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Call for Applications, The Obama Foundation Fellowship supports outstanding civic innovators – leaders who are working with their communities to create transformational change, addressing some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Home Forums Scholarship, Fellowship Opportunities and Academic Programs Call for Applications, The Obama Foundation Fellowship supports outstanding civic innovators – leaders who are working with their communities to create transformational change, addressing some of the world’s most pressing problems.

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    Craig Zelizer
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    The Obama Foundation Fellowship supports outstanding civic innovators – leaders who are working with their communities to create transformational change, addressing some of the world’s most pressing problems. The program selects 20 community-minded rising stars from around the world for a two-year, non-residential program, designed to amplify the impact of their work and inspire a wave of civic innovation.

    Apply Here

    The Obama Foundation Fellows are a diverse set of leaders who bring a community-centered approach to science, criminal justice, healthcare, education, the arts, and more. Together they model the powerful truth that each of us has a role to play in civic life.

    The two-year, non-residential Obama Fellowship offers hands-on training, resources, and leadership development to help Fellows scale the impact of their work. Fellows participate in four multi-day gatherings where they collaborate with each other, connect with potential partners, and collectively push their work forward. Throughout the program, each Fellow pursues a personalized plan to leverage the Fellowship experience to take their work to the next level.
    Meet our first class


    OBAMA FOUNDATION FELLOWS ARE
    Civic innovators

    Fellows are working alongside their communities to solve important public problems in creative and meaningful ways. Living out the Foundation’s values of Imagination and Fearlessness, Fellows are bringing bold ideas to bear on the most pressing problems we face. By engaging their communities in this work, they create stronger and more sustainable solutions.
    Discipline diverse

    As organizers, inventors, artists, entrepreneurs, and more, Fellows illustrate the power of drawing upon diverse talents and approaches to drive meaningful change. The Fellowship provides a space for leaders across disciplines to learn from one another, ultimately making their own work more impactful.

    At a tipping point in their work

    Fellows have already demonstrated direct and meaningful impact in their communities, gaining recognition among their peers for their contributions. Now, they stand at a breakthrough moment in their careers. They’re poised to use the Fellowship to significantly advance their work, perhaps by launching new platforms, expanding their footprint, establishing models that others can adopt, or shifting the national or global conversation on a topic.

    Talented, but not connected

    The Foundation is committed to expanding the circle of opportunity to include new and varied voices. The Fellowship is designed to support leaders who have not already benefited from prestigious opportunities or global attention. We’re excited to lift up civic innovators who are not currently connected to the networks and resources they need to advance their work.

    Good humans

    Fellows demonstrate the values of the Obama Foundation and are eager to participate in the Fellowship community now and in the future. By bringing strong personal values to the cohort, Fellows build an authentic, inclusive, and collaborative community that provides lasting value.

    We encourage individuals from all backgrounds to apply for this opportunity.

     

    About the application process

    What is the timeline for the 2019 Fellowship selection?

    Applications opened at 10am Central Time (CT) on Tuesday, August 21st and close at 10am CT on Tuesday, September 18th.

    When will the 2019 Fellows class be announced?

    We will announce the next class of Fellows in early 2019.

    How often do you accept applications?

    We will select a Fellowship class every year.

    If I’m not chosen, can I apply again during a future round?

    Absolutely! We’d be happy to review later applications from applicants who have advanced their work.

    About the program

    What is included in the Fellowship?

    • Guidance in developing a personalized Fellowship roadmap to help you get the most out of the program
    • Ongoing skill-building and training courses tailored to your particular needs
    • Individual coaching and mentoring to help you move your work forward
    • Participation in a global cohort of leaders poised to change the civic engagement landscape
    • Exposure to opportunities provided by other Foundation programming, such as mentorship roles and speaking engagements
    • Participation in four gatherings (including economy airfare to/from the event, lodging, and all meals during the events)

    What is the time commitment?

    The Fellowship is not a full-time commitment, but active and engaged participation is key to creating a meaningful Fellowship experience. Fellows commit to:

    • Participating in the full programming of the four Fellowship gatherings
    • Devoting a few hours each month to ongoing training and programming
    • Sharing responsibility for creating a supportive, collaborative community of Fellows
    • Collaborating with the Foundation throughout the Fellowship to evaluate and refine the program for future classes
    • Contributing their leadership, creativity, and voice to other Foundation programs. We’re looking for Fellows who are eager to explore the roles they can play in the broader ecosystem of the Foundation — whether serving as mentors, facilitating local trainings, or writing about their work for a wider audience.

    Will Fellows be paid a stipend?

    Fellows will not be paid a stipend at this time.

    Do I need to move somewhere to be a Fellow?

    Fellows are not asked to move anywhere to participate in the Fellowship program. However, there will be four occasions where they will be asked to travel for in-person gatherings.

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