SDG Leadership Academy Fellowship Program: Global to Local

The SDG Leadership Academy gives students a remarkable opportunity to help integrate global norms into the work of the Office of the Mayor of Los Angeles in planning and implementing a broad range of critical policy issues.

The USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health (USC IIGH) is excited to offer students the opportunity to join the second SDG Leadership Academy Cohort in Summer 2021. 

The SDG Leadership Academy gives students a remarkable opportunity to help integrate global norms into the work of the Office of the Mayor of Los Angeles in planning and implementing critical policy issues. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) address a broad range of social, political, and economic obstacles to more equitable and sustainable development. While formulated for national governments, sub-state and other local actors around the world are increasingly turning to the SDGs as an alternative to conventional development policies. Los Angeles stands at the forefront of this movement in its city-wide effort to align its plans and goals to the SDGs.

The USC IIGH has been working with the city over the last several years in a committed partnership. For example, in the fall of 2018, supported by USC’s Office of the Provost, IIGH offered a practicum that brought together students from across the university to bring a human rights analysis to work occurring around homelessness in support of the Office of the Mayor of Los Angeles. In the summer of 2020, a total of 9 groups bringing together students from USC, Occidental College and ASU supported the Mayor’s office on a range of projects. The 2021 SDG Leadership Academy is an extension of this partnership and after the success of the first cohort in 2020, we are thrilled to offer the opportunity again.

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2020 SDG Leadership Academy Students

General Information

USC will be selecting a total of 4 students to be a part of the SDG Leadership Academy, working in support of the Office of the Mayor of Los Angeles, with USC IIGH faculty and staff.


The Leadership Academy will run from June – August and help advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the City of Los Angeles. Students will work virtually as part of a team on gender equity identifying health disparities, and supporting the implementation of initiatives to address needs across city operations, and track measures for success. This work explicitly recognizes and addresses intersecting inequalities predicated upon race, religion, ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression. Individuals will be expected to work a total of 35 hours a week.

Please note the following:

  • Students chosen to participate will receive a stipend of $5000.
  • You are highly encouraged to provide detail on the skills you bring, including both substantive and methodological competencies, as they relate to this project in your application. 
  • The determination of who is chosen for the project will be made in coordination with the city.
  • This opportunity will be remote and you are not required to be located in Los Angeles.

Learning Outcomes

Students can expect to achieve the following through participation:

  • Impact policy-making by bringing global norms to bear on urgent local issues.
  • Act as “consultants” to LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office, the United Nations and community stakeholders.
  • Work with partners, including city officials, U.N. offices, and USC faculty.
  • Gain skills and work experience in community engagement, research, data visualization, communication strategies, public speaking and networking.
  • Engage in collaborations across disciplines and domains.

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Questions may be directed to global.health@usc.edu.


Previous SDG Projects

Learn more about previous SDG projects at the links below: