The New Voices Fellowship increases the visibility and influence of development experts from countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America. By providing Fellows the skills to communicate and amplify their messages, the program shifts power to those with proximity to the communities they serve. Fellows use their increased recognition and work with trained advocacy mentors to advocate for policy change at local, national and global levels.

New Voices Fellows come from a variety of disciplines, ranging from public health to education to poverty alleviation, agriculture, and community activism. All Fellows are experts in their field with a deep understanding of broad development challenges and a passion for communicating their views.

The New Voices Fellowship is a program within the Aspen Global Innovators Group, a team committed to elevating global leaders who are catalyzing equitable transformations in health and development.


In late summer 2023, New Voices will launch a West African regional Fellowship cohort with partner organization, NIYEL. The fellowship will spotlight 10 advocates, from French speaking and English speaking West African countries, unifying West Africa’s Francophone and Anglophone development priorities and driving new cross-border alliances to tackle common challenges that affect close to half a billion people across the region’s 17 countries.

The Aspen Global Innovators Group and Niyel both have extensive, proven experience in bringing people together to create positive change and have devoted time to laying the foundation of the West Africa Fellowship. We see this investment as an innovative opportunity to champion large-scale challenges and implement local change with regional and global impact.

Deepening Community Support

To support the vibrant community of 187 Senior Fellows, New Voices will offer additional funding, training and speaking opportunities to the entire community, working to amplify Senior Fellows' important messages.

Offering Tailored Trainings

As New Voices enters its 10th year, the program will begin offering tailored trainings to other Fellowship initiatives and organizations who desire communications and advocacy training. Tailored training opportunities will involve 2 - 3 day trainings on selected communications and advocacy topics to help organizations communicate and advocate more effectively.

The Impact of the Op-Ed

Esther Ngumbi (NVF '15) is a Kenyan entomologist. She was appointed as an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois in 2018 because the Op-Eds she started writing as a New Voice Fellow set her apart from other researchers. Esther has been published in the New York Times, Al Jazeera, NPR, Scientific American, and All Africa, among many other outlets. In February 2021, she received the American Association of the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS) Public Engagement with Science award, an accomplishment possible because of her prolific writing.

Meet the Fellow

Advocacy in Action

Dixon Chibanda (NVF '17), a Zimbabwean psychiatrist and founder of the Friendship Bench, had never conducted a major news interview. That changed after The Guardian published an article about his work during his Fellowship year. In the four years prior to Dixon's Fellowship, he averaged nine media appearances per year. In the four years following his Fellowship, Dixon averages 160 media appearances per year. Since the Fellowship, Dixon has had a documentary made about his work, has given a widely-viewed TEDTalk, and has been recognized by the WHO Director General for his innovative approach to treating mental illness. In 2019, his Friendship Bench was integrated into Zimbabwe's "National Strategic Plan for Mental Health Services: 2019 - 2023".

Meet the Fellow