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The Obama Foundation Rolls Out New All-Virtual Leadership Program Across Three Global Regions

November 9, 2021 at 10:15 AM CST

Obama Foundation Leaders in Africa, Asia Pacific, and Europe will participate in a newly formatted, all-virtual leadership program with a scaled cohort size of 35 leaders respectively.

CHICAGO—After launching an all-virtual Obama Foundation Leaders program for its inaugural European cohort in 2020, the Foundation is pleased to announce that it will welcome new Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe Leaders cohorts in early 2022 as the Foundation continues to engage talented leaders around the world through dynamic virtual training.The Obama Foundation Leaders program provides emerging leaders, ages 24 through 40, with values-based leadership development frameworks to help build their skills and scale their work across public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

Having to think creatively around ways to welcome leaders into its global network at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Leaders Europe served as a pilot program to test new training modules and modes of engagement without the traditional in-person, multi-day convenings originally associated with each region’s program launch. As a part of the change to an online environment, several adjustments were implemented to provide an enriching experience—including a new cohort size of 35, down from 200, to offer more individualized support and growth opportunities.

“The success we’ve seen from our Leaders Europe launch really speaks to the strength of this reimagined program and its ability to inspire and empower emerging leaders—even in a completely virtual setting,” explained Obama Foundation Programs Director Cedric Brown. “I’m excited to launch this model across all our program’s regions. While we hope to return to in-person convenings of some kind when possible, this new model enables us to foster deeper connections between participants and grants us the ability to provide Leaders with a focused, meaningful experience that augments their current efforts to create sustainable change within their communities.”

The newly formatted six-month, non-residential program will bring together changemakers from Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe respectively for virtual sessions designed to help them drive change by honing their leadership skills, building supportive relationships with their peers, and engaging with thought leaders and members of the Obama Foundation community. As a part of the revamped experience, Obama Leaders will also have opportunities to participate in various virtual experiences and special events, including one-on-one conversations with experienced mentors in the Foundation's global network.

The Obama Foundation Leaders program originally launched in Africa in 2018 and has steadily grown, introducing an Asia-Pacific program in 2019 and a Europe program in 2020. President Obama’s deep roots in Africa and across the Asia Pacific have informed his values and faith in the passion of this generation of leaders across these regions. The recently launched Europe Leaders program also builds upon the legacy of the Obamas, with a focus on shared values and ethical leadership.

Leaders Africa and Leaders Europe will welcome their new cohorts and launch programming in January 2022, with Leaders Asia-Pacific launching in Spring 2022. This new class of Obama Leaders across each region will join a global alumni network of 635 noteworthy changemakers upon completion of their program. To learn more about the Obama Foundation Leaders program, visit

For announcements introducing the new cohorts in Africa, Asia Pacific, and Europe, follow the Obama Foundation on Facebook (Opens in a new tab), Twitter (Opens in a new tab), and Instagram (Opens in a new tab).



Charliese Agnew