Launched in 2005, the Draper Hills Summer Fellowship on Democracy and Development Program (DHSFDD) is a three-week 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 transitioning countries. 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. Past program speakers have included: Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California Honorable Tino Cuéllar; Carl Gershman, president of the National Endowment for Democracy; Stacy Donohue, director of investments at the Omidyar Network; Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google; and Judge Lucy Koh, judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Summer Fellows also visit Silicon Valley technology firms such as Google and Twitter to explore how technology tools and social media platforms are being used to catalyze democratic practices on a global scale.
Alumni of the DHSFDD become part of the Omidyar Network Leadership Forum, an alumni program that strives to build a global community of democracy activists. Fellows continue to strengthen their connection to Stanford and with members of the network through regional workshops, reunions and capacity-building opportunities around the world
The program is funded by generous support from Bill and Phyllis Draper and Ingrid von Mangoldt Hills. View last year’s program agenda and read the 2015 class bios
This program is aimed at mid-career practitioners working actively in the field 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 a 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 have a solid command of written and spoken English to fully benefit and participate in the program. Semi- finalists may be asked to participate in a short phone interview and/or submit a short 3-4 min video testimonial. The ideal participant will have extraordinary motivation and a keen interest in learning as well as sharing knowledge and experiences to help build and enrich the alumni community.
Due to the large volume of applications we receive each year to the fellowship program, we take our selection criteria very seriously. Please review the criteria below very carefully before submitting your application to the program. If you do not meet these criteria your application will not be reviewed.
1. This is not an academic fellowship but meant for practitioners only. We value practical experience over academic credentials, and we admit scholars only to the extent that they are active in government, public policy, civil society, economic development and rule of law. They should hold leadership roles in their respective sector.
2. Applicants must be mid-career practitioners and have at least ten to 12 years of experience to qualify for the fellowship. Those with more experience are much more competitive in the selection process.
3. Candidates must be from and currently reside in a country where democracy is not well entrenched. Candidates residing outside their home country due to war or conflict may be granted exceptions. Applicants will not be accepted from countries such as: the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan, and member states of the European Union.
4. Candidates must be at least 28 years of age at the start of the fellowship in July 2016. The average age of our fellows at the time of the program is 38.
5. Candidates must be actively working in the field of democracy, development, and the rule of law. We do not accept candidates who are in the midst of full-time university degree programs.
6. Candidates must have a solid command of written and spoken English. All program materials and sessions are in English. Participants will also be required to give 9-minute TED-style talks throughout the three-week program regarding their work and motivation. English language proficiency is very important in order to benefit and contribute to the program dialogue.
Stanford will pay travel, accommodation, and living expenses for the duration of the three-week program for applicants. Participants will be housed on the Stanford campus in residential housing during the program. When possible, applicants are encouraged to supply some or all of their own funding from their current employers or international nongovernmental organizations. The program is unable to provide funding for families to accompany fellows to Stanford for the program or to accommodate them during the program's duration.
We ask that all applicants carefully read the application guidelines in their entirety before applying to the program. You should also carefully review the frequently asked questions section at the end of the booklet to address any questions you may have concerning the application process. The guidelines cover all steps in the application process. We ask that you please do not reach out to the program team unless a question is not covered in this booklet. If there are any questions or difficulty with the application, please email: email@example.com.