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For its inaugural cohort, Mountaintop will place 15-25 Fellows across 8+ countries.

To learn about host led fellowships (placements serving with a predetermined NGO, social venture, or government agency), click here.

To learn more about applicant led fellowships (independent projects proposed by the applicant), click here.


Mountaintop provides host led fellowships and applicant led fellowships. For 1) host led fellowships, Mountaintop partners with high-impact government agencies, NGOs, and social ventures in underserved communities in lower income countries to address a critical community need. Hosts determine a stipend for a one-year full-time position equal to the annual salary of comparable employees on their team. For 2) applicant led fellowships, Fellows apply for a scholarship to lead a high-impact independent project anywhere in the world outside the United States.

2) Recruitment and Selection

Mountaintop coordinates with hosts, universities, and leadership networks to recruit outstanding emerging professionals to serve in fellowships in their home communities and countries. Mountaintop selects Fellows who are committed to permanently staying in their home communities over the course of their careers and who have a demonstrated track record in public service and/or entrepreneurship. There are no age restrictions. For host led fellowships, hosts participate in Finalist interviews and approve all selections.


For those who struggle with English, candidates can complete the application in their native language and selected Fellows are given a complimentary online English course before beginning the Leadership Institute. Those who do not have access to cheap, reliable Internet can download the application and submit responses (written or typed) via email at


In July before their placements, Fellows attend a free two-week Leadership Institute at Harvard's Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Ethics in Cambridge, USA. Mountaintop covers all expenses associated with the Leadership Institute, including travel, lodging, meals, and visas. The Leadership Institute trains Fellows on Mountaintop's transformational leadership curriculum, which includes: moral leadership, or living by higher values while inspiring others to do the same; systems leadership, or impacting culture, ecosystems, policies, and other fundamental levers to contribute to sustainable change; public leadership, or working with governments as an elected official, civil servant, or advocate to strengthen democratic institutions and make large-scale impact; and collective leadership, or cultivating the capacities and leadership skills of fellow community members. Fellows are also given training to complete an optional "listening tour" of their communities to map challenges and opportunities facing a diversity of local stakeholders to inform their local leadership.


The Institute will be facilitated by world class partners from academia, public service, philanthropy, entrepreneurship, and ministry who will represent the diversity of the globe in geography, culture, ethnicity, and ideology. Current partners include the Aspen Institute Leadership Index, Harvard's Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Ethics, and faculty at Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School. In addition, selected Fellows will have the opportunity to provide input into what they would like to emphasize during the Institute, helping shape the training and customizing it for their needs.


Once their placements begin, Fellows can apply for up to $2,500 in competitive Mountaintop funding to invest in community empowerment projects to strengthen local leadership.


For alumni, Mountaintop provides lifetime support through 1:1 mentorship, job support, and access to grants and investments to help them stay rooted in their communities. For hosts, Mountaintop provides trainings, a network of practice, and access to funders to help them deepen and scale their work.

Mountaintop Executive Fellowship

Primarily intended for mid and senior level professionals, Mountaintop is offering a limited availability executive education program for exceptional emerging leaders at high-impact organizations to strengthen their commitment to their local communities and accelerate their ability to make transformational impact. Executive Fellows receive the same benefits as other Fellows, including the two week Leadership Institute at Harvard. The cost for accepted Executive Fellows is $6,000, and can be paid via employer sponsorship or directly by the Fellow. Learn more about the application here

Dramatic Sunset over the Mountains

What We Look For

Mountaintop is seeking individuals who we believe have the highest potential to be transformational leaders in their home communities long term.



  • Committed to serving their home country over the course of their career. For larger countries, we look for commitment to home community or home state/province.

  • Committed to attending a full-time in-person training event on Harvard's campus in Cambridge, USA July 13th-26th, 2024.

  • Committed to serve 40 hours/week on their fellowship project for the duration of the fellowship. Jobs, classes, parenting, or other responsibilities must not interfere with this full-time commitment.

  • Note that there are no general age or degree requirements, but specific host led fellowships may have additional eligibility requirements.


Transformational Leadership Potential

  • Outstanding track record driving meaningful impact in leadership, public service, and/or social entrepreneurship.

  • Innovative, systems oriented, collaborative, ambitious, and innovative.

  • At the early stage of their professional careers. Can demonstrate that the Mountaintop Fellowship can meaningfully accelerate their trajectory as a transformational leader and help them stay in or return to their home community or country.

Mountain Peak

Values Alignment

  • Universal Compassion: Empathizing with the suffering of others, regardless of who they are.

  • Unconditional Love: Loving others unconditionally, even those we deeply disagree with.

  • Visionary Wisdom: Making imaginative, effective, evidence-based, and historically informed decisions and striving to understand diverse perspectives.

  • Long-Term Dedication: Committing over the course of a career or lifetime to a particular community or cause.

  • Selfless Courage: Acting for the greater good even in the face of uncertainty, complacency, inconvenience, risk, or danger.

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Fellowship Timeline

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

Includes a resume and written responses. Applicant led fellowship candidates also submit project proposals.

Finalist Interview: Completed by November 10, 2023

Virtual Finalist interview that includes Mountaintop staff. Host led fellowships will also include the host supervisor. Finalists will be asked to submit two references who may be contacted. Selection notifications made by November 17, and Fellows must accept offers no later than December 1.

Leadership Institute: July 13-26, 2024

The Leadership Institute takes place for two weeks in person at Harvard University's Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Ethics in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Fellowship Service: August 1, 2024 - July 31, 2025.

Fellows work full-time (40 hours/week) on their fellowship project. Note that a limited number of host led fellowships may start earlier. Specific timeline information will be provided on each host led fellowship's profile.

Alumni Programming: August 1, 2025 and Beyond

After their fellowships, alumni receive ongoing support to build public minded ventures, advance into positions of leadership in governments, nonprofits, and business, launch movements, and run for elected office.

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Snowy Mountain Sunset

Start The Fellowship Application

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