Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program
The 2022-23 Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program application will open in Fall 2021.
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 Astem.Foundation (Rustem Umerov), Believe in Yourself Foundation (Victor and Iryna Ivanchyk), Dragon Capital (Tomas Fiala), MacPaw (Oleksandr Kosovan), Luminate, Liudy Maybutnoho (Svyatoslav Vakarchuk), and the Western NIS Enterprise Fund.
Interview with Oleksandra Ustinova
Oleksandra Ustinova discusses the role of the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program on her election to Parliament.
Meet the Third Cohort
CDDRL launched the third year of the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program to an audience of over 200 from the Stanford and local Ukrainian-American community on Oct. 3, 2019.
Who is Really Corrupt in Ukraine?
Mosbacher Director Francis Fukuyama interviewed Serhii Leshchenko, former MP and a journalist, about the corruption scandal in Ukraine and in the United States.
Welcoming the Fourth Cohort of Ukrainian Emerging Leaders to Stanford
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.
Academic Advisory Council
The Future of Ukrainian Democracy after Elections: Successes and Challenges
In light of the elections the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program at the Stanford University Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law gathered DC-based policy makers, high-level Ukrainian state officials and parliamentarians to discuss lessons that should be learned from the presidential elections, and what can we take away looking toward the parliamentary elections.
The Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program at the Stanford University Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law organized a conference on these political developments to discuss pertinent policy issues that will affect Ukraine’s future. This conference reflected how UELP fellows are creating an important place for conversation on global development and Ukraine at Stanford University by raising key questions about the country’s future direction.
Reforms in Ukraine
Watch the first panel featuring Nataliya Mykolska, Mustafa Nayem, Oleksandr Saienko, and Oleksandra Ustinova
Brilliant Minds of Stanford and Silicon Valley
Francis Fukuyama on Why We Should All Be Paying Attention to Ukraine
FSI Podcast with Oleksandra Ustinova (2018-19)
- Contact Us
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
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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