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The Obama Foundation Leaders Program 2024-2025

The Leaders program of the Obama Foundation seeks to unite, empower, and encourage local groups of changemakers to expedite long-term, constructive change in their neighbourhoods and across their region. Usually between the ages of 24 and 45, these up-and-coming global leaders create communities and civilizations based on shared values where everyone is welcome, encouraged to contribute, and able to prosper.

In 2018, the Leaders programme began in Africa; in 2019, it expanded to Asia Pacific; and in 2020, it began in Europe. Obama Foundation’s Leaders program unveiled the newest initiative in the US at the Obama Foundation Democracy Forum in New York City. The leaders of the Obama Foundation come from many different countries and regions, work in the public, corporate, and nonprofit sectors, and deal with a wide range of social impact concerns.

The Leaders programme provides small group support, leadership coaching, debate of important problems, and the development of practical skills for social change. As participants, Leaders establish a foundation of values for long-term leadership, build relationships with others to spark more inclusive, long-lasting change, and get ready to tackle problems at the systemic level. Leaders will acquire a better grasp of how values-based leadership enhances their capacity to effect change after completing the programme. With fresh insights and abilities, they will be motivated to act more. Most crucially, by joining the Obama Leadership Network, an expanding global alumni group of almost 900 engaged changemakers, Leaders will continue to broaden their regional and global perspective.

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Leaders Africa is a six-month, non-residential, virtual leadership journey for 35 emerging leaders from across the continent focused on exploring values-based leadership skills and building deep relationships with fellow cohort members. Leaders Asia-Pacific is a six-month, hybrid leadership development program. For 8-12 hours a month, the program brings together a small cohort of 35 emerging leaders from across sectors and issue areas to step outside of what they lead, to examine how they lead. The Leaders Europe program identifies emerging leaders working in government, civil society, and the private sector who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing the common good. It aims to build a growing network of innovative and values-based changemakers who seek to drive change in their communities while developing and supporting one another. Leaders USA builds upon the Foundation’s work over the past five years to support values-driven changemakers. The program offers 100 US-based leaders the opportunity to learn new skills and tools to accelerate positive and lasting change in their communities.

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Benefits of Obama Foundation Leaders Program

The Obama Foundation Leaders Africa program leaders participate in the following core elements as part of the program:

  • Weekly Virtual Video Calls
  • Monthly Community Groups
  • Individualized Leadership Coaching

The Obama Foundation Leaders Asia-Pacific is a six-month, hybrid leadership development program which offers:

  • For 8-12 hours a month, the program brings together a small cohort of 35 emerging leaders from across sectors and issue areas to step outside of what they lead, to examine how they lead.
  • Over the course of the six-month program, Leaders engage in 21 core sessions that run weekly on Saturdays for about 2-3 hours each.

The Leaders Europe Program offerings include:

  • Timely conversations
  • Skill-building trainings
  • A community of support
  • Inspirational cultural events

The Obama Foundation Leaders United States Program leaders will participate in the following core elements of the program:

  • Timely Conversations
  • Weekly Virtual Calls
  • A Community of Support
  • Individual Leadership Coaching
  • Community Convening

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  • Citizenship/Residency: You meet one of the criteria below:
    • Citizen of an eligible Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and USA nation or territory OR
    • Permanent resident of an Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and USA nation or territory OR
    • Have lived in an eligible Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and USA nation or territory for at least the last 5 years, regardless of citizenship or permanent residence status
  • Geographic Focus: Your work is geographically focused on creating positive change for local communities, an eligible Asia-Pacific nation or territory, and/or the broader Asia-Pacific region. You demonstrate a strong commitment to continue to focus your work in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Leadership Experience: You can demonstrate at least 3 years of relevant experience in your issue area.
  • Age: You will be between 24 and 45 years of age on August 26, 2024.
  • Language Proficiency: You are professionally proficient in spoken and written English.
  • Political Campaigns: You will refrain from participating in an electoral campaign as a candidate for political office from the time of application submission until the end of the program.
  • Program Commitment: You can commit to fully participating in the entire duration of the six-month program. Official program dates are yet to be determined but will fall somewhere between August 26, 2024 and May 1, 2025. You must be able to attend between 8 and 12 hours of required virtual programming each month, as well as attend required leadership coaching sessions and engage in community group discussions throughout the program duration.
  • Jurisdiction and Ability to Participate in a U.S.-Based Program: The Foundation is based in the United States. To participate in the Program, you must be under no legal or regulatory restrictions that would limit your participation in virtual Foundation programming or travel to the US for in-person programming (if any).

Note: Some eligibility criteria might differ from region to region.

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