The 2019-20 Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program application will open in winter 2019.
About the Program
The Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program (UELP) is a 10-month academic training fellowship hosted at Stanford University. The program was founded in 2016 by the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute together with Oleksandr and Kateryna Akymenko (Stanford John S. Knight fellows) as an initiative to address development challenges in Ukraine and across the broader region.
UELP provides a unique opportunity to three mid-career practitioners working actively as policy-makers, legal professionals, entrepreneurs, and leaders of civil society organizations in Ukraine to visit one of the world’s leading research universities for an academic year. The objective of the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program is to strengthen fellows’ leadership skills and bolster their academic foundation. The fellowship is supported by a committee of leading Stanford faculty at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. The program is designed to facilitate capacity building for fellows through faculty mentorship, community engagement, courses, events and site visits to Silicon Valley technology firms.
The program has been funded with generous support from Western NIS Enterprise Fund, Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, Tomas Fiala, Astem.Foundation, the Omidyar Network, MacPaw, and Victor and Iryna Ivanchyk.
2017-18 Launch Event
Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) launched the inaugural Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program to an audience of over 200 from the Stanford and local Ukrainian-American community on Oct. 3, 2017.
Panel on US-Ukraine Relations
The panel was a discussion with experts in Ukrainian political affairs, including Ambassador of Ukraine to the US H. E. Valeriy Chaly, the CEO of Horizon Capital Lenna Koszarny and Director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.
Sviatoslav Vakarchuk Benefit Performance
In a special benefit performance to celebrate the program Sviatoslav Vakarchuk and New York-based jazz pianist Fima Chupakhin performed in variety of styles, from traditional Ukrainian folk songs to American jazz standards.
Leading Stanford Faculty
Stephen D. Krasner
The Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program combines academic courses, faculty mentorship and community engagement to support capacity building and leadership development for program participants.
The program will have a project-based approach to learning where fellows will identify an issue they would like to address and/or gain an in-depth understanding of to apply once they return to Ukraine. Over the course of the academic year, each fellow will have a faculty mentor with whom they will meet regularly during their stay. Faculty members will engage fellows through guidance on their projects, coursework, discussions around challenges in Ukraine and connecting fellows to the diverse Stanford community.
Fellows will have the opportunity to take courses at Stanford that support their area of expertise and also provide them with an academic foundation to further their knowledge base. In addition, they will visit technology firms based in Silicon Valley to learn about approaches to different challenges around the world. During the final 6 weeks of the program, fellows will present their findings to the program faculty and the greater Stanford community.
This program is aimed at mid-career practitioners working actively as policy-makers, legal professionals, social entrepreneurs, business entrepreneurs and leaders of civil society organizations.
1. Candidates should hold Ukrainian citizenship and must reside in the country, and have plans to return to Ukraine after the fellowship.
2. Candidates must be at least 28 years of age at the start of the fellowship program.
3. Candidates should have demonstrated professional and personal achievements in a relevant sector of democracy, development and the rule of law.
4. Candidates must have at least five years of experience to qualify for the fellowship. Those with more experience are much more competitive in the selection process.
5. We strive to recruit a diverse group of four individuals who are at the right stage in their professional trajectory to benefit from rigorous academic training and mentorship. Successful applicants will have the academic credentials necessary to participate in academic courses offered at Stanford University. A bachelor's degree at the time of participation in the program is a requirement for admission to the program. We do not accept candidates who are in the midst of full-time university degree programs.
6. A working knowledge of English is an important prerequisite. It is expected that each fellow have a solid command of written and spoken English in order to fully benefit and participate in the program.
All applicants must be prepared to commit themselves to the fellowship rather than to regular professional work. If selected, your full-time job is to be a Stanford fellow. We require fellows to take leave from their regular jobs, whether they be in the nonprofit or government sectors, to devote their energy to the fellowship.
The Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program uses the WizeHive application system to manage all incoming applications and the review process and contains the following sections:
The application contains the following sections:
- Applicant Information
- Academics & Career Information
- Candidate Background Questions
- Fellowship Project Statement
- English Language Proficiency
- Video Submission
- Letters of Recommendation
Details on each section are included in the application guidelines available below.
The program is funded with generous support from Western NIS Enterprise Fund; Svyatoslav Vakarchuk; Tomas Fiala; Astem.Foundation; Oleksandr Kosovan; and Viktor and Iryna Ivanchyk.
WNISEF is a regional private equity fund, a pioneer in Ukraine and Moldova with more than two decades of successful experience in investing in small and medium-sized companies. WNISEF is supported by the United States Agency for International Development.
Svyatoslav Vakarchuk is a civic activist, Ukrainian musician and the lead vocalist and founder of the band “Okean Elzy“. Vakarchuk is also the founder of a charity fund called “Lyudi Maybutnyogo” (People of the Future) and co-founder of the Center for Economic Strategy, an independent policy think tank dedicated to supporting reforms and sustainable economic growth in Ukraine. He was a Yale World Fellow in 2015.
Tomas Fiala is the Chief Executive Officer of Dragon Capital, a leading investment bank in Ukraine. Fiala has over twenty years’ experience in Central and Eastern European securities markets. He served as elected President of the European Business Association (2010-’15) where he led the top association for foreign businesses in Ukraine uniting over 900 companies with more than a million employees. In October 2016, Fiala was elected to the Board of Transparency International Ukraine.
Astem.Foundation is a mission-driven fund, focused on the development of social innovation, impact-oriented initiatives and support for creative leadership teams that will contribute to betterment of life through education, modern cultural trends and new social and political relationships. The fund is led by Aslan Omer Kirimli and Rustem Umerov.
MacPaw is an app development company with a number of successful macOS, iOS, and Windows applications in their portfolio. Headquartered in Kyiv, Ukraine, MacPaw has gained solid recognition among over four million customers all over the world. Since 2008, the company has been developing apps with a strong focus on design and functionality to ensure exceptional user experience.
Victor and Iryna Ivanchyk are the founders of “Povir u Sebe" ("Believe in Yourself”) Foundation, which over the past 9 years supported 450 children from rural areas in their aim to obtain higher education. At the same time the foundation provides grant financing to leading Ukrainian universities for scientific research and implements projects on development of leadership, creativity and entrepreneurship among young people. Viktor Ivanchyk is also a founder and General Director of Astarta - leading company in agricultural and sugar industry of Ukraine.
Meet Our 2018-19 Cohort
About the Program Launch Event
Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) launched the inaugural Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program to an audience of over 200 from the Stanford and local Ukrainian-American community on Oct. 3, 2017. The opening event featured the visiting practitioners - Olexandr Starodubtsev, Oleksandra Matviichuk, Dmytro Romanovych - who were joined by CDDRL’s Visiting Scholar Sviatoslav Vakarchuk in conversation with former ambassador to Russia and Director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Michael McFaul. This panel was introduced by Professor Francis Fukuyama, Mosbacher Director of the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, and Jaroslawa Johnson, President and CEO of the Western NIS Enterprise Fund.
During this event, these three emerging leaders and visiting scholar Sviatoslav Vakarchuk presented on their work and contributions to democratization in Ukraine. The Ukrainian leaders discussed their own perspectives on opportunities and challenges to democracy and development in their home country, as well as their objectives for their time at Stanford and upon their return to Ukraine. Read more about the launch event here.
2017-18 Launch Event
Watch the video from the launch event, introducing Oleksandra Matviichuk, Dmytro Romanovych and Olexandr Starodubtsev as the 2017-18 cohort.
Sviatoslav Vakarchuk and New York-based jazz pianist Fima Chupakhin performed in variety of styles, from traditional Ukrainian folk songs to American jazz standards. Watch the performance here.
Special Evening to Celebrate the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program.
This special evening hosted by Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law on November 28, 2017, brought together 200 community members to celebrate the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program, to raise support for the Program's pilot year and its future. The event featured a panel of experts to explore US-Ukraine relations. The panel was a discussion with experts in Ukrainian political affairs, including Ambassador of Ukraine to the US H. E. Valeriy Chaly, the CEO of Horizon Capital Lenna Koszarny and Director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and former ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, with Francis Fukuyama, Mosbacher Director of CDDRL, as the moderator.
The final portion of the evening was a special benefit concert for the program. Sviatoslav Vakarchuk, lead singer of the band Okean Elzy and visiting scholar at CDDRL, and New York-based jazz pianist Fima Chupakhin performed in variety of styles, from traditional Ukrainian folk songs to American jazz standards. Learn more about the event here.
Inaugural Cohort of Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Selected
Stanford Cultivates the Next Generation of Ukrainian Leaders
A Special Evening to Celebrate the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program
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Head of the Board, Civil Network OPORA NGO
Draper Hills Summer Fellow ('16), Stanford University
John S. Knight Fellow ('16), Stanford University
John S. Knight Affiliate ('16), Stanford University
CEO, East European Foundation
Draper Hills Summer Fellow ('17), Stanford University
Democratic Governance Officer, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
Draper Hills Summer Fellow ('09), Stanford University
Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada
Draper Hills Summer Fellow ('09), Stanford University
Director of the Center for Democracy and Rule of Law and Co-Chairman of the Reanimation Package of Reforms
Draper Hills Summer Fellow ('07), Stanford University
Member of Parliament, Ukraine
Chair of the sub-committee on the European and Euroatlantic Integration
Draper Hills Summer Fellow ('11), Stanford University