Sofia Kouvelaki, CEO of The HOME Project, Announced as New Obama Foundation European Leader

The Inaugural and Fully Virtual Leaders: Europe Program Kicks Off on September 8th, 2020

Athens, September 4th  –Sofia Kouvelaki, CEO of The HOME Project has been selected as part of the inaugural, all-virtual Obama Foundation Leaders: Europe program, which kicks off on September 8th, 2020. The first cohort is composed of 35 emerging leaders who represent 18 countries throughout Europe. Through their work in government, civil society, and the private sector, these leaders have demonstrated a commitment to values-based leadership and effected transformational change in their communities. They work on a broad range of issues and focus areas, including, but not limited to: economic inequality; anti-racism; public health; strengthening democracy; technology and data privacy; the climate crisis; and building a stronger Europe.

Sofia is the CEO of The HOME Project, a non-profit that provides child protection services to unaccompanied refugee children in Greece. She has led the HOME Project in creating 11 shelters in Athens, supporting more than 520 children, and creating 140 jobs. Core to Sofia’s approach is her emphasis on developing healthy relationships between local and refugee communities and enhancing the social inclusion of refugee children.

While past Leaders programs began with a multi-day, in-person convening, before continuing online, Leaders: Europe has been adapted to a fully virtual program in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the six-month, non-residential program, these European changemakers will convene online weekly for interactive virtual sessions, through which they will hone their leadership skills, build deep relationships with a small group of European peers, and engage with thought leaders and members of the Obama Foundation community on ways to drive and scale change. The leaders will also have an opportunity to participate in other virtual programming, including a variety of special events and one-on-one conversations with experienced mentors and other leaders within the Foundation’s global network.

As an extension of the Obama Foundation's international Leaders regional programs, which started in Africa in 2018 and the Asia Pacific in 2019, Leaders: Europe is designed to further inspire, empower, and connect the emerging leaders to change their world. The Foundation’s programming in Europe began in 2019 with a town hall in Berlin, where President Obama was joined by more than 300 young leaders from across Europe to discuss the importance of community, leadership, and civic engagement. The Leaders: Europe program demonstrates the Foundation’s ongoing commitment to the region, along with the belief that these 35 emerging leaders, through their extraordinary work in their communities, have the potential to positively impact their countries, the region, and the world.

The launch of this program also comes on the heels of President Obama’s call earlier this year for a new generation of leaders to translate their justifiable anger into peaceful, sustained, and effective action. The all-virtual program will run from September 2020 through February 2021.

Leaders: Europe is made possible through generous contributions from sponsors, including The Rumi Foundation, an organization focused on supporting the next generation of young leaders through education, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

To learn more about Sofia Kouvelaki, CEO of The HOME Project, click here.

Meet the inaugural Leaders: Europe cohort and learn more about the program here.

For interview requests or other press related questions, please email [email protected].


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