Marshall Memorial Fellows
Founded in 1982, the Marshall Memorial Fellowship (MMF) was created by the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) to introduce a new generation of European leaders to the United States. In 1999, GMF launched a companion program to expose emerging U.S. leaders to a changing and expanding Europe. Today, both programs have been restructured to intensify the exchange of ideas, solutions, and best practices, and facilitate a continuous evolution of transatlantic networks and partnership in a rapidly changing and more intricate global environment.
The Marshall Memorial Fellowship is a unique opportunity for emerging leaders from the United States and Europe to explore each others' politics, business, innovation, and culture through experiential learning. American and European Fellows each visit five cities during the 24-day program.
Leadership Lincoln annually hosts a group of Marshall Memorial Fellows during their stay in the U.S. While in Lincoln the program traditionally focuses on agriculture, our Unicameral form of government and volunteerism.
One evening is dedicated to an open and courageous conversation between the Fellows and Leadership Lincoln hosts where both sides learn from one another. Conversations have ranged from gun control to foreign policy to the balance between religion and the government. Nebraskans have taken away as much from the conversations as have our visitors.
Our efforts are greatly aided by a group of dedicated host families who extend a welcome to the visitors by providing them with a home stay. MMFs have enjoyed driving combines/tractors, visiting small towns during Halloween, participating in traditional Thanksgiving meals, church services and community fund raisers. Hosts have gone out of their way to provide the Europeans with a sense of Americans at their best. They are embraced by Nebraska hospitality and this is an opportunity for the MMFs to see "real" America. As one of the MMF stated: "While we gain much knowledge wherever we go, it is the people we will remember for life." Friendships have developed between the host families and the MMFs and a number of the host families have visited the MMFs in Europe.