March 22, 2021

HGHI LEAD Fellowship for Promoting Women in Global Health | 2021 Application now OPEN!

In an effort to equip and empower more women leaders in global health, the Harvard Global Health Institute and the Women and Health Initiative at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health offers a transformational fellowship specifically designed to promote leadership skills in individuals from low- and middle-income countries who will, in turn, mentor future female leaders in global health. We are excited to announce that the 2021 LEAD Fellowship application is now open.

Harvard Global Health Institute LEAD Fellows have access to world-class faculty, are provided with senior mentors and the opportunity to build a custom curriculum aligned to their own unique personal growth and leadership plan. Based on their specific interests and leadership goals, LEAD fellows engage in tailored leadership training program, speaking and networking opportunities, and independent project work. The fellowship offers the unique opportunity to build a global network of peers and relationships across schools and departments of Harvard University. The fellowship experience provides global health leaders time to reflect, recalibrate, and explore uncharted territories.

We look forward to welcoming a third cohort of LEAD Fellows, who will join a close-knit community of former Fellows from around the world. To date, Fellows have come from 6 different countries, with representation from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and South America. Their areas of focus have ranged from HIV/AIDS and healthcare to health policy at the highest levels of government and span disciplines including research, advocacy, administration and policy. You can learn more about our current and past fellows here.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in accordance with Harvard University protocol, the 2021-22 LEAD fellowship program will begin virtually during the fall semester (September through December 2021). We are excited to announce that the 2021-2022 fellowship will include an in-person experience during the spring 2022 semester. The in-residence experience of living in Cambridge, Massachusetts offers the unique opportunity for in-person networking, classes, meetings, events and workshops, and we look forward to welcoming the selected fellows here next year. 


We welcome applicants from all continents, regions, disciplines, sectors, gender and gender identities. Candidates nominate themselves by applying for the fellowship. There are no age limits or academic prerequisites. 

  • Applicants must work full-time in the field of global health and have at least 15 years of professional experience. Global-health related work completed as a university student does not count as professional experience.
  • Applicants must have demonstrated leadership experience. 
  • Applicants must have the full support of their employer and a champion in their organization who serves as an internal mentor. 
  • Applicants must take a leave of absence (or equivalent) from their home institution during the spring full curriculum semester. 
  • Applicants must be able to obtain a J-1 visa for travel to the United States in spring 2022, and must be able to reside in Cambridge, MA from January – May 2022. NOTE: Visa fees, housing, and flights will be covered under the fellowship and a living stipend will be provided for the months in residence.
  • During the two years prior to arrival at Harvard, the fellows should not have participated in a full-time fellowship that lasted 4 months or longer.

The 2021 application is now OPEN and will close on May 3rd, 2021.


Applicants will be notified in August 2021 if they have received the LEAD fellowship opportunity. For more information on the LEAD fellowship experience, application requirements and eligibility please visit our website here.

For questions about the LEAD Fellowship contact Olivia Mulvey, Senior Coordinator, Harvard Global Health Institute, at

2019 LEAD fellowship cohort with Fellowship Donor Jane Sun 

2019 and 2020 LEAD Cohort engaged in a virtual event with HGHI staff