Deadline: February 3, 2023
Applications for the Obama Foundation Leaders USA Programme 2023 are now open. The Obama Foundation Leaders USA programme is a six-month, non-residential leadership development programme that seeks to inspire, empower, and connect emerging leaders across the country.
Together, Leaders will accelerate positive and lasting change in their communities with a focus on strengthening institutions across sectors toward a more inclusive, participatory democracy.
They are looking for values-driven changemakers between the ages of 24-45 who are working to create lasting, positive change in the lives of people in their community. The Leaders USA programme is for people who are driving systems-level change across sectors and fields and have at least three years of demonstrated impact. From expanding access to education to protecting worker’s rights, they are looking for leaders from every corner of the country who are ready to expand their impact and play a role in strengthening the U.S. democracy.
The programme will run from June through November 2023. Leaders will participate in the following core elements of the programme:
- Weekly Virtual Workshops: Over six months, Leaders will come together for virtual meetings over Zoom to discuss how to move from hope to action through practical tools and training in the values-driven leadership curriculum. They will also engage with trainers, subject matter experts, and each other to deepen their leadership practice.
- A Community of Support: The programme includes opportunities for Leaders to meet virtually in breakout groups with Leaders from different parts of the country and with Obama Foundation leadership and experts across sectors.
- Individual Leadership Coaching: Leaders will be paired with a coach to help them clarify and build out their individual goals.
- Community Convening: The Obama Foundation Leaders USA experience will include an in-person convening for deeper community-building, learning, and celebration.
- Citizenship/Residency: You must meet one of the criteria below:
- You are a citizen of the United States AND you currently reside in the United States or a United States territory OR
- You currently reside, and have resided for the last 5 years, in the United States or a United States territory.
- Geographic Focus: Your current and future work is geographically focused on creating positive change for your local community (rural or urban) and/or the broader region.
- Leadership Experience: You can demonstrate at least three years of relevant experience in your issue area.
- Age: You will be between 24- and 45-years-old on December 1, 2023.
- Language Proficiency: You are professionally proficient in English (spoken and written).
- Political Campaigns: You will not be engaging in an electoral campaign for political office between the date you submit your application and December 1, 2023.
- Programme Commitment: You can commit to fully participating in the entire duration of the programme between June 1 and November 17, 2023, which may include an in-person convening (public health, safety, and security conditions permitting) in November, and up to 12 hours of live virtual programming per month. Participants should have no more than three absences in order to attend the convening and complete the programme.
The ideal candidate:
- Has a clear issue of focus and can describe the impact they have made: The ideal candidate has been working to advance positive social change on a specific issue or set of issues for at least the last three years and can demonstrate that their work has had a measurable impact in advancing progress on their issue.
- Demonstrates distinct leadership in their changemaking work: The ideal candidate demonstrates distinct leadership in a civil society organization (community groups, non-profits, labor unions, charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, professional associations, and foundations), start-up or business, the public sector, or the media. This could be someone who is the founder or head of an organization, but it could also be someone who leads positive change from within an organization through influence rather than positional power. Candidates do not have to be engaged in this work full-time.
- Stands out for their integrity and values-driven approach to leadership: Ideal candidates demonstrate a deeply ethical, values-based, and collaborative approach to leadership. They are generous leaders, eager to share opportunities and open doors for others. They bring a strong commitment to equity, to inclusion of communities that have been historically marginalized, and to working together to build a brighter future.
- Demonstrates a willingness to learn: Ideal candidates have a keen sense of how much they can learn from others, regardless of their experience level. They bring genuine curiosity and an open mind and are willing to share their experiences and knowledge with their cohort.
- Demonstrates a desire to connect with other changemakers: Ideal candidates seek to collaborate with others in the larger Obama Foundation leadership network in order to have a larger impact.
The Leaders USA programme will run between June 1 and November 17, 2023. Candidates selected for the 2023 cohort will receive a detailed programme calendar prior to the start of their programme.