Omidyar Fellows, a new program aimed at develop new local leaders, is recruiting 12-15 candidates for its inaugural class this fall.

“Hopefully, we will get the next set of people running the DOE or the next CEO of Bank of Hawaii,” program director Kalei Stern said of the initiative, which seeks applicants early in their careers with at least five years of management-level experience. Created by Bill Coy, director of leadership and learning for the Hawaii Leadership Forum, and funded by eBay founder and Hawaii resident Pierre Omidyar, who sits on the regional panel for the White House Fellows, this program will implement that concept here in Hawaii.

The program lasts for 15 months. The ideal candidate, Stern says, should be committed to staying in and making a difference in Hawaii, understand the challenges Hawaii faces and have a vision for changes they would like to inspire.

“Part of the eligibility requirements is that fellows will have started to tackle those complex problems in their organizations,” Stern explains, citing land use, transportation, education, government, renewable energy and agriculture as some of those issues.

Stern hopes that the cohort-based learning will inspire working in a collaborative manner: “We’re hoping we can infuse the fellows with the ability to work with the other side, not against them.” Although the fellowship is unpaid, Omidyar is making “an investment of $50,000 per person” in order to cover all costs of training, Stern says. Applications by June 30 to [omidyarfellows.org].