Incoming class of 32 young leaders selected from over 1,000 applicants from across the globe

WASHINGTON, DC—August 4th, 2021—The Atlantic Council announced today its 2021 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 international affairs. This year’s class was selected from over 1,000 applicants representing 100+ countries – a 3 percent acceptance rate. The fellows will join the Millennium Leadership Program’s growing network of over 500 fellows and alumni that span 82 countries and a wide range of sectors.

“As the world faces an unprecedented avalanche of challenges ranging from climate change to the decline of democracy, there has never been a more urgent moment to usher in the next generation of change agents,” said Jonah Fisher, Director of the Atlantic Council’s Millennium Leadership Program. “We feel confident that this year’s class of Millennium Leadership Fellows will individually and collectively tackle some of the most intractable issues of the day.”

We feel confident that this year’s class of Millennium Leadership Fellows will individually and collectively tackle some of the most intractable issues of the day.”

Jonah Fisher, Director of the Atlantic Council’s Millennium Leadership Program

This year’s cohort—approximately 55 percent female and 45 percent male with representation from all continents aside from Antarctica—represent a wide range of perspectives from across civil society, government, and business. A full list of this year’s fellows, including their biographies, can be found here.

From the civil society sector, the 2021 fellows include a Sri Lankan eco-social entrepreneur tackling climate change, human rights, and gender equality across Asia; a Kashmiri physician researching health equity measures as a Senior Researcher at Harvard Business School; and a Bulgarian nonprofit leader financing renewable energy programs across Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa. Fellows from the government sector include the Technical Director of the Office of the First Lady of Namibia, a female Air Force veteran with over 100 completed combat missions serving as a Lead Speechwriter to the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs; and the youngest Minister of Education and Social Development ever elected to the Government of Anguilla.  

In addition to emerging leaders from the public and nonprofit sectors, the cohort includes several rising stars from the world of business and finance. These include principal economists at multilateral investment institutions alongside founders, COOs, and CEOs, shaping the future of finance at Goldman Sachs, Bridgewater Associates, BlackRock, BNP Paribas, and UBS Global Wealth Management; leaders operating at the nexus of mobility and defense at General Atomics; and rising stars advancing cutting edge technology at Google and Facebook.

The fellowship is the cornerstone of the Atlantic Council’s efforts to foster the next generation of foreign policy leaders with its three pillars of leadership-development, community-building, and impact-acceleration. 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. Fellows will participate in expeditions to the front lines of key global issues shepherded by the Atlantic Council’s top experts, supplemented by master classes with senior leaders and individual executive coaching. Coming off its first ever virtual programming in 2020, the fellowship will continue to run a mix of online curriculum to deliver trainings, coaching, and master classes, but will return to the featured study tours and leadership retreats in-person at the end of 2021 and into the beginning of 2022.

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 Jonah Fisher at[email protected].