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Leaders Program

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Leaders Asia-Pacific is a non-residential leadership development program that seeks to ground emerging leaders in a values-based leadership framework to advance inclusive and lasting change in their communities, in the Asia-Pacific region, and across the world.

About the Leaders Asia-Pacific Program

From Indonesia to Hawaiʻi, President Obama’s ties to the Asia-Pacific have informed his values and his faith in the emerging generation of changemakers across the region.

Leaders Asia-Pacific launched in 2019 to equip these leaders with a values-based leadership framework to advance inclusive and lasting change in their communities.

Leaders Asia-Pacific is a six-month, hybrid leadership development program. For 8-12 hours a month, the program brings together a small cohort of 35 emerging leaders from across sectors and issue areas to step outside of what they lead, to examine how they lead. 

Over the course of the six-month program, Leaders engage in 21 core sessions that run weekly on Saturdays for about 2-3 hours each. In these workshops, Leaders gain key tools to advance their leadership and impact, such as storytelling, understanding power dynamics, and communicating across differences. Leaders also are paired with a leadership coach, who supports their learning and personal growth throughout the program. They also meet with prominent regional leaders to talk about values-based leadership. Past guest speakers included Minister Audrey Tang of Taiwan, President Surangel Whipps Jr. of Palau, Former Vice President Leni Robredo of the Philippines, atomic-bomb survivor Koko Kondo of Japan, and other activists and business leaders. 

Obama Leaders can expect to come out of the program with a stronger understanding of values-based leadership; of how to lead change and lead together; and how to leverage themselves as leaders to realize inclusive and lasting change.

You can find the 2024-2025 Leaders Asia-Pacific Frequently Asked Questions here.

How to Apply

The application for the 2024-2025 Leaders Asia-Pacific programs is now closed.


ALL of the following eligibility criteria must be met by applicants in order to be accepted into the Leaders program.

Location The program currently invites individuals residing in American Samoa; Aotearoa New Zealand; Australia; Brunei; Cambodia; China; Cook Islands; Federated States of Micronesia; Fiji; French Polynesia; Guam; Hawaiʻi; Hong Kong; Indonesia; Japan; Kiribati; Korea, North (DPRK); Korea, South (ROK); Laos; Macao; Malaysia; Marshall Islands; Mongolia; Myanmar; Nauru; New Caledonia; Niue; Northern Mariana Islands; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Pitcairn Islands; Samoa; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Taiwan; Thailand; Timor-Leste; Tokelau; Tonga; Tuvalu; Vanuatu; Vietnam; and Wallis and Futuna to apply.

Citizenship and Residency You must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Citizen of an eligible country or territory OR 

  • Permanent resident of an eligible country or territory OR 

  • Have lived in an eligible country or territory for at least the last 5 years, regardless of citizenship or permanent residence status 

Geographic Focus Your work is geographically focused on creating positive change for local communities, an eligible nation or territory, and/or the broader Asia-Pacific region. You demonstrate a strong commitment to continue to focus your work in the Asia-Pacific region.

Leadership Experience You can demonstrate at least 3 years of relevant experience in your issue area. 

Age You will be between 24 and 45 years of age on August 26, 2024.

Language Proficiency You are professionally proficient in spoken and written English.

Political Campaigns You will refrain from participating in an electoral campaign as a candidate for political office from the time you are accepted into the program through May 1, 2025. Selection decisions are currently scheduled to be sent out in July and August 2024.

Program Commitment You can commit to fully participating for the entire duration of the six-month program.The Leaders Asia-Pacific program is currently scheduled to begin the week of August 26, 2024 and will conclude no later than May 1, 2025, with planned breaks throughout. Exact dates are subject to change. You must be able to attend between 8 and 12 hours of required virtual programming each month, as well as attend required leadership coaching sessions and engage in community group discussions throughout the program duration. 

Jurisdiction and Ability to Participate in a U.S.-Based Program The Obama Foundation is based in the United States. To participate in the program, you must be under no legal or regulatory restrictions that would limit your participation in virtual Foundation programming or travel to the U.S. for in-person programming (if any).

Don’t meet these eligibility requirements? Check out our other Leaders programs, our Scholars program Opens in a new tab , or the The Obama-Chesky Scholarship for Public Service.

Meet the Asia-Pacific Leaders

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