Columbia World Projects (CWP) is proud to announce the next cohort of Obama Foundation Scholars at Columbia University, 12 emerging leaders from around the world who will hold a year-long residency at CWP for the 2021-2022 academic year. Programming will kick off virtually on Wednesday, September 8.
In their time on campus, the Columbia Obama Scholars participate in a customized weekly seminar, personal and professional development workshops, audited coursework, a thought leadership speaker series and additional programming designed by Columbia World Projects in consultation with the Obama Foundation. Their year-long academic experience provides Scholars with the skills, experiences and tools to scale their work and reinvest in their communities.
“I am honored to have these rising leaders join us for the upcoming academic year. I am confident that that their experience at Columbia will contribute to their further growth and development. At the same time, I look forward to their contributions to our ongoing work at Columbia World Projects,” Wafaa El-Sadr, the director of Columbia World Projects, said.
“I’m very proud of the work being done by the Obama Foundation Scholars program and Columbia World Projects to train future generations to lead on the issues that matter,” said Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger. “We’re very grateful for the contributions of the Scholars to our University community over the last three years and look forward with great enthusiasm to welcoming this new cohort. The moment we’re in and the challenges we face underscore the need for talented leaders who understand the world’s problems and are committed to addressing them.”
"It is truly remarkable to see the steadfast commitment of these rising leaders working to meet the economic, educational, and social needs of their communities across the globe," said Obama Foundation President Valerie Jarrett. "These individuals have displayed profound courage, dedication, and the spirit needed to create lasting change in the world, especially during challenging times. I'm thrilled to welcome this cohort of Scholars."
The Obama Foundation Scholars program, which launched in 2018, is designed to inspire, empower, and connect emerging leaders with the tools they need to make their efforts more effective and impactful across their global communities. In addition to the cohort at Columbia, another group of scholars participates in the program at the University of Chicago.
The 2021-2022 Obama Foundation Scholars at Columbia University are:
Millicent BartySOLOMON ISLANDSFounder and Lead Designer, Millicent DesignsRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Combining traditional oral history practices with innovative infographic design to communicate complex development issues across the Solomon Islands.
Cecilia ChapiroARGENTINA & SPAINInvestments Lead, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); Founder, Yunus & YouthRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Using technology and innovative financing to enable entrepreneurial ecosystems to grow and progress the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Nika KovačSLOVENIAFounding Director, 8th of March Research InstituteRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Building coalitions to transform legal precedent on gender and economic inequalities in Slovenia.
Jean-Noé LandryCANADASocial entrepreneur and open data advocate; Former Executive Director, Open NorthRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Guiding public, private and community stakeholders towards the responsible and collaborative use of data and technology to solve complex social and environmental problems.
Vincent LokaINDONESIA & SINGAPORECo-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, WateroamRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Working towards a world without prolonged thirst by providing access to clean, affordable water technologies in areas with limited infrastructure across Southeast Asia.
Lineo MatlakalaLESOTHOFounder and Director, Barali FoundationRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Using arts, advocacy, and education to promote women’s reproductive health and financial independence in Lesotho.
Patience Musiwa MkandawireMALAWIFounder and Executive Director, Fount for NationsRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Building inclusive learning opportunities for all children in Malawi by improving educational access and equity for children with special-needs and intellectual disabilities.
Mohit RajINDIACo-Founder and Executive Director, Project Second Chance India, Turn Your Concern Into Action Foundation (TYCIA)Read Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Working with incarcerated and justice-involved youth in India to bring systematic and structured change to the Indian prison landscape.
Mohammed Keana SaboNIGERIAFounder and Team Lead, Almajiri Child Rights InitiativeRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Advocating for the social inclusion and right to education of vulnerable children by promoting sustainable development and accountable governance.
Melusi SimelaneESWATINIFounding Director, Eswatini Sexual & Gender MinoritiesRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Advocating for the acceptance and legal rights of the LGBTQ community in Eswatini and building intersectional human rights coalitions to empower young leaders across Southern Africa.
Juliana TafurUNITED STATESFounder and Social Impact Filmmaker, Story PowerhouseRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Designing and implementing a listening methodology to inspire positive dialogue across differences and foster human connection.
Francesco TenaUNITED STATESFounder, Pipeline to PowerRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Training young people to be leaders in participatory budgeting processes and governmental decision-making across the United States and Canada.