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President Obama Announces New Class of 105 Obama Foundation Leaders

February 21, 2023 at 7:00 AM CST

The emerging leaders will join three 35-member regional cohorts representing Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe and convene with President Obama in June

CHICAGO – Today, President Obama announced a new class of 105 emerging changemakers from Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe participating in the Obama Foundation Leaders program. Program participants were chosen from a competitive pool of more than 4,000 applicants, making up three 35-member regional cohorts. Together, these “Obama Leaders” represent 75 nations and territories and are working on a wide range of issues, including the climate crisis, democracy and civic engagement, diversity and racial advocacy, and refugee and disability rights. Within their fields, their roles vary widely, including:

  • A founder of a civic engagement group that mobilizes nonpartisan teams of Nigerian youth to promote civic education and increase citizen participation in their national elections;

  • A sports development leader working with a superstar athlete to empower Japanese girls; and

  • The co-founder of an academy that works to provide technical education for young adults from under-resourced communities in Stockholm.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the incredible Leaders we’ve worked with over the years, and I’m excited to welcome this new class into our community of changemakers,” said President Obama. “These Leaders have already demonstrated remarkable courage and dedication, and our goal is to help them do even more. From entrepreneurs and educators to nonprofit leaders and grassroots organizers, each of them will play an important role in building a stronger, more sustainable, more inclusive world. I look forward to getting together with these new Leaders in Athens in June, hearing about the challenges they face, and learning more about how they’re turning their hope into action.”

Launched in 2018, the  Obama Foundation Leaders program seeks to empower emerging leaders to accelerate positive and lasting change in their communities, regions, and across the globe. The program offers Leaders practical skill building for social change, leadership coaching, discussion of critical issues, and small group support. In weekly sessions, Obama Leaders bring different ideas and life experiences to their respective regional-cohorts, learn from one another, and motivate each other to deepen the impact of their work.

In June, the program will culminate in an in-person convening with President Obama in Athens, Greece that brings together all 105 Obama Leaders. The Leaders convening will be an opportunity for changemakers to conclude their six-month leadership development journey, build cross-cohort connections, and graduate into the Obama Foundation Leadership Network, our community of global program alumni.

While in Athens, President Obama will also participate in the SNF Nostos Conference from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).

To learn more about the program, visit For more updates from the Obama Foundation, follow us 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]