Obama Foundation Scholars Program 2023/2024 For Emerging Leaders

Obama Foundation Scholars at Columbia University will take part in Columbia World Projects, a brand-new program in which academics and researchers from Columbia will collaborate with governing bodies, non-profits, the private sector, and intergovernmental organizations to develop practical answers to contemporary problems. The program will also make use of the special engagement opportunities that come with being in New York City and at one of the most significant research centers in the world.

Obama Organization At Columbia World Projects, scholars work on projects that will have a significant and long-lasting positive impact on people’s lives, point the way to solutions to intractable problems, and enrich research and scholarship. Columbia World Projects is a new initiative that aims to systematically bring university research out into the world in the form of projects. The academic year will include CWP programs for scholars.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Rising leaders from all over the world who fit the following requirements are sought after by the Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University:
  • 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


  • 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.

How To Apply

To apply, visit the Obama Foundation.

Please create an account and log in after reading the following criteria. Make careful to click on EVERY submit button on subsequent screens to finish the application!

You can download a PDF of the application requirements and questions at the bottom of this page.

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