Leadership Initiatives

The Big Win

By supporting the next generation of transformational leaders through peer-to-peer collaboration, training, and advisory support, we can help ensure sustainable, country-led development for decades to come.


Big Win is supporting three initiatives focused on advancing transformational political leadership: the Harvard Ministerial Leadership Program, the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Center’s Leadership Academy, and the Obama Foundation’s Africa Leaders Program.

Harvard Ministerial Leadership Program

Big Win Philanthropy partners with Harvard University to offer a ministerial leadership program to support leaders from Africa and around the world to pursue their agendas for transformation. Now in its 8th year, the program has brought together 183 serving ministers from 65 countries.

The leadership program concentrates on regions where the demographic dividend of growing populations is under-exploited. The program is orienting ministers to see how central human development is to their national agendas.

By convening leaders across sectors and continents, the Ministers benefit from collaboration and insight from across the spectrum. They are encouraged to articulate their vision for the future and turn their legacy goals into concrete programs.

Learn more about the program here.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development: Amujae Initiative

Building on the inspirational legacy of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – the first elected woman head of state in Africa - the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development aims to become the continent’s driving advocate for equality in political representation. Its mission is to enable a wave of qualified women across Africa ready to assume political and executive leadership by providing training, networking and advisory support.

The Center is establishing the Amujae Initiative to support women who have already demonstrated the tenacity and personal investment to lead within their respective communities or nations but still have a sufficient runway ahead of them to reach the highest ranks of political office.

Each year, the Amujae Initiative will select approximately 20 women between the ages 30-45 with backgrounds in public service, elected office, or policy. These women will further have demonstrated their commitment to championing other women through the introduction of policy, civil society organizing, direct mentorship or other efforts.

The women will take part in four separate, 3-day in person sessions over a one-year period. The sessions will combine case studies in leadership, formal training in management, skill building and adaptive leadership, and roundtable discussions. Throughout the program, the participants will be given the opportunity to learn from academics and global leaders who have thrived in their respective professions.

Big Win is leading the effort to design and recruit the participants and faculty for the initial academy. The Amujae Initiative will launch in March 2020 with participants from Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, the Gambia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Obama Foundation: Africa Leaders Program

In 2018, the Obama Foundation launched the Africa Leaders Program to convene 200 emerging African leaders from across the continent. Participants – who are generally under the age of 35 – have demonstrated a commitment to bringing meaningful change to their communities and a potential to deliver transformational impact. They are brought together for five days of intensive leadership training, self-reflection, and peer-to-peer connection to hone their skills.

During the first year, Big Win worked with the leadership team on program design and participant selection. During the second year, Big Win funded facilitators for the program.