International Fellowship

Since 2001, PPI has recruited 90 outstanding post-collegiate scholar athletes as International Fellows to serve two year terms with its programs around the world. PPI Fellows provide basketball expertise, serve as mentors and role models, and act as neutral facilitators for PPI coaches and participants. Fellows also benefit from an exceptional educational and professional experience and are at the forefront of a worldwide movement to use sport as a vehicle for social change

Upon completing their fellowships, PPI alumni have gone on to careers in fields including finance, technology, sports management, social entrepreneurship, and international development and have attended graduate schools including the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Columbia University Business School, and Tuft’s Fletcher School of Diplomacy. 

Fellowship Responsibilities:


  • To assist and support local coaches in the field at twice-weekly practices;
  • To lead and coordinate twinning sessions for large groups of children, with a view towards serving as a neutralizer and creating a fun and inclusive atmosphere
  • To assist in carrying out Peace Education sessions with facilitators in the field on a regular basis, by leading basketball drills from the Anatomy of Peace Curriculum
  • To lead weekly basketball and life skills clinics
  • To assist with planning and leading events, such as tournaments, Peace League, retreats etc.
  • To help lead weekly Leadership Development Training in conjunction with local Project Manager and coach, including basketball training, leadership training and social action projects
  • To assist as a trainer for professional development clinics, overnight retreats etc.
  • To conduct clinics/lectures for local partners as needed on behalf of PPI


  • To create/document training materials (manuals, video’s etc.)
  • To assist with office work, including data collection, data entry, general administration
  • To attend team meetings as scheduled
  • To serve as a positive role model for youth in the program
  • To serve as a representative for the organization in general and during site visits
  • To maintain frequent communication with co-workers, supervisors and partners


  • To contribute to PPI's blog “From the Field” on a weekly basis
  • To collect PPI "success stories" from a participants, coaches, community members etc. 
  • To take and upload photos of activities and manage on-line photo albums
  • To assist with responsible promotion with social media (facebook, twiiter etc.)

To apply, please send a resume, application (download at the top of the page) and cover letter to For additional questions, please call: 202-408-5116.

Featured Alumni

Bridging DividesThibault Manekin, PPI-South Africa 2003-2006

“…one of [PPI’s] biggest lessons was how much we [Fellows] learned about people, and that’s translated really well into the work [I am] doing now.”

Thibault heads Seawall Development, which is innovatively revitalizing Baltimore’s abandoned industrial landscape.

Developing LeadersRacquel Thompson, PPI-South Africa 2007-2009

“I feel like the definition of empowerment.”

Raquel is currently the Africa Liaison of the Knowledge Team at Ashoka Ventures, a nonprofit that supports social entrepreneurialism all around the world.


Changing PerceptionsJulie Younes, PPI-Middle East 2008-2010

“The past year has been fulfilling both personally and professionally, as I have learned much and grown through my experiences with PPI – ME.” 

Following her Fellowship, Jule received her Masters degree in International Development at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Julie is currently working for in Washington, DC as PeacePlayers International's full-time Director of Monitoring and Evaluation. 

Fellowship Alumni have gone on to work or study at the following organizations and institutions, among many others...

  • DuPlays (Social Sports in Dubai)
  • Connect2Compete
  • National Basketball Association (NBA)
  • New York Knicks
  • Laureus Sport for Good Foundation
  • adidas
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • United for DC (DC United)
  • McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University
  • ELEVATE New Orleans
  • MEET (Middle East Education Through Technology)
  • Center for Governance Innovation
  • Comcast SportsNet Chicago


Thanks to the generous support of Arn and Nancy Tellem, in 2014 and 2015 the Tellem Family Fellowship supported four Fellows in PeacePlayers International - Middle East. Every day, these Fellows worked hand in hand with 30 local staff and coaches to deliver high quality basketball and peace building activities to over 500 children and youth in more than a dozen Jewish and Palestinian communities throughout Israel.

Courtney Boylan, Middle East 2014-2015

Originally from Minnesota, Courtney was a four-year letter winner for the University of Michigan women’s basketball team under Head Coach Kevin Borseth. After graduating, Courtney served as an Assistant Coach at Northern Kentucky University alongside former Michigan Assistant, Dawn Plitzuweit. Courtney was first introduced to PPI by her Sport Management Professor, a Jewish-American that had family living in Israel. After graduation Courtney moved to Israel and in November, 2014 became a Tellem Family Fellow for PPI – ME. In her new role, Courtney is providing support to coaches in Jerusalem and northern Israel, specifically the communities of Tamra and Zichron Yaakov, where many Arab and Jewish towns exist side by side, but with almost no contact between each other’s inhabitants. Courtney said, "“As a player and coach I saw first hand how basketball could be used as a tool to bring so many different types of people together. I am extremely excited to be apart of something so special with PPI and grateful to the Tellem family for supporting my fellowship.”

Jamie Walsh, Middle East 2013-2014

A native of the greater Philadelphia area, Jamie was awarded a four year scholarship to play women’s varsity basketball at La Salle University, where she was elected team captain in her junior and senior seasons and holds the all time record for three pointers made. Jamie first joined PPI - ME in August, 2012, and due to her excellent work was later selected to be the first Tellem Family Fellow. Jamie helped run the Leadership Development Program for PPI - ME’s coaches in training. After completing her Fellowship in October, 2014 Jamie returned to Israel to continue working for PPI as a full time staff member. Jamie said, “It is not often in life you get to be involved first hand in something that is really changing the world. Thank you to Arn and Nancy Tellem for giving me the opportunity to work for PeacePlayers.” 



The Ron and Kathryn Shapiro Family Fellowship

The Ron and Kathryn Shapiro Family Fellowship was founded in 2007 to honor the philanthropic legacy of the Shapiro Family. Ronald M. Shapiro, an expert negotiator, attorney, representative, educator, and author, served as PeacePlayers International’s first Chairperson and remains its Chair Emeritus. The Fellowship is generously supported by the friends and family of Ron and his wife, Kathryn. Fellowships support all living expenses for Fellows, including room, board, and a small stipend for the entirety of their two-year volunteer terms. Get to know two Shapiro Fellows below! 

Bridging DividesMeghan Houlihan, Northern Ireland 2010-2012

Meghan, a native of Rockville Centre, New York, joined the PPI family interested in how she could use basketball to help inspire the young girls of Northern Ireland. Before becoming a Fellow, Meghan played basketball while studying at Yale University. Later, Meghan became a volunteer for Camfed, a nonprofit that fights poverty and HIV/AIDS in Africa by promoting education and investing in leadership opportunities for young women. 

During her two-years as a Shapiro Fellow, Meghan led cross-community Twinning programs between Protestant and Catholic primary school children in Belfast and Lurgan, and worked on the development and delivery of PPI-NI’s community relations curricula, an element of the Twinning program that aims to challenge sectarianism and promote mutual respect through age-appropriate activities and discussion. Meghan's commitment to her communities grew and she also began coaching at the girls' Cross-Community League and facilitating courses on diversity in sport and conflict resolution for young adults. She said of the experience: "While the international media tells the story of a region unable to overcome its troubled past, to actually be on the ground in Belfast is to witness the progressive spirit of so many individuals and organizations working to promote peace and a shared future. Although many of the kids are new to the game, their enthusiasm to learn and compete drives these fun-filled sessions."


Bridging DividesAdam Hirsch, Cyprus, 2010-2012

After graduating in 2009 from the University of San Francisco with a Masters of Science in Sport Management, Adam was on his way to his dream job at the time, working for the Golden State Warriors. It was only by chance that he heard about PPI, but when Adam realized that his passion for sports could take him overseas to work with children in need, the choice was clear, and just 3 months later he was on a plane to Cyprus.

During his two-year term as a Shapiro Fellow, Adam worked with local staff to bring Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot together and attempt to break down the prejudices and social divides of a 38-year long militarized conflict. Day to day Adam helped organize bicommunal activities, coordinated media and fundraising efforts, and coached several basketball teams. But for Adam, his most important role was that of mentor and ambassador. Adam spent much of his time learning the local languages, immersing himself in Cypriot culture, and building trust with his communities that is essential for international development to work. 

Adam is now working at the PPI headquarters in Washington D.C. as the Deputy Director of Development and Communications, taking with him the knowledge and experiences of 2 years in the field. "I am so grateful to those who made this experience possible, but the impact of the PPI Fellows is ongoing, and there are a lot more children and communities that can benefit from our work. I look forward to assisting the new Fellows as they begin their journey around the world bringing children together for peace." 


"We find that the PeacePlayers program brings in life-skills in a non-threatening way, and is helping to educate children on the big issues of HIV…We also find that in the PeacePlayers program, we...
Pamilla Mudhray, CSI Manager, Sasol, South Africa
"By focusing on the game of basketball and the values of sportsmanship, the youth learn to break down stereotypes to contribute to an environment whereby children who play together can learn to live...
Bicommunal Support Program, U.S. Embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus
"I met new players I didn't know before, and learned how to play with new people. The best part was learning things from new players and different areas coming together. I learned you don't have to...
Amir, Participant, PeacePlayers International – Middle East
"I was on the train one day with my Jewish friends and they started making fun of an Arab woman…I told them to stop and that she was embarrassed and that she just wanted to go to work. I then told...
Adiel, Participant, PeacePlayers International – Middle East
“I love this organization because it unites Greek-Cypriots with Turkish-Cypriots by doing what we all love, playing basketball!” 
Dimitris Charalambous, Participant, PeacePlayers International - Cyprus
"I was scared to death at first. But by the end of the match, I realized we were all the same."
Geina Mdungo, Participant, PeacePlayers Interational – South Africa
"When you get to know your teammates, it doesn’t really matter what their religion is."
Aoife Doherty, Participant, PeacePlayers International – Northern Ireland
"I’m glad that Ronnie’s taking part in PeacePlayers…hopefully Ronny doesn’t have to go through what I went through at Ronnie’s age.”
Manny Macauley, Parent, PeacePlayers International – Northern Ireland
"Programmes like this that work at the grass roots level with the young people in our society are vital to achieving sustainable peace within our communities. We are committed to supporting and...
Denis Rooney, CBE, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland, Chairman, International Fund for Ireland
“The reason that I participate in this program and love it so much is because it helps me learn new things while playing my favorite sport. I have made so many new friends, Greek-Cypriots and Turkish...
Victor Petrov, Participant, PeacePlayers International - Cyprus
"At the start [playing together] wasn't weird, but it was different because we would never have gotten the opportunity to go out and meet Protestants and be friends with them."
Ann Murphy, Participant, PeacePlayers International – Northern Ireland
"If she takes one thing away, it’s to know that there’s no differences from the other community, that everybody’s equal, and that she has great enjoyment with PeacePlayers."
Nula Doherty, Parent, PeacePlayers International – Northern Ireland
"A lot of kids believe that one kid on the other side is a good person, but every other one is a bad person, and they then carve out these narrow exceptions. What [PPI’s] curriculum is doing is...
Chad Ford, Director, David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding, Brigham Young University
"Basketball has added a new dimension to our sporting activities. Of course, it improves coordination and also improves communication between the kids themselves. It’s wonderful that PPI has become...
Jennifer Sonasundrum, Principal, Merry Hill Primary School, South Africa
“The love the coaches have for basketball inspires us to continually improve our game and they taught us how to be a better person on the court as well in our everyday life” 
Christiana Miltiadous, Participant, PeacePlayers International - Cyprus
 “Through basketball I got over my fears and the stereotypes that we were taught in school. Basketball helped me to become friends with those guys without even speaking!”
Alexis Georgiou, Participant, PeacePlayers International - Cyprus
"In the beginning I participated for the basketball, but then I made friends with the Turkish-Cypriots. Now we play and we all have fun together."
Evripidis Kardamilas, Participant, PeacePlayers International – Cyprus
"Through PeacePlayers I have learnt how to share, trust, cooperate, and respect everyone, creating friendship and peace. PeacePlayers taught us whatever your religion or language you are talking, it...
Cetin Pirlanta, Participant, PeacePlayers International - Cyprus
"We work in an education system that is divided…PeacePlayers program is pointed towards the integration of those children. You’re getting children to mix in an environment where there’s not the...
Derrick Harkness, Principal, Carrs Glen Primary School, Northern Ireland
"We typically use activities such as art and drama to bridge divides between the youth. We always knew that sport had the potential to do the same, but PPI - ME's sport day went way above and beyond...
Yael Gur, Project Manager, A New Way, Israel
“Why did I join? Simple, it gave me purpose and it made me happy. It gave me the feeling of belonging somewhere. It was a place where your goals and hobbies harmonize with the goals of an...
Eleni Partakki, Participant, PeacePlayers International - Cyprus
"It’s hard to live without my parents, but my PPI coach is always there for me. He’s really more like a brother."
Sihle Cele, Participant, PeacePlayers International – South Africa
“PeacePlayers has taught me lots of important things, like how to be a good person, a good friend, and a good leader. One of the most important things it has taught me is how to educate the younger...
Nursu Tilki, Participant, PeacePlayers International - Cyprus