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For more information on the Fellowship please contact the Fellowship team at


The Fellowship is an independent and non-partisan executive programme for 24 mid-career political and civic leaders working in Northern Ireland. It aims to strengthen democracy and to ensure that the current and future cadres of political leaders in Northern Ireland are best placed to lead into the next decade and navigate through complexity.

The Fellowship Programme is delivered by the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building (CDPB) working with key stakeholders, policy makers and facilitators from leading academic institutions including, the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford with support from its Advisory Board.

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The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement provided and continues to provide a general template for the political progress in Northern Ireland. However, the legacy of the Troubles remains an issue. Since its establishment in 1998, the Northern Ireland Assembly was suspended on five occasions. Governance arrangements in Northern Ireland continue to be fragile.

Globalisation, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the UK exit from the EU simultaneously introduce additional complexities that require non-traditional skills for political leaders and communities to navigate. The complex decision-making skills that political leaders and communities need to prevent higher levels of distrust, fear, and conflict, are more critical than ever.

There is an opportunity to reimagine complex political and civic leadership in Northern Ireland through innovation and capacity building.