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Introduction to the Mountaintop Fellowship with Leadership Training at Harvard University, USA
Applications are now welcome for the fully-funded Mountaintop Fellowship with Leadership Training at Harvard University, USA.
Mountaintop is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit offering a paid, one-year, full-time fellowship for exceptional emerging leaders to stay in or return to their home communities and contribute to systems change in lower-income places around the world. Mountaintop matches Fellows with locally led NGOs, social ventures, and government agencies to lead high-impact projects, strengthens the capacity of Fellow hosts, and amplifies Fellows’ potential through mentorship, grants, a lifelong community of inspiring peers, and a two-week leadership institute hosted at Harvard University’s Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Ethics.
Mountaintop offers paid opportunities for both “host led fellowships” (placements serving with a predetermined NGO, social venture, or government agency) and “applicant led fellowships” (independent projects proposed by the applicant anywhere outside the United States).
How it Works
For its inaugural cohort, Mountaintop will place 15-25 Fellows across 8+ countries. Below are more details.
Mountaintop provides host led fellowships and applicant led fellowships. For;
1) host led fellowships, Mountaintop partners with high-impact government agencies, NGOs, and social ventures in underserved communities in lower income countries to address a critical community need. Hosts determine a stipend for a one-year full-time position equal to the annual salary of comparable employees on their team. 2) applicant-led fellowships, Fellows apply for a scholarship to lead a high-impact independent project anywhere in the world outside the United States.
2) Recruitment and Selection
Mountaintop coordinates with hosts, universities, and leadership networks to recruit outstanding emerging professionals to serve in fellowships in their home communities and countries. Mountaintop selects Fellows who are committed to permanently staying in their home communities over the course of their careers and who have a demonstrated track record in public service and/or entrepreneurship. There are no age restrictions. For host led fellowships, hosts participate in Finalist interviews and approve all selections.
For those who struggle with English, candidates can complete the application in their native language and selected Fellows are given a complimentary online English course before beginning the Leadership Institute. Those who do not have access to cheap, reliable Internet can download the application and submit responses (written or typed) via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In July before their placements, Fellows attend a two-week Leadership Institute at Harvard’s Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Ethics in Cambridge, USA. The Leadership Institute trains Fellows on Mountaintop’s transformational leadership curriculum, which includes: moral leadership, or living by higher values while inspiring others to do the same; systems leadership, or impacting culture, ecosystems, policies, and other fundamental levers to contribute to sustainable change; public leadership, or working with governments as an elected official, civil servant, or advocate to strengthen democratic institutions and make large-scale impact; and collective leadership, or cultivating the capacities and leadership skills of fellow community members.
The Institute will be facilitated by world class partners from academia, public service, philanthropy, entrepreneurship, and ministry who will represent the diversity of the globe in geography, culture, ethnicity, and ideology. Current partners include the Aspen Institute Leadership Index, Harvard’s Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Ethics, and faculty at Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School. In addition, selected Fellows will have the opportunity to provide input into what they would like to emphasize during the Institute, helping shape the training and customizing it for their needs.
4) Catalyst Funds
Once their placements begin, Fellows can apply for up to $2,500 in competitive Mountaintop funding to invest in community empowerment projects to strengthen local leadership.
5) Long-term Sustainability
For alumni, Mountaintop provides lifetime support through 1:1 mentorship, job support, and access to grants and investments to help them stay rooted in their communities. For hosts, Mountaintop provides training, a network of practice, and access to funders to help them deepen and scale their work.
What We Look For
Mountaintop is seeking individuals who we believe have the highest potential to be transformational leaders in their home communities long term.
- Committed to serving their home country over the course of their career. For larger countries, we look for commitment to home community or home state/province.
- Committed to attending a full-time in-person training event on Harvard’s campus in Cambridge, USA July 13th-26th, 2024.
- Committed to serve 40 hours/week on their fellowship project for the duration of the fellowship. Jobs, classes, parenting, or other responsibilities must not interfere with this full-time commitment.
- Note that there are no general age or degree requirements, but specific host led fellowships may have additional eligibility requirements.
- Transformational Leadership Potential
- Outstanding track record driving meaningful impact in leadership, public service, and/or social entrepreneurship.
- Innovative, systems oriented, collaborative, ambitious, and innovative.
- At the early stage of their professional careers.
- Can demonstrate that the Mountaintop Fellowship can meaningfully accelerate their trajectory as a transformational leader and help them stay in or return to their home community or country.
More Information on the Mountaintop Fellowship with Leadership Training at Harvard University, USA
Fellows work full-time (40 hours/week) on their fellowship project. Note that a limited number of host led fellowships may start earlier. Specific timeline information will be provided on each host led fellowship’s profile.
After their fellowships, alumni receive ongoing support to build public minded ventures, advance into positions of leadership in governments, nonprofits, and business, launch movements, and run for elected office.
The deadline to complete the application is 11:59 pm local time on September 30, 2023.
How to Apply
Ready to apply? Click HERE to view the full details about the program on the official announcement page before proceeding to the application page.