The application for the 2024-2025 Obama Foundation Leaders Program is now open to applicants from all regions.
The Leaders program by the Obama Foundation aims to bring together and empower local groups of changemakers to drive long-term, positive change in their communities and beyond. Typically, participants are aged between 24 and 45 and are emerging leaders with a global outlook, fostering inclusive communities based on shared values where everyone is welcome to contribute and thrive.
Since its inception in 2018 in Africa, the Leaders program has expanded to include the Asia Pacific region in 2019 and Europe in 2020. The latest initiative was announced for the United States during the Obama Foundation Democracy Forum in New York City. Participants in the program come from diverse backgrounds, working in public, corporate, and nonprofit sectors, addressing various social impact issues.
The Leaders Program offers small group support, leadership coaching, discussions on critical issues, and practical skill development for driving social change. Through the program, participants establish a foundation of values for sustainable leadership, cultivate relationships to foster more inclusive and lasting change, and prepare to address systemic challenges.
Upon completion of the Leaders Program, participants gain a deeper understanding of how values-based leadership enhances their ability to effect change and are inspired to take action. Importantly, they join the Obama Leadership Network, a growing global community of nearly 900 changemakers, to further expand their regional and global perspectives.
Leaders Africa and Leaders Asia-Pacific are both six-month programs designed for emerging leaders. The Leaders Africa program is conducted virtually and focuses on exploring values-based leadership skills and fostering deep connections among 35 participants from across the continent. Meanwhile, the Leaders Asia-Pacific program is a hybrid model, involving a small cohort of 35 emerging leaders from various sectors and issue areas, dedicating 8-12 hours per month to develop their leadership skills and approaches.
The Leaders Program Europe identifies emerging leaders working in government, civil society, and the private sector who have shown a commitment to advancing the common good. Its goal is to establish a growing network of innovative and values-driven changemakers who aim to instigate change in their communities while nurturing and assisting one another. Leaders USA expands upon the Foundation’s efforts from the last five years to support changemakers guided by their values.
The Leaders Program provides 100 leaders based in the US with the chance to acquire new skills and resources to hasten positive and enduring change in their communities.
The Obama Foundation Leaders Africa program participants engage in the following key components as part of the program:
- Weekly Virtual Video Calls
- Monthly Community Groups
- Personalized Leadership Coaching
The Obama Foundation Leaders Asia-Pacific is a six-month, hybrid leadership development program that provides:
Over 8-12 hours per month, the program gathers a small group of 35 emerging leaders from various sectors and issue domains to explore their leadership approaches and practices.
During the six-month program, Leaders participate in 21 core sessions held weekly on Saturdays, each lasting approximately 2-3 hours.
The Leaders Europe Program offers:
- Timely discussions
- Training to build skills
- A supportive community
- Inspirational cultural events
The Obama Foundation Leaders United States Program includes these core components:
- Timely discussions
- Weekly virtual meetings
- Supportive community
- Personal leadership coaching
- Community gatherings
Citizenship/Residency: You meet one of the following criteria:
- Citizen of an eligible nation or territory in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, or the USA.
- Permanent resident of an eligible nation or territory in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, or the USA.
- Resided in an eligible nation or territory in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, or the USA for at least the past 5 years, regardless of citizenship or permanent residence status.
Geographic Focus: Your work primarily focuses on effecting positive change within local communities, an eligible nation or territory in the Asia-Pacific region, and/or the broader Asia-Pacific region. You demonstrate a strong commitment to continuing this focus in the Asia-Pacific region.
Leadership Experience: You must have at least three years of relevant experience in your field of expertise.
Age: You must be between 24 and 45 years old as of August 26, 2024.
Language Proficiency: You should be proficient in spoken and written English at a professional level.
Political Campaigns: You are not permitted to participate as a candidate for political office in any electoral campaign from the time of application submission until the conclusion of the program.
Program Commitment: You must commit to fully participating in the entire six-month program. The specific program dates are yet to be determined but will occur between August 26, 2024, and May 1, 2025. This will involve attending between 8 and 12 hours of virtual programming per month, as well as engaging in required leadership coaching sessions and community group discussions throughout the program.
Jurisdiction and Ability to Participate in a U.S.-Based Program: The Foundation is headquartered in the United States. To participate, you must not be subject to any legal or regulatory restrictions that would impede your involvement in virtual Foundation programming or your ability to travel to the US for any in-person programming that may occur.
Note: Certain eligibility criteria may vary by region.
American Samoa; Australia; Brunei; Cambodia; China; Cook Islands; Federated States of Micronesia; Fiji; French Polynesia; Guam; Hawaii; Hong Kong; Indonesia; Japan; Kiribati; Korea, North (DPRK); Korea, South (ROK); Laos; Macao; Malaysia; Marshall Islands; Mongolia; Myanmar; Nauru; New Caledonia; 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; 46 Council of Europe Member States; African Nations; and Kosovo.