Obama Foundation Scholarship Program 2021/2022 for Emerging Leaders to Study at University of Columbia

by | Dec 23, 2020 | Foreign Scholarship


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The Obama Foundation Scholarship 2021/2022 at Columbia University is accepting applications for the 2021–2022 program until February 5, 2021.  See requirement and instruction below.


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The Obama Foundation Scholarship 2021/2022 seeks to collaborative, support dynamic, rising leaders from the United States and around the world in an innovative one-year academic and leadership experience.

Application Deadline: 5th February 2021 at 5 pm ET. 

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Eligible Countries: All

To Be Taken At (Country): Columbia University, USA

Type: Masters, Training

Eligibility: The Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University seeks rising leaders from around the world who meet the following criteria:

  • Have a proven commitment to service and leadership within a community, region or country outside the United States, 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 emerging leaders who have made meaningful contributions to their field and are now at a “tipping point” in their careers
  • 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 humility, integrity, inclusivity, stewardship, fearlessness, imagination and teamwork

Number of Awards: Not specified

Value of Award: 

  • 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
  • Air travel to and from home country and any program-related activities
  • Leadership development programming led by the Obama Foundation that will help scholars gain the real-world skills, tools and experiences to expand the impact of their work when they return home

Duration of Program: 1 year

About  Obama Foundation Scholars Program

The Obama Foundation Scholars Program was entirely virtual for the 2020-2021 academic year and Scholars participated in the program remotely from their home countries. The Obama Foundation and Columbia University continue to monitor the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope to hold the program on-site in New York City for the 2021-2022 academic year if it is safe to do so. However, there is a possibility the program will be conducted remotely and Scholars will not reside in New York City. 

Scholars participate in an immersive program that brings together academic, skills-based and experiential learning, designed by Columbia University in consultation with the Obama Foundation. In addition to the activities taking place on the Columbia campus, the Obama Foundation offers a robust curriculum of leadership development, hands-on training, networking activities, and mentorship throughout the academic year to help the Obama Scholars gain the real-world skills, tools, and experiences they need to expand the impact of their work when they return home. 

 Key components of the program include: 

  • A Weekly Seminar that runs the length of the academic year, exploring questions in tandem with key global trends including inequality, technological developments, the diffusion of power, population movements, and climate change. 
  • Personal and Professional Development Workshops designed to strengthen practical skills to enhance Scholars’ ability to lead. Previous workshop topics include conflict management and resolution, public speaking, data analysis and interpretation, and resilience.
  • An Experiential Learning component that engages Scholars in the work of Columbia World Projects.
  • Audited Coursework that provides Scholars with the flexibility to select and enroll in up to two graduate level courses each semester at Columbia.
  • A Thought Leadership Speaker Series that introduces Scholars to seasoned practitioners from the NGO community, and philanthropic, governmental, and international organizations to expand Scholars’ networks and perspectives to help advance their work.
  • Partnership with a Columbia faculty adviser selected for their subject matter expertise to provide Scholars with new insights and perspectives to inform Scholars’ work.
  • Meaningful opportunities for Scholars to contribute to the intellectual life of the campus and gain exposure to different perspectives by engaging with the Columbia University community.

How to Apply Obama Foundation Scholarship 2021/2022

Interested applicants are to complete the online application form for the 2021-2022 Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University by February 5, 2021 at 5:00PM ET. Any applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

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Please note that applicants are to read through the Obama Foundation Scholars Webpage, the FAQ as well as the Columbia Webpage before applying.

Visit the Program Webpage for Details on the Obama Foundation Scholarship 2021/2022.

If you have questions kindly use the comment section below.

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