Ambassador’s Distinguished Scholars Program, Ethiopia

The Ambassador’s Distinguished Scholars Program offers a unique opportunity for a diverse set of qualified academics to advance scholarship in Ethiopia as full-time teaching faculty members at Ethiopian institutions of higher education. The aim of the program is to strengthen Ethiopian universities’ capacity to teach and manage undergraduate and graduate programs and enhance research capacity within Ethiopian universities.

This program is supported by the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia, Bahir Dar University, Dilla University, Aksum University, Hawassa University, Mekelle University and the Institute of International Education (IIE). The next cohort of Ambassador’s Distinguished Scholars will teach in Ethiopia in the academic year 2020-21.

Ambassador’s Distinguished Scholars will have the opportunity to engage in primary research with doctoral students, work to publish results, teach, design curriculum, mentor students, and collaborate with faculty at their host institution. The program length will be from October 2020 until July 2021. Program benefits include a monthly stipend and in-country advising from the IIE Ethiopia office as well as support from the universities, and the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia.

During their appointments, participants will have the opportunity to:

  1. Research and teach as full-time faculty: Ambassador’s Distinguished Scholars will teach fall term 2020 and spring term 2021 and may also further their research interests through fieldwork in Ethiopia, and engage in primary research with doctoral students.
  2. Impact higher education in Ethiopia: Through research, publication, collaboration, mentoring, teaching, and curriculum design, Embassy Scholars have an opportunity to profoundly impact Ethiopia’s rapidly expanding higher education sector and thereby provide a critical foundation for Ethiopia’s development.
  3. Join a supported cohort of engaged scholars: IIE’s office in Addis Ababa will offer group enrichment activities will including orientations and cultural activities, as well as site visits to ensure scholar’s success.


The Government of Ethiopia, seeking to grow the economy and address development challenges, has prioritized expanding higher education.

  • Ethiopia has rapidly increased from two universities to 36 since 2000, with 11 more scheduled to open in the next five years.
  • The increased demand for qualified academics has outpaced local supply, and currently, less than 50% of university faculty hold master’s degrees and less than 10% have Ph.D.s.

As a result, Ethiopian universities are eager to attract foreign faculty, American scholars in particular. The Ambassador’s Distinguished Scholars will create a critical foundation for Ethiopia’s development by strengthening the leading Ethiopian universities’ capacity to teach and manage undergraduate and graduate programs, and enhancing research capacity within Ethiopian universities. They may also provide opportunities for long‐term collaboration between U.S. and Ethiopian universities and scholars.

Who Are We Looking For?

We seek applications from a diverse range of qualified academics. We welcome applications from scholars with a range of experience, including recent doctoral graduates and professors emeriti. Faculty positions are available in over 60 disciplines. Preferred fields of study include STEM fields, Social Sciences, and Humanities. There is a preference for candidates with academic expertise that matches the areas of specialization desired by the host institutions.  Please contact for more information about disciplinary preferences. Applicants must hold U.S. Citizenship and a Ph.D. or equivalent professional/terminal degree.

Application Timeline

March 11, 2020, 10:00 AM EDT:  Join our free webinar to learn more about the ADSP and how to apply.

March 31, 2020, at 11:59pm PDT: Application deadline

April-June 2020: Selection process and notification to all applicants

October 2020-July 2021: Cohort’s academic term at Ethiopian universities

To watch a video of previous Distinguished Scholars at one of the partner universities, please click here

For more information, please visit or email