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Obama Foundation Expands Programs to Train Emerging Leaders Across the United States

November 17, 2022 at 6:00 AM CST

President Obama to announce a new program that will scale efforts to train emerging leaders across the U.S. at the Obama Foundation’s first-ever Democracy Forum

NEW YORK – Today, during his remarks at the Democracy Forum in New York City, President Obama will announce a new program that will expand the Obama Foundation’s efforts to train young leaders across the United States. The Obama Foundation Leaders United States program is a six-month leadership development program for emerging leaders, 24-45 years old, who are passionate about making a positive impact on their communities. The program will serve 100 leaders across the United States in its first year and support their efforts to create change.

“Since its inception, our Foundation’s mission has been to inspire, empower, and connect the next generation of changemakers,” said President Obama. “We now have a global network of thousands of leaders, not only here in the U.S. but in every corner of the globe – Europe, Africa, the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America. They’re entrepreneurs and elected officials, non-profit leaders and grassroots activists, artists and journalists and educators – all of them tackling some of the most vital issues of our time, from climate change to income inequality, from reducing racial and ethnic conflict to expanding opportunity for women and girls.

“The creativity, determination and passion of these leaders are already making an impact — in lives saved, environments restored, children educated. They’re creating new models for clean energy generation and poverty alleviation. It’s remarkable and inspiring — and a little humbling, since I sure wasn’t making such an impact at their age. And the good news is, we’re just scratching the surface of what this next generation is capable of.

“Today, I’m happy to announce that because of the consistently high interest in our programs, we’ll be launching a new and expanded Leaders United States program in the coming months that can help more young people put their idealism to work.”

This new program builds on the Foundation’s work over the past five years to support the next generation of young leaders in the United States and across the globe. In the U.S., Foundation programs, including the  My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, have worked with thousands of community leaders and organizations to address the persistent opportunity gaps boys and young men of color face, so that all young people can reach their full potential. The  Obama Foundation Scholars program serves emerging global leaders annually at both the University of Chicago and Columbia University who are interested in gaining tools to make their efforts more effective at creating change in their own communities. Across the country, the inaugural class of 100  Voyager Scholarship recipients are gaining barrier-reducing financial support and exposure to networks and experiences to help them refine their plans for their public service careers. All Obama Foundation programs are designed to equip values-based leaders with the tools, resources, and connections they need to change their world.

The  Obama Foundation Leaders program has already worked with more than 700 changemakers across Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe over the last four years. The new Obama Foundation Leaders United States 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 institutions toward a more inclusive, participatory democracy.

The Obama Foundation Leaders United States 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 in Chicago 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.

To learn more about the program and to sign up for updates when applications open in January, visit: To watch the Democracy Forum live visit:


Contact: Gloria Nlewedim, [email protected]