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2023-2024 Obama Foundation Scholars Program


The Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University, a part of Columbia World Projects, launched the application for its sixth cohort 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 emerging leaders from the United States and around the world who have demonstrated a commitment to finding solutions to challenges in their communities, countries and regions.

Over the course of an academic year, Obama Foundation Scholars have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge and skills and build new capacities and networks that accel­­erate their impact in their home countries.

Current and previous Scholars hail from around the world and are accomplished practitioners in a range of fields including education, community and civic engagement, and sustainable development.


  • 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: The fellowship is a full-time, residential program at Columbia and cannot be undertaken at the same time as a degree program.


Complete the online application form:


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