Columbia World Projects has announced that the latest cohort of Obama Foundation Scholars, rising leaders from around the world who will study at Columbia University for the 2020-21 academic year, will begin their training virtually.
The program aims to empower emerging leaders with a proven commitment to service with the tools needed to increase their impact in their communities. The eleven scholars chosen for the program's third cohort latest will hold residencies at Columbia and have the opportunity to contribute to Columbia World Projects, an initiative that brings faculty and researchers together with leaders from government, the nonprofit and private sectors, and intergovernmental organizations to generate concrete solutions to real-world issues. This year's scholars will focus on challenges and issues ranging from the training of the next generation of journalists in India, to increasing civic engagement in Hungary, to increasing access to education for youth in Jordan.
"Witnessing, over the past two years, the powerful impact of this program on the remarkable individuals participating as Obama Scholars and the communities they are dedicated to changing has left Columbia even more deeply invested in this special endeavor and all that it can accomplish," said the university's president, Lee C. Bollinger. "This year we welcome eleven new scholars at a moment that starkly underscores the importance of civic leadership. We are looking forward to supporting them in further developing the skills needed to meet the many urgent challenges proliferating around the globe."
"This pandemic has changed all of our lives and it has revealed some of the deep-rooted inequities that the 2018 and 2019 scholars have committed their lives to solving. Over the past several months, the scholars have found innovative ways to pivot their work to meet the needs of people in their communities," said Obama Foundation CEO David Simas. "The world needs more leaders like this, now more than ever, and we look forward to supporting our third cohort of scholars on their leadership journeys."