Millennium Leadership Program

Developing the world leaders of tomorrow.

The Millennium Leadership Program connects, develops, and equips rising leaders who will tackle the next generation of global challenges. In 2021, the Millennium Leadership Program (MLP) hired and onboarded an entirely new team, with new center Director Jonah Fisher taking the helm in April.

Under this new leadership, the Millennium Fellowship curriculum was reenvisioned to balance across three pillars: community, leadership, and impact, and the fellowship cohort also increased from twenty to thirty fellows. Key parts of MLP’s 2021 programming included intentional networking, individualized executive coaching, and virtual workshops grounded in the adaptive leadership framework. The fellowship also incorporated master classes with subject matter experts such as the late Secretary Madeleine Albright, General James Jones, Ambassador Paula J. Dobriansky, Ambassador Ross Wilson, and Ambassador Roya Rahmani to discuss geostrategic issues like the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, great-power competition, and US relations with China.

2021 was also a transformational year for the Young Global Professionals (YGP) Program. Following the relaunch of YGP as a paid internship experience, the MLP team worked to codify the YGP curriculum to consist of master classes, career development workshops, and case consultations. In conjunction with human resources partners, MLP led a highly successful execution of the spring, summer, and fall cohorts.

Two men on a couch
The 2020 Fellows Study Tour to Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia in October 2021.

In October 2021, the 2020 millennium fellows embarked on a twelve-day-long study tour to Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia to get an up-close look at the South Caucasus. The goal of the trip was to look at leadership in action on key global issues—conflict, great-power competition, democratic backsliding, climate change, and economic shifts—through a regional lens to better understand these issues on a global scale. During the tour, the fellows, including the head of climate strategy at Goldman Sachs, Estonia’s undersecretary of defense, and the former press secretary to the president of Ukraine, had the opportunity to deepen their working relationships and workshop live, professional challenges. Through meetings with the prime minister of Georgia, the president of Armenia, and others, the fellows developed a holistic understanding of the challenges facing the Caucasus, with each fellow aiming to integrate these insights into their respective work environments. Above all, the fellows reflected on the distinctive forms of leadership in each country and the ways in which they plan to incorporate these lessons into strengthening their respective leadership toolkits.

Vision for 2022

At the beginning of 2022, the MLP team piloted a new paid leadership program offering: the Millennium Virtual Leadership Intensive. This three-month leadership lab allows participants to get a taste for MLP programming and is designed to engage the many qualified Millennium Fellowship applicants within the Atlantic Council’s network. Following the pilot cohort, MLP hopes to make this initiative part of its regular programming.

The bulk of the 2021 fellowship experience will take place in 2022, particularly the flagship study tour, which will include an itinerary similar in complexity and dynamism to the 2020 South Caucasus tour. Additionally, in summer 2022, MLP will launch the 2022 class of millennium fellows.

Finally, the program is working toward incorporating its disparate initiatives into a cohesive leadership academy that will set the gold standard for developing international change makers at every stage of their professional journeys.

Group of people smiling in a library
The 2020 Millennium Fellows in Georgia in October 2021.


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Annual Report

May 10, 2022

III. Annual Report 2021/2022: Regional programs

By Atlantic Council

The Atlantic Council’s eight regional programs all had global impact in 2021. Read more about their accomplishments and plans to expand their reach.

Read the full report