Director, Obama Foundation Scholars

About Jamia Jowers

Jamia Jowers currently serves as the Director of the Obama Foundation Scholars, a Master of Arts in International Development and Policy Program for the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. 

With over 10 years of experience in international affairs, Jamia designs and delivers strategic programming for rising global leaders through a newly developed curriculum. Through a one-of-a-kind toolkit and unparalleled practitioner expertise, Jamia empowers scholars to confront and overcome complex global challenges. She previously served as the Associate Director of Student Recruitment & Global Outreach. There she contributed engagement efforts, strategic development, and recruiting and outreach across public policy programs with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

She also worked for the Office of Academic Leadership, Advancement, and Diversity under the provost. Prior to that post, Jamia was a staffer with the National Security Council (NSC–African Affairs) in the Executive Office of the President in Washington, DC, and spent two years in the Multilateral Affairs Directorate advocating for human rights and U.N. reform. In her position in the African Affairs Directorate, Jamia was instrumental in the U.S.–Africa Leaders Summit, which focused on trade, investment, and security on the continent. While in the Multilateral Affairs Office, she was a liaison to the Atrocity Prevention Board, the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, and assisted with the Presidential Memorandum on International Initiatives to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQ Persons. Before joining the NSC, Jamia also served in the White House as director of student correspondence. 

She received her BA in Political Science from the University of Illinois and her MA in International Relations from Salve Regina University. As a Boren Scholar, Jamia’s research interests include international development, human rights, and peace and security focusing regionally within Africa.