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Mountaintop Launches Fellowship, Offering 15-25 Paid Fellowships in 8+ Countries

Washington, DC August 15, 2023 – Mountaintop, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to activating transformational local leadership in communities worldwide, is excited to announce the launch of its inaugural fellowship application. The program will support exceptional emerging leaders to stay in or return to their home communities and contribute to systems change in lower-income countries, reducing brain drain and supporting long-term sustainable development.


The Mountaintop fellowship program provides Fellows with a paid, one-year, full-time service experience, enabling them to contribute to their home communities' development by working on critical challenges alongside high-impact locally-led NGOs, government agencies, and social ventures. Mountaintop amplifies Fellows’ potential for impact by providing a world class experience including mentorship, grants, a lifelong community of inspiring peers, and a two week leadership institute hosted in Cambridge, USA at Harvard University’s Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Ethics.


For its inaugural cohort, Mountaintop is offering 15-25 paid full-time one year fellowships across 8+ countries through “host led” and “applicant led” fellowships. For host led fellowships, Mountaintop partners with high-impact local governments, NGOs, and social ventures in underserved communities in lower income countries to address a critical community need. For applicant led fellowships, Fellows apply for a scholarship to lead a high-impact independent project anywhere in the world outside the United States.


Founder and CEO Reed Shafer-Ray emphasized the organization's mission, stating: "In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose "Mountaintop" speech called for a locally led movement to stir our global consciousness, Mountaintop cultivates transformational local leadership and strengthens communities in places worldwide where success too often means leaving and not coming back.”


Eric Beerbohm, Director of the Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Ethics and a Professor of Government at Harvard University, added: “It is always wonderful to see what former undergraduates have done in their careers, but we are especially delighted to see Reed Shafer-Ray, an Undergraduate Fellow in Ethics at the Center from 2017 to 2018, creating an organization like Mountaintop. It is rare to have such tangible evidence of the positive impact our students can have in the world, and the Center is proud to have played a role in the path Reed has chosen to take.”


Mountaintop’s work is led by Founder and CEO Reed Shafer-Ray, who was inspired by the success of Lead For America, a nonprofit fellowship he co-founded in 2018. To date, Lead For America has raised $20 million and created nearly 400 full-time Fellowships for exceptional young Americans to return to serve and lead in the communities they call home.


The fellowship application process is now open to outstanding emerging professionals committed to serving their home communities outside the United States over the course of their lives and careers. The deadline for submitting applications is September 30th, with fellowships beginning July 13, 2024. Interested individuals can apply through Mountaintop's website at https://www.mountaintopfellows.org/fellowship.


About Mountaintop: Mountaintop is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that works toward a future where every community can solve its own problems in order to build a just, loving, and peaceful world for all. In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose "Mountaintop" speech called for a locally led movement to stir our global consciousness, Mountaintop cultivates transformational local leadership and strengthens communities in places worldwide where success too often means leaving and not coming back.


About Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Ethics: The Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Ethics seeks to strengthen teaching and research about pressing ethical issues; to foster sound norms of ethical reasoning and civic discussion; and to share the work of our community in the public interest.


For media inquiries, please contact: Reed Shafer-Ray, Founder and CEO, reed.shaferray@mountaintopfellows.org, +1 202-417-7171


Note: Additional information is available upon request.


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