The Obama Foundation Scholars program seeks emerging leaders from the United States and around the world, who are focused on an issue of global importance, have a track record and commitment to advancing the public good, and want to accelerate their impact through an intensive program.
The Obama Foundation Scholars program seeks diverse cohorts who represent a cross section of backgrounds including those working in government, the private sector, and NGOs and civil society organizations.
The program will build lasting relationships among emerging leaders who are committed to working together to solve the most pressing challenges of our time, thereby creating a global network that reaches across issues and borders. After completing the program, Obama Foundation Scholars will:
- Return to work on their global issue of focus and implement their personalized action plan to accelerate positive change within their community.
- Have an opportunity to play a role in the Obama Foundation’s efforts to inspire, empower, and connect rising leaders from around the globe.
The Obama Foundation offers a robust curriculum of leadership development, training, networking activities, and customized support throughout the academic year to help the Obama Scholars gain the real-world skills, tools, and experiences they need to expand the impact of their work when they return home. These experiences allow Scholars to gain insights from high-level leaders across sectors and from the wealth of knowledge across the network of Obama Foundation program participants while planning the way they’d like to reinvest their new skills, networks, and knowledge after they graduate from the program.
Foundation-led activities include both cohorts of Scholars, based at UChicago and Columbia, with the aim of creating a broader global community of practice for shared learning to both inform Scholars’ approaches to their own work and accelerate that work as they return to their communities after graduation. Each cohort’s experience is tailored to tap into the rich research ecosystems of these two world-class institutions and the cities where they are based, providing unique and immersive learning opportunities for Scholars in Chicago and New York City.
- Monthly stipend to assist with living expenses in New York City;
- A furnished studio apartment within walking distance of Columbia University;
- All tuition and fees for up to four courses at Columbia University;
- Basic medical, dental and life insurance for the duration of the program in New York City;
- Air travel to and from home country and any program-related activities.
Key components of the experience led by the Obama Foundation include:
- An orientation program to welcome the cohort to the Obama Foundation community and a concluding graduation program to celebrate the cohort’s achievements and present their action plans;
- Leadership Development Workshops and Conversations designed to improve Scholars’ ability to tell the story of their work, reflect and refine their leadership approach, and build sustained, personal resilience. Through a variety of virtual session formats, Scholars also hear about the innovative solutions coming from the Obama Foundation program participant alumni community and have conversations with high-level thought leaders across sectors;
- Development and refinement of an action plan that draws on their experiences throughout the program, centered around their initiative of focus and their future vision for their work;
- Connections across the growing alumni community, the Foundation facilitates direct connections between current Obama Scholars and prior cohorts, based on their issues of focus;
- Tailored support including an executive coach and strategic communications and fundraising experts to aid Scholars in their action plan development, and their own progression over their leadership journey.
The Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University seeks rising leaders from the United States and around the world who meet the following criteria:
- Are emerging leaders who have made meaningful contributions to their field and are now at a “breakthrough moment” in their careers;
- Have a proven commitment to service and leadership within a community, region or country, coupled with a demonstrated commitment to return to these communities following their completion of the program and apply their enhanced training, skills, and connections on a long-term basis for the benefit of these communities;
- Are fluent in English (verbal, written and spoken);
- Have the ability and inclination to positively shape the future of their community;
- Have a demonstrated commitment to inclusivity, community-orientation, hope, courage, imagination, strategy, accountability, integrity and resilience;
- Are entering their final year of study at the Harris School of Public Policy; Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice; and/or the Booth School of Business;
- Have at least three years of demonstrated leadership experience with clear traction tackling a particular social challenge and are now at a “breakthrough moment” in their careers;
- Have a demonstrated commitment, following their completion of the program, to apply their enhanced training, skills, and connections to tackling this social challenge in their community;
- Are seeking to refine their approach to tackling this challenge by including feedback and ideas from a variety of contexts around the world;
- Have demonstrated academic success;
- Have a demonstrated commitment to humility, integrity, inclusivity, stewardship, fearlessness, imagination, and teamwork;
- Will not be engaging in an electoral campaign for political office during the program term.
For more Information, visit Obama Foundation Scholars program.