors. Finalists will also undergo a background investigation to ensure that they qualify for necessary security clearances.


Award Notification

The selection committee will announce the incoming cohort of the Watanabe Democracy Fellowship with an invitation to attend an in-person orientation in Tokyo. Fellowship awards cover all travel and accommodations, meals, programs, and excursion fees.


2024 Program Timeline

March 1 Fellowship application opens
March 14 Virtual Information Session #1
Thursday, March 14 • 8 p.m. PDT / Friday, March 15 • 12 p.m. JST
March 22 Virtual Information Session #2
Friday, March 22 • 5 p.m. PDT / Saturday, March 23 • 9 a.m. JST
(Watch recording)
April 12 Fellowship application closes at 11:59 p.m. PDT
April 12 – May 3 Application review; invitations to candidates selected for interviews 
May 17 2024 Fellows notified
June 7 Fellowship orientation (Tokyo; virtual option available as needed)
July 14 – 26 Fellowship delegation visit (Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.)
August Fellowship delegation program evaluation survey
September – December Post-delegation programs (Tokyo or virtual)



Please email with any questions you may have about submitting your application.


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