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 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. As a nonpartisan organization, 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.
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.
The program supports Fellows in a range of fields. Search all current and past Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows by expertise, topic area, institution, and heritage here.