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Leadership Program Team

Many of the world's biggest problems today stem from systemic imbalances of wealth, access, and power. Solving them requires an equitable approach to leadership that empowers previously unheard voices and is responsive to the complexity and interdependence of varied communities. Central to this is the vision and capability to put forth transformative actions and policies that reimagine concepts of power and governance. 

In answer to this need, the Equitable Futures Fellowship is a new program from the Doris Duke Foundation and the East-West Center for leaders from a broad range of cultures and backgrounds who aspire to create collaborative futures rooted in equity. Fellows will examine challenges and explore techniques to resolve inequity in its many forms, including gaps in income, health care, and education; impacts of the climate crisis; and challenges to societal pluralism.

Selected participants will include a diverse range of leaders and creative thinkers across government, communities, advocacy groups, media and technology, artists and entrepreneurs. This expanded view of who can create policies and positive change will ensure an array of unique experiences and ideas. Through a combination of in-person sessions in Hawai‘i and Aotearoa (New Zealand), plus regular virtual meetings, they will hear from top experts and engage in activities designed to enhance their knowledge, leadership capacities, and networks. The enduring skills and bonds they gain are intended to serve their communities and our world in building more equitable futures.


2024 Program Dates

The Equitable Futures Fellowship will run from October 2024-May 2025 and will require participation in virtual and in-person sessions.

  • Pre-Residency Virtual Sessions: October 14-27, 2024
  • Honolulu, Hawai‘i: October 28-November 8, 2024
  • Virtual Sessions: November 9, 2024-May 25, 2025
  • Wellington, New Zealand: May 26-31, 2025

How to Apply

The application will be available on our website mid-March 2024.

All applicants will be required to submit an online application through Submittable, our online application platform. Applications must include at least one letter of reference from a professional contact.

Eligibility Criteria

  • 5 to 10 years of professional leadership experience in any aspect of policy, advocacy of influence. This includes but is not limited to: elected officials, government agency representatives, advocacy group leaders, topic experts, community leaders, artists, activists, and entrepreneurs. 
  • A citizen or resident of countries in the Indo-Pacific region, or citizens or residents outside this region but whose past experience or current work comes with a focus on the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Applicants will be expected to have a fluent level of English. Applicants are encouraged to provide an English language test score (such as IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC…) if available.
  • A current passport with validity through the end of 2025.
  • Able to fully commit to two weeks of travel in October and November 2024 and one week in May 2025, plus regular virtual connections in between and a capstone project to implement during and after the program.

Desirable Qualifications

  • A minimum of 3 years of studies in a higher education institution sanctioned by a degree representing a full-time program of study is preferred but not required.
  • Committed to championing causes that serve communities most impacted by the global challenges of our time.
  • Proven ability to work in a manner that respects differences in ethnicity, culture, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance.
  • Willingness to learn and try new techniques and approaches, and to face unfamiliar experiences with curiosity and openness to the process, as well as to be challenged and willing to push beyond their professional comfort zone with a commitment to their personal growth.
  • Willing to engage fully in a place-based, policy-focused, creatively demanding program.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills to complete writing and public speaking assignments with high quality.

About Doris Duke Foundation

The mission of Doris Duke Foundation is to build a more creative, equitable and sustainable future by investing in artists and the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research, child well-being and greater mutual understanding among diverse communities. Visit www.dorisduke.org to learn more.

Many of the world's biggest problems today stem from systemic imbalances of wealth, access, and power. Solving them requires an equitable approach to leadership that empowers previously unheard voices and is responsive to the complexity and interdependence of varied communities. Central to this is the vision and capability to put forth transformative actions and policies that reimagine concepts of power and governance. 

In answer to this need, the Equitable Futures Fellowship is a new program from the Doris Duke Foundation and the East-West Center for leaders from a broad range of cultures and backgrounds who aspire to create collaborative futures rooted in equity. Fellows will examine challenges and explore techniques to resolve inequity in its many forms, including gaps in income, health care, and education; impacts of the climate crisis; and challenges to societal pluralism.

Selected participants will include a diverse range of leaders and creative thinkers across government, communities, advocacy groups, media and technology, artists and entrepreneurs. This expanded view of who can create policies and positive change will ensure an array of unique experiences and ideas. Through a combination of in-person sessions in Hawai‘i and Aotearoa (New Zealand), plus regular virtual meetings, they will hear from top experts and engage in activities designed to enhance their knowledge, leadership capacities, and networks. The enduring skills and bonds they gain are intended to serve their communities and our world in building more equitable futures.


2024 Program Dates

The Equitable Futures Fellowship will run from October 2024-May 2025 and will require participation in virtual and in-person sessions.

  • Pre-Residency Virtual Sessions: October 14-27, 2024
  • Honolulu, Hawai‘i: October 28-November 8, 2024
  • Virtual Sessions: November 9, 2024-May 25, 2025
  • Wellington, New Zealand: May 26-31, 2025

How to Apply

The application will be available on our website mid-March 2024.

All applicants will be required to submit an online application through Submittable, our online application platform. Applications must include at least one letter of reference from a professional contact.

Eligibility Criteria

  • 5 to 10 years of professional leadership experience in any aspect of policy, advocacy of influence. This includes but is not limited to: elected officials, government agency representatives, advocacy group leaders, topic experts, community leaders, artists, activists, and entrepreneurs. 
  • A citizen or resident of countries in the Indo-Pacific region, or citizens or residents outside this region but whose past experience or current work comes with a focus on the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Applicants will be expected to have a fluent level of English. Applicants are encouraged to provide an English language test score (such as IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC…) if available.
  • A current passport with validity through the end of 2025.
  • Able to fully commit to two weeks of travel in October and November 2024 and one week in May 2025, plus regular virtual connections in between and a capstone project to implement during and after the program.

Desirable Qualifications

  • A minimum of 3 years of studies in a higher education institution sanctioned by a degree representing a full-time program of study is preferred but not required.
  • Committed to championing causes that serve communities most impacted by the global challenges of our time.
  • Proven ability to work in a manner that respects differences in ethnicity, culture, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance.
  • Willingness to learn and try new techniques and approaches, and to face unfamiliar experiences with curiosity and openness to the process, as well as to be challenged and willing to push beyond their professional comfort zone with a commitment to their personal growth.
  • Willing to engage fully in a place-based, policy-focused, creatively demanding program.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills to complete writing and public speaking assignments with high quality.

About Doris Duke Foundation

The mission of Doris Duke Foundation is to build a more creative, equitable and sustainable future by investing in artists and the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research, child well-being and greater mutual understanding among diverse communities. Visit www.dorisduke.org to learn more.