The Obama Foundation Scholars Program

The Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University brings together rising leaders from around the world who have demonstrated a commitment to finding solutions to challenges in their communities, countries and regions. Scholars participate in an immersive program that brings together academic, skills-based and experiential learning. The deadline is on 13 December 2019.

Apply for The Obama Foundation Program

Over the course of an academic year, the Obama Foundation Scholars will have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge and skills and to build new capacities and networks that will accelerate their impact in their home countries.

A cornerstone of the program includes a required course, which will run for the length of the academic year. Scholars will also have an opportunity to select and enroll in additional courses offered by Columbia University that are relevant to their specific field or values-based leadership, or that fill in gaps in their previous studies.

Scholars will benefit from the following:

  • 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

Main criteria

Successful candidates:

  • Are emerging leaders who have made meaningful contributions to their field and are now at a “tipping point” in their careers
  • Are fluent in English (verbal, written and spoken)
  • Have the ability and inclination to positively shape the future of their community

Please submit your CV, a personal video statement, responses to short essay questions, proof of English proficiency, and three letters of recommendation.

Find out more.


Read more here.

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