Incoming class of twenty-one young leaders selected from 1,300 applicants and over 100 nations

WASHINGTON DC—July 8, 2020—Today, the Atlantic Council announced its 2020 class of Millennium Fellows. The Millennium Fellowship is one of the most competitive programs in the world for future leaders between the ages of 25 and 35 in the international affairs field. This year’s class was selected from nearly 1,300 applicants from over 100 countries – a 1.6% acceptance rate. A video release announcing the new fellows can be viewed here. The 2020 cohort will join the Millennium Leadership Program’s growing network of over 500 fellows and alumni that span eighty-two countries and a wide range of sectors.

 “The Atlantic Council’s fellows are already leading at the highest levels of business, civil society, and public service; actively having an influence on the biggest issues of our time; and still have decades of impact ahead in their careers – investing in them is not just about the future, it’s also about the what they are doing today, “ said John Rogers, Atlantic Council Chairman, and Executive Vice President, Chief of Staff and Secretary to the Board of Directors of Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.

A full a list of this year’s fellows, including their biographies, can be found here. The Millennium fellows represent a wide range of perspectives from across civil society, government, and business. From civil society, they include a Venezuelan nonprofit founder feeding tens of thousands of children across his country, a Zambian thought leader exploring the evolving relationship between China and Africa, an Iraqi-Kurdish civil society leader advancing women in government, the Director for Science and Policy at the Infectious Diseases Society of America driving policy on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, and a climate adaptation expert leading UNDP efforts in one of the most environmentally threatened regions of the world – Bangladesh. From government, they include the Undersecretary for Defense Policy for Estonia working at the nexus of technology and security, the Director of Special Projects at the Brazilian Ministry of Economy guiding their transition to e-government amidst the pandemic, the presidential spokesperson for the Government of Ukraine, and the Deputy Mayor of Budapest leading environmental and political reform in his country.

These are just some of the emerging leaders from the public and nonprofit sectors, who will join a host of rising stars from the worlds of business and finance. These including Principle Economists at multilateral investment institutions alongside Founders, Chief Operating Officers, and CEO’s, shaping the future of finance at Goldman Sachs, Bridgewater Associates, Mission Gate, and Morgan Stanley; mobility and defense technology at General Atomics; FinTech and cryptocurrency at PayPal and Inca Digital; and post-conflict development at DT Global. All under the age of thirty-five, they are already leading at a high level with decades of impact ahead in their careers.

The fellowship is the cornerstone of the Atlantic Council’s efforts to foster the next generation of foreign policy leaders. The program functions as an accelerator for already high-achieving young leaders that connects them with their peers around the world while offering a rich mix of leadership development experiences. These include expeditions to the front lines of key global issues shepherded by the Atlantic Council’s top experts (in 2019, the fellows visited Colombia to explore the historic peace process, the crisis in Venezuela, and the orange economy); participation in high-level conferences; and master classes with senior leaders and individual executive coaching. In 2020, the Fellowship will run its first virtual program, delivering trainings, coaching, and master classes through an online curriculum, but will continue to deliver its featured study tours and leadership retreats in-person in 2021.

Through this mix of networking, training, and exposure, the Council aims to cement an international network of future leaders who will champion constructive international solutions to the world’s biggest challenges over the coming decades.

For further information or to arrange an interview with a fellow, please contact Millennium Leadership Program Director Daniel Bennett at [email protected].