Objectives and history of the Program

The ideas and objectives of the Lane Kirkland Scholarships Program are directly derived from the mission of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation. The above include, among other things, supporting democratic and free market transformations in other Central and Eastern European countries.  The Program is financed from the funds of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation and administered by the Leaders of Change Foundation.

The first pilot academic year of the Program within the framework of which 12 Ukrainian citizens studied in Warsaw was organized in cooperation with the Center for East European Studies at the University of Warsaw, directed by Jan Malicki.

The subsequent edition of the program (2001/2002) underwent significant changes as regards its functioning. Program changed the administrator to the Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission.  From then on, the scholarships became available not only to the Ukrainians, but also to the citizens of Belarus, Russia (including the Kaliningrad Oblast), Slovakia and Lithuania (these two countries participated in the program until 2006); the total number of grantees increased up to 30 persons.  

In 2004 Georgia and Moldavia joined the program and a year later - Armenia.  In 2006 the program was extended from the Kaliningrad Oblast to cover the entire Russia and also two new countries - i.e. Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.  In 2009 another country joined the program - namely, Kyrgyzstan. Since the program was extending to include new countries, the number of grantees in each academic year was also growing.  Currently, approximately 50 persons are studying within each program edition.

The largest group of the program participants constitutes grantees from the Ukraine. The economists and management specialists are the greatest in number, then come the lawyers and finally the representatives of public administration.  Almost 700 persons completed the program by the year 2015/2016.

From August 1st, 2013 to July 31, 2016 the Program was administrated by the Education for Democracy Foundation. In February 2016, the Leaders of Change Foundation was established in with the aim to coordinate the two acting for years, programs of Polish-American Freedom Foundation – the Lane Kirkland Scholarship Program and the Study Tours to Poland Program.


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