Obama Foundation Scholars FAQ

Q: Who can apply for the Obama Foundation Scholars Program?

A: The Obama Foundation Scholars Program seeks emerging leaders from the United States and around the world who are focused on an issue of global importance, have a track record and commitment to advancing the public good, and want to accelerate their impact through an intensive program. The Obama Foundation Scholars Program seeks diverse cohorts who represent a cross section of backgrounds including those working in government, the private sector, and NGOs and civil society organizations.

The Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University seeks rising leaders leaders from the United States and around the world who meet the following criteria:

  • Are emerging leaders who have made meaningful contributions to their field and are now at a “breakthrough moment” in their careers.
  • Have a proven commitment to service and leadership within a community, region or country, coupled with a demonstrated commitment to return to these communities following their completion of the program and apply their enhanced training, skills, and connections on a long-term basis for the benefit of these communities.
  • Are fluent in English (verbal, written, and spoken).
  • Have the ability and inclination to positively shape the future of their community.
  • Have a demonstrated commitment to the Obama Foundation’s values: humility, integrity, inclusivity, stewardship, fearlessness, imagination, and teamwork.
  • Will not be engaging in an electoral campaign for political office during the program term.

You can find more information on Columbia University Obama Foundation Scholars requirements, application timeline, and frequently asked questions here.

The Obama Foundation Scholars Program at the University of Chicago seeks emerging leaders from the United States and around the world who meet the following criteria:

  • Are entering their final year of study at the Harris School of Public Policy; Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice; and/or the Booth School of Business;
  • Have at least three years of demonstrated leadership experience with clear traction tackling a particular social challenge and are now at a “breakthrough moment” in their careers;
  • Have a demonstrated commitment, following their completion of the program, to apply their enhanced training, skills, and connections to tackling this social challenge in their community;
  • Are seeking to refine their approach to tackling this challenge by including feedback and ideas from a variety of contexts around the world;
  • Have demonstrated academic success;
  • Have a demonstrated commitment to humility, integrity, inclusivity, stewardship, fearlessness, imagination, and teamwork; and
  • Will not be engaging in an electoral campaign for political office during the program term.

You can find more information on University of Chicago Obama Foundation Scholars requirements, application timelines, and frequently asked questions here.

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