Summer Fellowships Programs at Stanford University

The Fisher Family Summer Fellows Program on Democracy and Development is a training program hosted annually by Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI). Launched in 2005 and formerly known as the Draper Hills Summer Fellows Program, the program brings together a group of approximately 28-30 mid-career practitioners from transitioning countries who are working to advance democratic practices and economic and legal reform in contexts where freedom, human development, and good governance are fragile or at risk. From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, our program participants are selected from among hundreds of applicants every year for the significant contributions they have already made to their societies and their potential to make an even greater impact with some help from Stanford.

The Summer Fellows alumni network includes 449 alumni from 97 developing democracies worldwide. Their professional backgrounds are as diverse as the problems they confront in their home countries, but the one common feature is their commitment to building sound structures of democracy and development. The regions of Eurasia, which includes the former Soviet Union and Central Asia, along with Africa, constitute almost half of our alumni network. Women represent 47% of the network, and the program is always looking to identify strong female leaders working to advance change in their local communities.

Previous Summer Fellows have served as presidential advisors, senators, attorneys general, lawyers, journalists, civic activists, entrepreneurs, judges, think-tank directors, and influential members of the international development community.


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