Monday, June 24, 2024

APPLY: 2023 Obama Foundation Scholars Program for Emerging Leaders

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Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University will participate in Columbia World Projects, a new initiative in which faculty and researchers from Columbia will partner with governments, nonprofits, the private sector, and intergovernmental organizations to create tangible solutions to real-world issues.

The program will also take advantage of the unique opportunities for engagement that come with being at one of the world’s most important centers of research in the city of New York.

Summary

  • Host: Obama Foundation
  • Category: Training | Fellowships
  • Eligible Countries: All Countries
  • Reward: Full Sponsorship 
  • Deadline: October  21, 2022

Details:

Obama Foundation Scholars reside at Columbia World Projects, a new initiative that aims to systematically bring university research out into the world in the form of projects that will have a significant and lasting positive impact on people’s lives and will help guide the way to solutions to intractable problems, while additionally enriching research and scholarship. Scholars will participate in CWP activities during the academic year.

Upon completion of the program, Obama Foundation Scholars, empowered by their experience, return to the regions where they have been working and continue along a path of service.

The program’s purpose is to help Obama Foundation Scholars take the connections and skills they acquire during the program and apply them to benefit their communities, countries, and regions. We expect that Obama Foundation Scholars will remain engaged with the Obama Foundation after the conclusion of the program.

Requirements:

Please be sure that you meet ALL of the following eligibility criteria:

Based in Region:

You currently reside in one of the following eligible nations or territories in the region in which you are applying:

  • Africa: All nations, countries, and territories on the African continent.
  • Asia-Pacific: American Samoa; Australia; Brunei; Cambodia; China; Cook Islands; Federated States of Micronesia; Fiji; French Polynesia; Guam; Hawai`i; Hong Kong; Indonesia; Japan; Kiribati; Korea, North (DPRK); Korea, South (ROK); Laos; Malaysia; Marshall Islands; Mongolia; Myanmar; Nauru; New Caledonia; Macao; New Zealand; Niue; Northern Mariana Islands; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Pitcairn Islands; Samoa; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Taiwan; Thailand; Timor-Leste; Tokelau; Tonga; Tuvalu; Vanuatu; Vietnam; Wallis and Futuna

Please note that residents of South Asian countries are not eligible for this particular program. The Obama Foundation expects to offer future leadership programs for South Asian countries.

  • Europe: Any of the 46 Council of Europe member states and Kosovo.

Citizenship/Residency:

 You must meet one of the criteria below for the region in which you are applying:

  • You are a citizen of an eligible nation or territory OR
  • You are a permanent resident of an eligible nation or territory OR
  • You are a refugee or asylum seeker in an eligible nation or territory OR
  • You have lived in an eligible nation or territory for at least the last 5 years, regardless of documentation status.

Geographic Focus:

 Your current and future work is geographically focused on creating positive change for your local community, an eligible nation or territory, and/or the broader region you are applying to.

Leadership Experience:

You can demonstrate at least three years of relevant experience in your issue area.

Age

You will be between 24 and 45 years old on July 15, 2023.

Language Proficiency

You are professionally proficient in English (spoken and written).

Political Campaigns:

You will not be engaging in an electoral campaign for political office between February 1 and July 15, 2023.

Program Commitment:

 You can commit to fully participating in the entire duration of the program between February 1 and July 15, 2023, which will include a three-day in-person convening (public health, safety, and security conditions permitting) in late June or early July and up to 12 hours of live virtual programming per month. Participants should have no more than three absences to attend the convening and complete the program.

Duration and Reward

  • 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
  • Air travel to and from home country and any program-related activities
  • Leadership development programming led by the Obama Foundation that will help scholars gain the real-world skills, tools, and experiences to expand the impact of their work when they return home

Criteria

As described above, we aim to assemble a Leaders cohort from a pool of candidates with a range of backgrounds, identities, and experience levels.  We take all of these into consideration when deciding upon who is invited to become a Leader.

Our ideal candidates have these characteristics:

  • Possesses a clear issue of focus and can describe or measure their impact so far
  • Holds a leadership position in their change-making work, whether full-time or volunteer
  • Demonstrates a deeply ethical, values-based, equitable, and collaborative approach to leadership
  • Demonstrates a willingness to learn from and share with other leaders in a group setting

We have learned over the years that while many candidates may possess most or all of these attributes, because of capacity limitations, we can’t enroll everyone who applies to this highly competitive program. Therefore, we try to curate a deliberate mix of participants whose perspectives and experiences will complement each other. 

Method of Application

Use the link provided below to apply

After reading the criteria below, create an account and log in. At the end of the application, be sure to click on EACH submit button on successive screens!

A PDF of the application guidelines and questions is available to download at the bottom of this page.

Deadline: October  21, 2022

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