The Obama Foundation Scholars Program 2024/2025

Deadline: 12th of December, 2023

The Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University, which is part of Columbia World Projects and Columbia Global, launched its seventh cohort application today, inviting rising leaders from around the world to apply to participate in a nine-month immersive program of academic, skill-based, and experiential learning.

The Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University brings together young leaders from throughout the world who have showed a dedication to solving problems in their communities, countries, and regions. Over the course of an academic year, Obama Foundation Scholars have the chance to broaden their knowledge and abilities while also developing new capacities and networks that will allow them to have a greater impact in their home countries. Scholars from the United States and throughout the world are now and previously enrolled.


  • Monthly stipend to assist with living expenses in New York City
  • A furnished studio apartment within walking distance of Columbia University
  • All tuition and fees for up to four courses at Columbia University
  • Basic medical, dental and life insurance for the duration of the program in New York City
  • Air travel to and from home country and any program-related activities


The Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University seeks rising 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 inclusivity, community-orientation, hope, courage, imagination, strategy, accountability, integrity and resilience

Please note: Priority will be given to applicants who have not matriculated at Columbia University. The fellowship is a full-time, residential program at Columbia and cannot be undertaken at the same time as a degree program.


  • Complete online application form
    • Complete the online application form by 5 p.m. ET on December 12, 2023.
  • Resume/curriculum vitae: The resume/curriculum vitae should be a chronological listing of your employment, academic history, and other significant activities, including any awards, publications, or other achievements.
  • Personal video statement: The personal video statement should be a short video (no longer than three minutes in length) introducing the applicant and their work to the selection committee. Applicants will upload their video statement to a video hosting service, like YouTube or Vimeo, and will include a link to their video in the online application. Additional information on the requirements for the personal video statement can be found in the online application.

Click here to apply 

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