The Obama Foundation Fellows will be a diverse set of community-minded rising stars – organizers, inventors, artists, entrepreneurs, journalists, and more – who are altering the civic engagement landscape. By engaging their fellow citizens to work together in new and meaningful ways, Obama Foundation Fellows will model how any individual can become an active citizen in their community.
The inaugural class of 20 Fellows will be integral to shaping the program and the community of Fellows for future years. For this first class, they’re seeking participants who are especially excited about helping them design, test and refine the Fellowship.
The two-year, non-residential Fellowship will offer hands-on training, resources, and leadership development. Fellows will also participate in four multi-day gatherings where they will collaborate with each other, connect with potential partners, and collectively push their work forward. Throughout the program, each Fellow will pursue a personalized plan to leverage Fellowship resources to take their work to the next level.
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. In this inaugural cohort, they’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 training, or writing about their work for a wider audience
- 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)
- For the inaugural class – the opportunity to shape the Fellowship program for future years
They are looking for individuals who are working to solve important public problems in creative and powerful ways.
This fellowship is for organizers, inventors, artists, entrepreneurs, journalists, and more. It is for those working within systems like governments or businesses, as well as those working outside of formal institutions.
At a tipping point in their work
Successful applicants have already demonstrated 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 to broader audiences, or taking their work to a national or global stage. If you’ve already gained global recognition for your work or if your civic innovation work has just begun, you may not be the ideal candidate for this program.
Talented, but not connected
They have a strong preference for civic innovators who are not currently connected to the networks and resources they need to advance their work. If you’re not sure whether you fit this description, feel free to apply — and make sure to articulate how the resources of the Fellowship would uniquely impact your work.
A strong moral character is essential for the strength of this community, the integrity of the program, and the longevity of its value. They’re seeking inspirational individuals who demonstrate humility and work collaboratively with others towards shared goals.
Applicants must be 18 or older. They’re looking for participants who are at a “tipping point” stage in their careers, rather than those who fit a particular age requirement.
Eligible Regions: Open for All