The Professional Fellows Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is a two-way capacity building exchange for emerging NGO leaders in China and Mongolia in the fields of the environment, legal aid, philanthropy, and community building among marginalized populations. The National Committee will work with NGO's in the United States, China, and Mongolia to carry out the program with a total of 22 Asian fellows and 14 American counterparts.
It was as National Committee Gala keynote speaker in 2005 that Robert Zoellick, then Deputy Secretary of State, first publicly urged China to become a "responsible stakeholder." Zoellick's much-celebrated term caused great consternation among Chinese interpreters (who, interestingly, had significant difficulty coming up with a nuanced translation of "stakeholder"). Nonetheless it was quickly embraced by both the American and Chinese policy communities and continues to generate lively discussion about China's desired role in the international system.