2023 Barack Obama Foundation’s Leaders Programs
Deadline: October 21, 2022.
The Barack Obama Foundation’s Leaders programs aim to inspire, empower and connect regional cohorts of changemakers to accelerate positive and lasting change in their communities and throughout their region.
The Leaders program launched in Africa in 2018, expanded to Asia Pacific in 2019, and inaugurated a virtual program in Europe in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Obama Foundation Leaders hail from a wide variety of nations and territories, work across public, private, and nonprofit sectors, and address a full range of social impact issues.
The Leaders program offers practical skill building for social change, leadership coaching, discussion of critical issues, and small group support.
The 2023 Leaders program is a six-month virtual leadership development journey. Programs in Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe will run between February 1 and July 15, 2023. For an average of 8-12 hours per month, the program will bring together 35-member cohorts of emerging leaders from across the regions. Participants (known as “Obama Leaders” or “Leaders”) will take part in weekly sessions that include:
- Practical tools and training for deepening values-based leadership
- Individualized coaching
- Community groups
- Conversations with thought leaders
- Cultural programming that showcases the richness of diversity in the region
- Curated spaces for deep personal reflection and interpersonal learning with peers
Please be sure that you meet ALL of the following eligibility criteria:
Based in Region: You currently reside in one of the following eligible nations or territories in the region in which you are applying:
- Africa: All nations, countries, and territories on the African continent.
- Asia-Pacific: American Samoa; Australia; Brunei; Cambodia; China; Cook Islands; Federated States of Micronesia; Fiji; French Polynesia; Guam; Hawai`i; Hong Kong; Indonesia; Japan; Kiribati; Korea, North (DPRK); Korea, South (ROK); Laos; Malaysia; Marshall Islands; Mongolia; Myanmar; Nauru; New Caledonia; Macao; New Zealand; Niue; Northern Mariana Islands; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Pitcairn Islands; Samoa; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Taiwan; Thailand; Timor-Leste; Tokelau; Tonga; Tuvalu; Vanuatu; Vietnam; Wallis and Futuna.
Please note that residents of South Asian countries are not eligible for this particular program. The Obama Foundation expects to offer leadership programs for South Asian countries in the future.
- Europe: Any of the 46 Council of Europe member states and Kosovo.
Citizenship/Residency: You must meet one of the criteria below for the region in which you are applying:
- You are a citizen of an eligible nation or territory OR
- You are a permanent resident of an eligible nation or territory OR
- You are a refugee or asylum seeker in an eligible nation or territory OR
- You have lived in an eligible nation or territory for at least the last 5 years, regardless of documentation status.
Geographic Focus: Your current and future work is geographically focused on creating positive change for your local community, an eligible nation or territory, and/or the broader region in which you are applying.
Leadership Experience: You can demonstrate at least three years of relevant experience in your issue area.
Age: You will be between 24 and 45 years old on July 15, 2023.
Language Proficiency: You are professionally proficient in English (spoken and written).
Political Campaigns: You will not be engaging in an electoral campaign for political office between February 1 and July 15, 2023.
Program Commitment: You can commit to fully participating in the entire duration of the program between February 1 and July 15, 2023, which will include a three day in-person convening (public health, safety, and security conditions permitting) in late June or early July, and up to 12 hours of live virtual programming per month. Participants should have no more than three absences in order to attend the convening and complete the program.
Their ideal candidates have these characteristics:
- Possesses a clear issue of focus and can describe or measure their impact so far
- Holds a leadership position in their changemaking work, whether full-time or volunteer
- Demonstrates a deeply ethical, values-based, equitable, and collaborative approach to leadership
- Demonstrates a willingness to learn from and share with other leaders in a group setting