THE OBAMA FOUNDATION SCHOLARS PROGRAM

December 3, 2021

The Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University brings together rising leaders from the United States and around the world who have demonstrated a commitment to finding solutions to challenges in their communities and countries.

Scholars complete a fully-funded 9-month residency on campus at Columbia World Projects, deepening their knowledge and skills, and building new capacities and networks to accelerate their impact.

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.

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.
  • Thought Leadership Speaker Series that introduces Scholars to seasoned practitioners from the NGO community, philanthropy, government, 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 deadline to submit an application for the 2022-2023 Obama Foundation Scholars Program is December 22 at 5PM ET.

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