By Léo Azambuja

Cohort II Fellows 1

Omidyar Fellows’ Leadership Development Program is looking for applicants for its third cohort. Scott McFarland, fifth from the left, is Kaua‘i’s fellow for the current cohort.

For the last two years, the Omidyar Fellows’ Leadership Development Program has been taking on emerging leaders in Hawai‘i and helping them evolve through a 15-month journey.

Entering its third year, program directors are looking for candidates from Kaua‘i who wish to take on the challenge.

“We look forward to providing the next cohort of Omidyar Fellows with a chance to experience this remarkable transformation, which will ultimately help make Hawai‘i a better place,” Omidyar Fellows Director Kalei Stern said.

The program’s goal is to educate local emerging leaders “with the skills and relationships necessary to make a positive, lasting impact on the state of Hawai‘i.”

Stern said candidates go through an intensive selection process, and those picked have demonstrated a vision for leadership that includes issues relevant to the entire state of Hawai‘i.

The first cohort, back in 2012, had 13 fellows from across the state, including Kaua‘i’s Marissa Sandblom, vice president of Grove Farm Company.

In 2013, the number of fellows grew to 15, and included Scott McFarland, co-owner of Kaua‘i Athletic Club, Interim CEO of Hawai‘i Health Systems and vice president of the Hawai‘i Farm Bureau.

Sandblom already finished her program, and McFarland is halfway through his.

For the next cohort, the program is seeking applicants from a wide range of sectors, including government, nonprofit, businesses and labor unions.

Candidates must meet several criteria, such as leadership, commitment and passion to get things done, complex problem-solving abilities, earned leadership responsibilities, proven community engagement and understanding of Hawai‘i’s cultural, social and political contexts.

Applications are due June 30 at

The chosen 2014-15 fellows will be announced in September and begin the program in October.

The 15-month program includes a full-day session each month, executive coaching and more. Fellows work in a collaborative solutions project to identify, analyze and outline critical elements of a real issue in the state.

Visit for more information.


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