Paul and Daisy Soros, Hungarian immigrants and American philanthropists, established their Fellowship program for New Americans—immigrants and children of immigrants—in December of 1997 with a charitable trust of fifty million dollars. They created the program as a way to give back to the country that had afforded their family such great opportunities.
Mr. and Mrs. Soros decided on a fellowship program because it allowed them to assist young New Americans at critical points in their educations, which they felt was an unmet need. They also wished to call attention to the extensive and diverse contributions of New Americans to the quality of life in the United States.
In 2010, Mr. and Mrs. Soros contributed an additional twenty five million to the charitable trust that funds their Fellowships for New Americans. For details, see the Wall Street Journal article.
Mr. Soros passed away on Saturday June 15, 2013 at the age of 87. His inspiring personal story, his commitment to American constitutional democracy, and his visionary philanthropy are fundamental to the Fellowship program. A New York Times obituary detailing his life story and many contributions is available online.
The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans is a $90,000 merit-based fellowship exclusively for immigrants and children of immigrants who are pursuing graduate school in the United States. The program draws more than 2,200 applications annually for just 30 fellowships.
The rigorous selection process is focused on identifying the most promising New Americans who are poised to make significant contributions to the nation through their work. In addition, the selection team looks for a commitment to the United States’ fundamental principles and ideals. The Fellows can study in any degree-granting program in any field at any university in the United States. Selection is based on merit – the specific selection criteria
emphasize creativity, originality, initiative and sustained accomplishment. Neither financial need nor distributive considerations are taken into account in the selection process. Each Fellows attends two weekend conferences of Fellows. The great majority continue to be involved with the program through regional dinners, service in the selection process for later classes, and through the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows Association
A Network of Immigrant Excellence
- History: In its near 20 year history, The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans has built a community of 655 immigrants and children of immigrants.
- Nationalities: The Fellowship has supported New Americans with heritage in 89 countries. India, China, and Mexico are the most well represented.
- Types of Immigrants: In addition to the children of immigrants, Green Card holders, naturalized citizens, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, the Fellowship also supports individuals who have come to the United States as refugees or asylum seekers and who have received a Green Card or become naturalized US citizens.
- Age: All of our Fellows are 30 or younger when initially selected for the Fellowship. Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows from the 1998 class, the very first class, are now in their mid-careers.
- Careers: Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows have pursued careers in medicine, science, law, policy, technology, business, government, non-profits, the arts, academia, and in many cases they have built their career across several sectors.
A Fellowship for Immigrants & Children of Immigrants
The map below shows where many of the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows and their families are from around the world (the green icons), as well as where they immigrated to in the United States (the blue icons). Click on any icon to see which Fellow it represents and to learn more about their story. You can also zoom in and out of the map below, or you can view the map in a new window on your browser by clicking here.
Note that this map only includes a portion of The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows; it is not a complete representation of the Fellows.