Mountaintop Fellowship and Leadership Training at Harvard University

Fellowship in Leadership
  • Apply Before : September 30, 2023

Opportunity Details

  • Opportunity ID 219157
  • Degree Non Degree Program/Certificate
  • No. of Opportunity 25
  • Fields of study Leadership
  • Opportunity Type : Partially Funded
  • Duration 1 Year
  • Gender MaleFemale
  • Language of Instruction English
  • Application Fee Required No

Opportunity Description

Mountaintop offers a paid, one-year, full-time fellowship for exceptional emerging leaders from around the world. For its inaugural cohort, Mountaintop will place 15-25 Fellows across more than eight countries.

Application is open for extraordinary emerging leaders to stay in or return to their home communities and contribute to systems change in lower-income places worldwide.

The organizer also matches Fellows with locally led NGOs, government agencies, and social ventures to lead high-impact projects and reinforces Fellows’ capacity. The Mountaintop also amplifies Fellows’ potential through grants, mentorship, a lifelong community of inspiring peers, and a two-week leadership institute hosted at Harvard University‘s Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Ethics.

All fellows in Host Led Fellowships, which are placements serving with a predetermined NGO, government agency, or social venture, and Applicant Led Fellowships, independent projects proposed by the applicant anywhere outside the United States, may receive payments from Mountaintop.

What Makes the Mountaintop Fellowship Special?

The following features make the Mountaintop Fellowship Special:

  • Custom High-Impact Placements
  • Stipend, Benefits, and Fully Paid Leadership Institute
  • Long-Term Commitment to Community and Cause
  • Focus on Long-Term Sustainability

Key Details

Organizer: Mountaintop Organization

Program Type: Fellowship

Funding Type: Fully-funded

Number of Fellowships: 15-25 Fellows across eight countries

Application Deadline: Varies University Based

Fellowship Duration: One Year

Key Dates

Application Due: September 30, 2023 (11:59 pm Local Time)

Finalist Interview: Completed by November 10, 2023

Leadership Institute: July 13-26, 2024

Fellowship Service: August 1, 2024 – July 31, 2025

Alumni Programming: August 1, 2025 and Beyond

Funds and Activities of the Mountaintop Fellowship

The Mountaintop Fellowship consists of the following funding options, supports, and activities:

  • Placements

As mentioned in the description, the Mountaintop provides host and applicant-led fellowships.

For the host-led fellowships, hosts determine a one-year full-time position stipend for the Fellow equal to the annual salary of comparable employees on their team.

For applicant-led fellowships, Fellows can apply for a scholarship to lead a high-impact independent project anywhere outside the United States.

  • Recruitment and Selection Opportunity

Mountaintop’s main responsibility is coordinating with universities, hosts, and leadership networks to hire excellent emerging professionals to serve in fellowships in their home countries.

Mountaintop selects committed fellows to stay permanently in their home communities throughout their careers. Fellows should have a demonstrated track record in public service or entrepreneurship.

Applicants don’t need to meet any age restrictions. For host-led fellowships, hosts will attend Finalist interviews and approve all selections.

Applicants unfamiliar with English can complete the application in their native language. The selected Fellows will receive a complimentary online English course before starting the Leadership Institute.

Those applicants who do not have access to cheap or reliable Internet can download the application form and submit responses in written or typed form via email at

  • Training

In July 2024, before their placements, Fellows will attend a two-week Leadership Institute training at Harvard’s Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Ethics in Cambridge, United States. The Institute will train the selected Fellows on Mountaintop’s transformational leadership curriculum, which includes the following:

  • Moral leadership or, in other words, living by higher values besides inspiring others to do the same
  • Systems leadership, or impacting culture, policies, ecosystems, and other fundamental levers to contribute to sustainable change
  • Public leadership, or working with governments as an elected civil servant, official, or advocate to reinforce democratic institutions and make a large-scale impact
  • Collective leadership, or cultivating fellow community members’ capacities and leadership skills

Who facilitated the Training?

Fellows will also receive Training to complete an optional “listening tour” of their communities. This training program will help the fellows map opportunities and challenges facing diverse local stakeholders to inform their local leadership.

Mountaintop world-class partners from academia, philanthropy, entrepreneurship, public service, and ministry will facilitate the Institute. These partners will represent global cultural, ethnic, geographic, and ideological diversity.

Who are the Current Training Partners?

The current partners list includes the following organizations:

  1. The Aspen Institute Leadership Index
  2. Harvard’s Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Ethics
  3. Faculty at Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School.
  • Catalyst Funds

Once their placements start, Fellows can apply for up to $2,500 in Mountaintop funding option. This amount is to invest in community empowerment projects to strengthen local leadership.

  • Long-Term Sustainability Programs

For applicants and students, Mountaintop offers lifetime support through one-to-one mentorship, grants and investment access, and job support to help them stay rooted in their communities.

For hosts, Mountaintop offers Training, access to funders, and a network of practice to help them deepen and scale their work.

  • Mountaintop Executive Fellowship

The Executive Fellowship of Mountaintop is primarily for mid and senior-level professionals. Mountaintop offers a limited availability executive education program for outstanding emerging leaders at high-impact organizations to enable their commitment to their local communities. Furthermore, this fellowship accelerates their ability to make a transformational impact in the communities.

Executive Fellows will receive the same benefits as other Fellows, including the following options:

  • A two-week Leadership Institute at Harvard
  • Fellowship cost of $6,000 for accepted Executive Fellows, payable through employer sponsorship or directly by the Fellow

Requirements for the Mountaintop Fellowship

Mountaintop accepts applications from individuals with the highest potential to be transformational leaders in their home communities for the long term. Applicants should generally meet these three criteria:

  1. Eligibility:

Applicants must fulfill the requirements below to apply for the Mountaintop Fellowship:

  • Applicants should be committed to serving their home country throughout their career. For larger countries, fellows should commit to their home community, home state, or province.
  • They should attend an in-person full-time training program from July 13th-26th, 2024, on Harvard’s campus in Cambridge, USA.
  • Spend at least 40 hours per week on their fellowship project for the fellowship period. Fellows’ jobs, study, parenting, or other activities and responsibilities should not interfere with this full-time commitment.
  • Applicants don’t need to fulfill age or degree requirements but may require additional eligibility requirements to meet specific host-led fellowships.
  1. Transformational Leadership Potential:

In addition to the above requirements, applicants should:

  • Provide outstanding track record of meaningful impact in leadership, social entrepreneurship, or public services.
  • Be innovative, collaborative, ambitious, systems-oriented, and creative.
  • They are at the early stage of their professional careers.
  • Demonstrate that the Mountaintop Fellowship can accelerate their route as a transformational leader and help them stay in or return to their home country.
  1. Values Alignment:

Fellows should align themselves with the following values:

  • Universal Compassion
  • Unconditional Loving others, even disagree with
  • Visionary Wisdom:
  • Long-Term Dedication
  • Selfless Courage

How to Apply for Mountaintop Fellowship?

Applicants worldwide can apply for the Mountaintop Fellowship as a fellow or host. Please click the following options to apply:


Apply to Become a Fellow   OR    Apply to Become Host


Please visit the official Mountaintop Fellowship website for further details or review the FAQs at the bottom of the main page.

Click here to learn about Host Led Fellowships, which include placements serving with an NGO, government agency, or social venture.

To learn more about Applicant Led Fellowships, which include independent projects proposed by the applicant, click here.


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