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Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

Elliott Scholars Program

The Buffett Institute is delighted to launch a new scholars program for undergraduates.  The Elliott Scholars Program is named in honor of Roberta Buffett’s late husband, David Elliott (1929–2017), a businessman who served twice in the U.S. Peace Corps, managing programs in Sierra Leone, Nigeria and India in the mid-1960s, and in the early 1990s, volunteering in Poland.   

The Elliott Scholars Program provides an opportunity for a cohort of undergraduates to engage deeply in a critical issue within global affairs. 

In 2024–25, Elliott Scholars will focus on international development, addressing a range of issues such as public health, education, overcoming poverty, women’s empowerment and the environment. In this interdisciplinary program, students will analyze, apply and evaluate various approaches to development. They will have an opportunity to exchange ideas with leading scholars and practitioners drawn from a variety of fields and different global contexts.

Elliott Scholars will take a special two-course sequence over Winter and Spring 2025, followed by participation in an international internship opportunity through the Global Engagement Studies Institute (GESI) in Summer 2025.

During GESI, students will work in internships, joining the efforts of community organizations to advance community-driven change. This hands-on, collaborative experience will provide Elliott Scholars with the opportunity to apply what they have learned throughout the program in a community development setting abroad.

When applying for GESI, Elliott Scholars can indicate their preferred location and sector interests. For example, previous GESI students have worked in locations like Bolivia, Costa Rica, Uganda and Vietnam and sectors such as public health, sustainability and the environment, education, social enterprise and human rights.

Additional information, including course descriptions, will be available in Spring 2024.  

Applications to join the inaugural cohort will open in Fall 2024. Please check back for a preview of the application in Spring 2024. 

Questions? Please contact Associate Director for Strategic Initiatives Samantha Nissen.