Skip to content

Applications Open for Obama Foundation’s Leaders USA Program

January 18, 2023 at 8:45 AM CST

The Leaders USA program will scale the Obama Foundation’s efforts to train emerging leaders across the United States

CHICAGO – Today, the Obama Foundation opened applications for its new six-month, non-residential leadership development program for emerging leaders, 24-45 years old, who are passionate about making a positive impact in their communities. The program will serve 100 leaders across the United States in its first year and support their efforts to create change.

This new program builds on the Foundation’s work over the past five years to support emerging leaders in the United States and across the globe. The Obama Foundation Leaders USA program will scale the Foundation’s impact with U.S.-based leaders, and create opportunities for participants to learn new skills and tools that will help them make a difference, with a focus on strengthening our democratic culture and building more durable institutions for the future.

The Obama Foundation Leaders USA program will feature:

  • Interactive learning experiences through a values-driven leadership curriculum;

  • Regional breakout groups that will apply lessons learned to local context;

  • Opportunities to build connections with and learn from like-minded leaders across the country;

  • Leadership coaching and office hours with Obama Foundation leadership and experts across sectors; and

  • An in-person convening as a forum for deeper community-building and learning.

Upon completion of the program, Obama Leaders will have gained new skills and ideas as well as a deeper understanding of how to enact change. Eligible Obama Leaders are between 24-45 years old, have demonstrated at least three years of traction and impact in their field, and reside and work in the United States. We aim for the Leaders USA cohort to be reflective of the rich diversity in the United States, with representation from across geographies and underrepresented communities, including people from rural communities, people of color, Native Americans, LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities, immigrants, refugees, and veterans. All interested and eligible values-driven changemakers are encouraged to apply.

“Since its inception, the Obama Foundation has been committed to inspiring, empowering, and connecting the next generation of leaders,” said Obama Foundation Chief Executive Officer Valerie Jarrett. “Here in the United States and around the world, we have been doing just that – helping young people hone their leadership skills, connecting them to a wide network, and inspiring them to lead the change in their communities. The Leaders USA program marks a continuation of our efforts in the United States to build up the next generation of leaders. We’re looking forward to welcoming the inaugural cohort of 100 United States Leaders into the Foundation family. As our work grows, our mission remains the same, and we are grateful for the opportunity to help so many young people turn their hope into action.”

The application for the Obama Foundation Leaders USA program can be found  here. The application will close on Friday, February 3, 2023, at 12:00 PM U.S. Eastern Time.

The inaugural Leaders USA cohort will be announced this summer and programming will run through November. Upon completion of their program, the inaugural class of United States Leaders will join a global alumni network of over 850 changemakers. To learn more about the program, visit

For announcements introducing the inaugural cohort, follow the Obama Foundation on  Facebook (Opens in a new tab) Twitter (Opens in a new tab), and  Instagram (Opens in a new tab).


Contact: Gloria Nlewedim, [email protected]