Frequently Asked Questions about the Global Leadership Fellows Programme

Should I apply to a specific Global Leadership Fellows position or can I submit an open application?
You are welcome to submit as many applications as you are qualified for. However, we encourage candidates to apply to specific GLF positions, as this allows them to tailor their résumé and cover letter.

Do I need recommendation letters?
No. All we require are names and contact details of three references. If you are shortlisted, however, we may ask for written recommendation letters.

How are interviews conducted?
Candidates who pass the initial screening will be invited to Geneva for an interview where you will meet with a representative from human resources, your potential line manager and the dean of the Global Leadership Fellows Programme. In addition, you will have the opportunity to meet current Fellows.

When does the programme start?
The academic modules will start in the first November following your recruitment.

When was the Global Leadership Fellows Programme established?
The first cohort was recruited in 2005.

How many Global Leadership Fellows will be selected for the next cohort?
We will select between 25 and 30 Fellows to join the next cohort.

How many Global Leadership Fellows are currently working at the World Economic Forum?
There are currently some 70 Fellows enrolled in the programme. Since 2005, over 100 Fellows have graduated from the programme.

Where will I be based?
The Global Leadership Fellows Programme is based in Geneva, Switzerland. Your job assignment will generally be in Geneva or, exceptionally, in our New York or Beijing offices.

Who grants the Master’s in Global Leadership?
The World Economic Forum will grant the advanced studies in leadership. 

What is the balance between classroom and on-the-job training?
About 20% of your overall time will be dedicated to academic modules, workshops, retreats and self-study. 

Do you hire candidates who are not Swiss nationals or not holders of a valid Swiss work permit?
Yes. The Forum will file an application for a work permit. If you are accompanied by your husband/wife and/or children, we will also file a residency request for them. EU citizens (first 15 EU countries*) will benefit from a permanent permit, renewable every year. Others will benefit from a three-year permit, non-renewable. If you hold EU nationality (only first 15 EU countries), you are allowed to live in neighbouring France and hold a different Swiss work permit.

*The first 15 EU countries are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

What type of Swiss work permit will I have?
You will have a B permit that allows you to work and live in Switzerland. EU citizens who choose to live in France will receive a G permit.

If I am not married, can I still relocate with my partner?
The Forum is not able to file a permit application for your partner, as Switzerland does not recognize partnerships as a legal status. If your partner is an EU citizen, he/she will need to find a job as only an employer can request a work permit. It is more difficult for non-EU citizens to find a job in Geneva, as they are subject to stricter permit restrictions.

Where will I live?
You will rent your own accommodation. However, upon your arrival, if necessary, the Forum will help you find temporary and then permanent accommodation in Geneva or in France, depending on your requirements and budget.

Will I receive a relocation allowance?
You will be granted an allowance to move your belongings to Switzerland, which is in line with the Forum’s general staff compensation policy.

How much do I pay for tuition and how much will I be paid?
There are no tuition fees. Fellows will receive a salary and benefits package commensurate with their responsibilities and in line with the World Economic Forum’s compensation policies. Think of this as an attractive stipend programme.

What kind of contract will I receive? Will I need to pay taxes?
You will receive a Swiss work contract, linked to the Forum Staff Handbook, which will be given to you at the time of the final offer. You will have a three-year contract. You will be subject to all Swiss social charges as well as Swiss taxes. Taxes will be withheld monthly in accordance with your family status and deducted directly from your salary (except for Swiss nationals or C permit holders).

Are there any travel opportunities?
Some business travel may be required, depending on the projects and the regions to which Fellows are assigned.

Once I apply, when can I expect to be informed of the status of my application?
You will receive an e-mail from our Talent Acquisition Team confirming receipt of your application. You will be contacted to invite you for an interview or to inform you that your application has been unsuccessful. The recruitment process differs for each position. Candidates will be contacted as soon as relevant information is available.

How can I apply for the Global Leadership Fellows Programme?
Please apply online through the careers section of our website ( You can apply to any position marked “Global Leadership Fellows” under the title “job category”. In addition to filling in the online application form, you will be requested to submit a résumé and the contact details of three references 

When is the deadline?
There is no deadline for applications as job openings are posted all year round. As a result, there are no pre-determined interview periods. Should you be selected for a GLF position, you will be able to start working immediately and will integrate the academic modules into your schedule. These begin in the autumn following your recruitment.

What academic qualifications do I need to become a Global Leadership Fellow? 
You will possess a broad intellectual background with a Master’s degree (or equivalent). More information can be found on the career section of our website (, under the positions marked “Global Leadership Fellows”.

Can I apply if I have not yet completed my Master’s degree?
Yes. However, the completion date of your studies should be in advance of the start of the academic modules of the programme. Given that these modules begin in November, you should have completed your studies before then. You may be asked to submit proof of graduation.

Is there a cap on the age of Global Leadership Fellows?
The majority of our Fellows fall within the ages of 28 and 38, with an average age of 33.

What are the language requirements for the job?
All candidates must be fluent in spoken and written English. Additional language requirements are specific to the position. It should be noted that the majority of our Fellows are fluent in at least one language other than English, even if their job does not explicitly request it.

Where can I submit additional questions?
You may address your queries to the following address: