The 2019 Draper Hills Fellows Program Class of 2019 at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. Photo Credit: Stanford Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law

Draper Hills Summer Fellows Program on Democracy and Development at Stanford University

Deadline: 11th January, 2021

Launched in 2005, the Draper Hills Summer Fellows Program (DHSF) is a three-week intensive academic training program that is hosted annually at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. The program brings together a group of 25 to 30 non-academic mid-career practitioners in law, politics, government, private enterprise, civil society, and international development from all regions of the world. This training program provides a unique forum for emerging leaders to connect, exchange experiences, and receive academic training to enrich their knowledge and advance their work.

For three weeks during the summer, fellows participate in academic seminars that expose them to the theory and practice of democracy, development, and the rule of law. Delivered by leading Stanford faculty from across the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Affairs, the Stanford Law School, the Graduate School of Business, and the departments of economics and political science, these seminars allow emerging leaders to explore new institutional models and frameworks to enhance their ability to promote democratic change in their home countries.

Guest speakers from private foundations, think tanks, government, and the justice system provide a practitioners viewpoint on such pressing issues in the field. Past program speakers have included: Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California- the Honorable Tino Cuéllar; Carl Gershman, president of the National Endowment for Democracy; and Eric Schmidt, former executive chairman of Google. Summer Fellows also visit Silicon Valley technology firms such as Facebook, Google and Twitter to explore how technology tools and social media platforms are interacting with democracy.

Alumni of the DHSF become part of an alumni community of 383 members across 83 countries. Fellows continue to strengthen their connection to Stanford and with members of the network through online learning, regional workshops, and capacity-building opportunities around the world.

The program is funded by generous support from Bill Draper and Ingrid von Mangoldt Hills.

The Draper Hills Summer Fellows alumni network includes 383 alumni from 83 developing democracies worldwide. Their professional backgrounds are as diverse as the problems they confront in their home countries, but the one common feature is their commitment to building sound structures of democracy and development. The regions of Eurasia, which includes the former Soviet Union and Central Asia, along with Africa, constitute almost half of our alumni network. Women represent 46 percent of the network and the program is always looking to identify strong female leaders working to advance change in their local communities.

Previous Draper Hills Summer Fellows have served as presidential advisors, senators, attorneys general, lawyers, journalists, civic activists, entrepreneurs, judges, think-tank directors, and influential members of the international development community. The program is highly selective and receives hundreds of applications each year.

About the Draper Hills Summer Fellows Program

Launched in 2005, the Draper Hills Summer Program (DHSF) is a three-week intensive academic training program that is hosted annually at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. The program brings together a group of 25 to 30 mid-career practitioners in law, politics, government, private enterprise, civil society, and international development from all regions of the world. This training program provides a unique forum for emerging leaders to connect, exchange experiences, and receive academic training to enrich their knowledge and advance their work.

For three weeks during the summer, fellows participate in academic seminars that expose them to the theory and practice of democracy, development, and the rule of law. Delivered by leading Stanford faculty from the Stanford Law School, the Graduate School of Business, and the departments of economics and political science, these seminars allow emerging leaders to explore new institutional models and frameworks to enhance their ability to promote democratic change in their home countries.

Guest speakers from private foundations, think tanks, government, and the justice system provide a practitioners viewpoint on such pressing issues in the field. Summer Fellows also visit Silicon Valley technology firms such as Benetech, Google and Twitter to explore how technology tools and social media platforms are being used to catalyze democratic practices on a global scale.

The  program is funded  by the generous support from Bill Draper and Ingrid von Mangoldt Hills.

Program Curriculum

The program curriculum combines five different session styles, which include: academic lectures, case-study workshops, TED-style talks delivered by our fellows, guest lecturers from distinguished figures in the field, and site visits to leading technology firms. 

Eligibility

This program is aimed at mid-career practitioners working actively in the fields of democracy, development, and the rule of law. Applicants can be working as policy-makers, academics, legal professionals, social entrepreneurs, business entrepreneurs, and leaders of civil society organizations (such as representatives of trade unions, nongovernmental organizations, the media, business and professional associations). In their present capacity, applicants should play important and influential roles in their country’s political, economic, and social development. Participants should have demonstrated professional and personal achievements in a relevant sector of democracy, development, and the rule of law.

Each year we strive to recruit a diverse group of 25 to 30 individuals who are at the right stage in their professional trajectory to benefit from rigorous academic training to enhance their potential to promote democratic change in their home countries. Successful applicants will have academic credentials necessary to participate and contribute to the six-hour seminars each day and tackle advanced academic readings to complement the classroom-based curriculum. Ninety-nine percent of our alumni hold a bachelor’s degree at the time of their participation in the program but this is not a requirement for admission to the program.

A working knowledge of English is an important prerequisite for participation in the program. It is expected that each fellow has a solid command of written and spoken English to fully benefit and participate in the program.



For more information on the Draper Hills Summer Fellows Program, visit the Official Webpage here.

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