The Obama Foundation is currently accepting applications for the 2023 Leaders USA Program, a six-month leadership development program for emerging leaders who are passionate about making a positive impact on their communities.
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.
The Foundation aim for the Leaders USA cohort to be reflective of the rich diversity in the United States, with representation from across geographies and underrepresented communities, including people from rural communities, people of color, Native Americans, LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities, immigrants, refugees, and veterans.
The program will run between June 1 and November 17, 2023 with an average time commitment of 8-12 hours per month. The Leaders USA program will bring together a 100-member cohort from across the United States. Participants, known as “Obama Leaders” or “Leaders,” will take part in weekly sessions that include:
- Practical tools and training for deepening values-based leadership
- Individualized coaching
- Community groups
- Conversations with thought leaders
- Cultural programming that showcases the richness of diversity in the region
- Curated spaces for deep personal reflection and interpersonal learning with peers.
- The Leaders USA program will bring together 100 emerging leaders from across the United States and its territories.
The Leaders USA program will have weekly sessions that include:
- Interactive learning experiences through a values-driven leadership curriculum
- Regional breakout groups that will apply lessons learned to local context
- Opportunities to build connections with and learn from leaders with shared values across the country
- Leadership coaching and office hours with Obama Foundation leadership and experts across sectors, and
- An in-person convening in Chicago as a forum for deeper community-building and learning
- Citizenship/Residency: Leaders can come from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and United States territories including, American Samoa; Guam; Northern Mariana Islands; Puerto Rico; United States Virgin Islands; Minor Outlying Islands; Bajo Nuevo Bank; Baker Island; Howland Island; Jarvis Island; Johnston Atoll; Kingman Reef; Midway Islands; Navassa Island; and Palmyra Atoll. You must meet one of the criteria.
- 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, your state, district, or U.S. territory, or nationally across the United States. Leaders focused on rural communities are encouraged to apply.
- 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.
- Program Commitment: You can commit to fully participating in the entire duration of the program from June through November 2023, which will include a three day in-person convening (public health, safety, and security conditions permitting; certain hybrid accommodations may be possible for immunocompromised Leaders and Leaders with immunocompromised family members) in the fall, and up to 12 hours of live virtual programming per month. Participants should have no more than three absences to be eligible to attend the convening and complete the program.
For more information, visit Obama Leaders USA Program.