Blog Post

The National Geographic Society’s 2020-2021 Early Career Leadership Program Cohort

With its third Early Career Leadership cohort, the National Geographic Society aims to seed and empower the next generation of National Geographic Explorers — scientists, educators and storytellers working to illuminate and protect our world

At the National Geographic Society, we believe that in order to achieve our mission we must empower and invest in all generations of people — especially those early in their career. By doing so, we can provide the next generation of National Geographic Explorers with an opportunity to lead projects, make meaningful contributions to the world, and become leaders in their fields.

The Society’s Early Career Grants were created to support future leaders who are carrying out novel and exploratory projects that span the fields of conservation, education, research, storytelling, and technology.

To ensure these Early Career Explorers are equipped with the skills, experiences, and support that will propel their careers to the next level after they complete their grant project, the National Geographic Society launched the Early Career Leadership Program for a select number of our grantees.

A year-long development opportunity, this program encompasses leadership development, media training, mentorship, monthly webinars, educational outreach, and speaking and elevation opportunities.

The 2020-2021 program starts this week with a virtual orientation that includes a leadership workshop, a mentorship kick-off meeting, community workshops, and discussions about working with National Geographic Society. After completion of the week-long orientation, the cohort will meet monthly for training on core leadership topics as well as insight from National Geographic experts. The Explorers will also work with their mentors throughout the program and partner with a National Geographic certified educator to create innovative learning experiences for students.

The Society is pleased to share that this year’s cohort consists of 15 Explorers from 13 countries, representing the following regions: Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and North America.

Learn more about these 15 Explorers:

Are you interested in participating in this program? The first step is applying for an Early Career Grant. Learn more about our grants here.

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About National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 15,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit or follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.