The Obama Foundation Scholars Program will give rising leaders from the United States and around the world who are already making a difference in their communities the opportunity to take their work to the next level through an immersive curriculum that brings together academic, skills-based, and hands-on learning. The Scholars Program empowers individuals with a proven commitment to service with the tools they need to make their efforts more effective, to identify innovative solutions to complex global problems, and promote change through values-based leadership.
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. They will also have an opportunity to play a role in the Obama Foundation’s efforts to inspire, train, and connect rising leaders from around the globe.
The application period for the 2021-2022 cohort of Obama Foundation Scholars at Columbia University has closed. Please click here to learn more about the program and to stay updated on future application cycles.
We are pleased to share that, for the first time, we are extending the application for the 2021-22 cohort of Obama Scholars at Columbia University to U.S. citizens and residents who are making significant contributions to their communities or regions within the United States, in addition to seeking leaders from around the world.
Note: While our hope is that the 2021-22 Obama Foundation Scholars at Columbia University will reside on-site in the City of New York, there is a possibility Scholars will participate in the program remotely from their home countries and communities, due to COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the trajectory of the pandemic to ensure it is safe for Scholars to travel to and reside in the City of New York.
Read on to meet the third class of Obama Foundation Scholars who hail from 11 countries around the world!
You can get to know our previous classes of Obama Foundation Scholars and see highlights from their time together here.
ABOUT THE SCHOLARS PROGRAM
Obama Foundation Scholars at Columbia University will participate in Columbia World Projects, an initiative that mobilizes the university’s researchers and scholars to work with governments, organizations, businesses, and communities 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 and residing in New York City.
Scholars participate in an immersive program that brings together academic, skills-based and experiential learning, designed by Columbia University in consultation with the Obama Foundation. In addition to the activities taking place on the Columbia campus, the Obama Foundation offers a robust curriculum of leadership development, hands-on training, networking activities, and mentorship 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.
Key components of the program include:
A Weekly Seminar that runs the length of the academic year, exploring questions in tandem with key global trends including inequality, technological developments, the diffusion of power, population movements, and climate change.
Personal and Professional Development Workshops designed to strengthen practical skills to enhance Scholars’ ability to lead. Previous workshop topics include conflict management and resolution, public speaking, data analysis and interpretation, and resilience.
An Experiential Learning component that engages Scholars in the work of Columbia World Projects.
Audited Coursework that provides Scholars with the flexibility to select and enroll in up to two graduate level courses each semester at Columbia.
A Thought Leadership Speaker Series that introduces Scholars to seasoned practitioners from the NGO community, and philanthropic, governmental, and international organizations to expand Scholars’ networks and perspectives to help advance their work.
Partnership with a Columbia faculty adviser selected for their subject matter expertise to provide Scholars with new insights and perspectives to inform Scholars’ work.
Meaningful opportunities for Scholars to contribute to the intellectual life of the campus and gain exposure to different perspectives by engaging with the Columbia University community.
The Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University is accepting applications for the 2021–2022 program until February 5, 2021 at 5:00PM ET. You can learn more and apply here!
Have questions about the program? Read our FAQ sheet for more information.