Aspen New Voices Fellowship Announces Call for 2021 Nominations

August 17, 2020

The Aspen Institute seeks nominations for one-year non-resident media and advocacy coaching program for development leaders from Africa, Asia and Latin America

Contact: Michelle Geis Wallace
+254 711 326 770

Andrew Quinn
+1 202 736 2291

Washington, DC August 17, 2020 – The Aspen Institute’s New Voices Fellowship today announced a call for nominations for the 2021 Fellowship class to recruit a new cadre of global leaders who are eager to change the narrative around international development and bring fresh perspectives on issues ranging from health and human rights to COVID-19 response and climate change.

The New Voices Fellowship offers development experts from across Africa, Asia and Latin America a year-long program of media support, advocacy training, research and writing coaching under the guidance of experienced mentors and trainers.

The fellowship seeks exceptional leaders from countries that are underrepresented in global development conversations. The strongest candidates are people who live and work in the communities they serve, and who are prepared to amplify their public voice to advocate for changes they want to see at home and abroad.

For example, amid a new global health crisis, New Voices Fellows from diverse disciplines and geographies are providing critical insights and policy suggestions for governments and health authorities around the world. So far this year, Fellows have given over 170 interviews and written over 100 pieces on topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic—including the ethics of testing and the importance of community health workers, as well as preventing violence against women during lockdowns, and how to avert a pandemic-driven food crisis in Africa.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed huge gaps in existing development strategies, and the need for new thinking across the board,” said New Voices Director Andrew Quinn. “Listening to experts who are closest to the challenges can point us toward resilient, locally-driven solutions.”

New Voices will select a total of 20-25 Fellows in 2021. Roughly half the class will be made up of Fellows who are experts in fields such as infectious and non-infectious disease, food security, mental health, development economics, health and human rights, and climate change.

The remainder will be experts working on the frontlines of sexual and reproductive health and rights, part of an ongoing initiative to highlight how this crucial issue underpins work on everything from health and poverty to justice and equity around the world.

Application to the Fellowship is by nomination only through the program website at The nomination period will close on October 15, 2020 and the incoming class will be announced in January 2021.

Over the course of a year, New Voices prepares Fellows to become recognized thought leaders, helping amplify their insights and advocacy rooted in experience on the ground. They receive training and support to speak at major events; write conversation-starting op-eds and think pieces for major outlets; and build their social media platforms. The Fellowship is non-resident, but includes travel to training workshops as well as opportunities for travel to select international conferences. In 2021, this travel will be contingent on health considerations, and some of the training sessions will be delivered remotely. (Please refer to the FAQs for more on the impact of COVID-19 on this year’s Fellowship.)

New Voices Fellows have had their work featured in media sites ranging from the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and Al Jazeera to the Huffington Post, Africa Report, and Fellows have been interviewed by news organizations including the BBC, CNBC, and National Public Radio (NPR), appeared in a host of influential media outlets throughout Africa and South Asia, and been invited to speak at events including TED and the Aspen Ideas Festival.

The New Voices Fellowship at the Aspen Institute is a groundbreaking initiative designed to bring more expert voices from the developing world into the global development discussion. Launched in 2013, and with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Open Society Foundations and other funders, the New Voices Fellowship is part of the Aspen Global Innovators Group. For more information, visit

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit


View Comments