For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Drexel alum, Leonardo Focil, selected for the Schwarzman Scholars Class of 2022

December 7, 2020

Congratulations to Drexel alumnus Leonardo Focil, selected as a Schwarzman Scholar for 2021-22!

Photo of Leonardo FocilLeonardo Focil (BSBA Finance, Economics, and Legal Studies '17) was recently selected for the sixth class of Schwarzman Scholars, one of the world’s most prestigious graduate fellowships, to pursue graduate study at Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University in Beijing. 154 Scholars were selected from over 3,600 applicants from around the world. This new class includes students from 39 different countries and 99 universities.

While at Drexel, Leonardo triple majored in finance, economics, and legal studies, graduating magna cum laude. He was an Ecuadorian recipient of the first class of Drexel Global Scholars, a full tuition scholarship for international students that Drexel believes would be global leaders in the future. After graduating from Drexel, as an international student Leonardo was allowed to work in the United States for 1 year under his OPT (optional practice training), which he did at BlackRock. After his OPT ended, BlackRock paid to sponsor his work visa, however he was not selected in the H1-B visa lottery process. Upon his return to Ecuador he worked at Produbanco. Then, he was hired to work as an Ecuadorian diplomat for the Commercial office of ProEcuador in New York, where he is currently employed. Leonardo is looking forward to the next step in his life path as a Schwarzman Scholar at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China where he will pursue a Master's degree in Global Affairs. He is eager to be part of this amazing program as a Drexel alum, where he will learn and exchange ideas with leaders and students from around the world.

The Schwarzman Scholars class of 2022 will enroll in Tsinghua University in August of 2021 where they will pursue a core curriculum focused on three pillars: leadership, China, and global affairs. Each year, the academic program is refined to ensure alignment with current and future geopolitical priorities. Scholars are taught by leading international faculty, with frequent guest lectures from prominent global thought leaders. Beyond the classroom, Scholars gain exceptional exposure to China and access to important relationships through internships, mentors, high-profile speakers, and world-renowned faculty members. Scholars are also provided with a range of career development resources to help position them for success upon graduation.

About Schwarzman Scholars

The vision of Schwarzman Scholars is to bring together the world’s best young minds to explore and understand the economic, political and cultural factors that have contributed to China’s increasing importance as a global power, and train them to become effective links between China and the rest of the world. Through the philanthropy, foresight, and dedication of Blackstone Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman, as well as the generosity of global donors who have been inspired by the potential and importance of this program, Schwarzman Scholars has raised more than $500 million to date. These funds will help endow Schwarzman Scholars in perpetuity.

Each year, up to 200 future leaders from the U.S., China and the rest of the world matriculate as Schwarzman Scholars at Tsinghua University in Beijing to pursue a one-year Master’s Degree. Scholars chosen for this highly selective program have demonstrated exemplary leadership qualities and the potential to understand and bridge cultural and political differences. They live in Beijing for a year of intensive study and cultural immersion – attending lectures, workshops, and discussion groups; being mentored and advised by leaders across sectors; and traveling while developing a better understanding of China.

Read the full press release at

Learn more about the Schwarzman Scholars program on our Schwarzman page.