Reaching new heights together
THE FELLOWS PROGRAM, sponsored by the Leadership Foundation in its signature, customized, format, is the leading, women’s executive development program in the world today. Providing emerging women leaders with training of exceptional quality and access to IWF’s unmatched network, fellows experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to challenge their assumptions and expand their horizons.
Spread across a year, the program convenes fellows from around the world for a total of 20 days. In partnership with the Harvard Business School and INSEAD, The Business School for the World, the Leadership Foundation offers creative, multi-disciplinary training aimed at developing leadership and strategic management capabilities. For five days in Cambridge, Massachusetts at the Harvard Business School, fellows engage in a unique combination of classroom work, case-study discussion, and peer advice. During that time, fellows hone their ability to think strategically in areas including negotiations, organization learning, marketing, global affairs, and the management of innovation and services.
While at one of INSEAD’s international campuses in France, Singapore and Abu Dhabi (UAE), the fellows are pushed to adopt a deeper, global perspective. A core component of the training is the 360° Global Executive Leadership Inventory developed by INSEAD’s Global Leadership Center to measure twelve dimensions of leadership. The fellows assess what they learned from the inventory with professional, international coaches.
In addition to their leadership training, each fellow is matched with an IWF member who serves as her mentor and coach during the program year, a chance for the fellows to garner personal insights and advice from women at the top of their fields.
THE LEGACY PROJECT of the Fellows Program provides every fellow the opportunity to leverage what they have learned to help expand the leadership capacity of women in their organization and community, and to create a ripple effect that empowers more women to aspire to leadership roles. Existing Legacy Projects include a program to provide reading materials to rural secondary schools in Nigeria; a career conference series aimed at female university students in Mexico; and a breakfast roundtable for women in the U.S. military in Washington, DC.
The IWF Leadership Foundation’s 2014-2015 Fellows Class comprises 35 rising women leaders from 15 nations: Brazil, Canada, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, India, Israel, México, Nigeria, Panama, Poland, South Africa, Taiwan, Tanzania and the United States. With representation from the corporate, government, academia and non-profit sectors, the Fellows will begin their program year with orientation and training in conjunction with the 2014 IWF World Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. They also will participate in programs at Harvard Business School in Cambridge, Massachusetts and at INSEAD’s global campus in Fontainebleau, France. Together, the IWF and its Leadership Foundation are promoting better leadership for a changing world.
Maria Arizmendi Gonzalez
National Users Orientation & Complaints
Institute of Social Security
Project Scientist & Associate Director
Advance Planning & Development
NASA Langley Research Center
Esther W. Dungumaro
Associate Professor & Director,
University of Dar es Salaam
Professor & Research Chair
Legal Pluralism & Comparative Law
University of Ottawa
Congressional & Intergovernmental Affairs
Embassy of Canada
Ida Bik Sai Lee
Deputy Head, eHealth Record Office
Food & Health Bureau
Hong Kong SAR Government
Hong Kong SAR
VP, Southern Division
Alabama Power Company
White House Situation Room
Director of Operations
Foreign Service Officer
US Department of State
Rose Acen Upor
Director, Office of the Vice
University of Dar es Salaam
A Selection of Past IWF Mentors
What Former Fellows are saying about their experience with the Leadership Foundation Fellows Program…
“Having just finished the program, I feel more grateful than anything else. Grateful for the opportunity to learn from some of the best teachers and coaches and from my peers. Grateful for the experiences I have had, particularly at Harvard and INSEAD. Grateful for my mentor. And most of all, grateful for the amazing women that are now in my life.”
Christine Bense, USA (2013/14)
“The Leadership Foundation is the best developmental experience I’ve had in my career. It’s a unique opportunity to meet influential leaders from all over the world and to develop lasting relationships. I’m sure that I’ll benefit far into the future.”
Debra Boblitt, USA (2008/09)
“The Fellows Program for me was an A-Ha moment – I should have known this all along but I didn’t because no one ever told me.”
Elizabeth Seigenthaler Courtney, USA (2003/04)
“There is no other program that focuses on the specific needs of women who are already successful and equips them with the knowledge to advance even further in their careers. The year-long program is tailored to inspire women to focus on their unique skills so that they can differentiate themselves from their peers. In addition to the premiere executive education training, the networking with diverse classmates, your mentor, and IWF members provides a web of support that spans the globe.”
Trisha Cunningham, USA (2002/03)
“The Fellows Program helped me to challenge my own beliefs and fears, and pushed me to place my leadership goals at the center of my decision-making process.”
Samar Dudin, Jordan (2004/05)
“The Fellows Program for me has continued to be a vehicle for networking, outreach, support, honest feedback, friendship, solutions, reality checks and fun. Our class gets together every year to continue what we started during our fellowship year with the same rigor, candor, and standards for deep thinking, introspection and professional guidance. For me it is a lifetime sisterhood.”
Barbara Faulkenberry, USA (2006/07)
“If I had known what this amazing leadership development program would do in my life, I wouldn’t have believed it.”
Rebecca Gray, USA (2009/10)
“One of the best experiences in my life, both professionally and personally. The Leadership Fellows Program has helped me become a better leader and a better person to influence the transformation of the world into a better one.”
Claudia Herreramoro, Mexico (2008/09)
“What makes this program unique is that you are in the company of an extraordinarily accomplished group of women gathered from various walks of life.”
Shamin Jawad, Afganistan (2008/09)
“It seems rather melodramatic to describe an experience as ‘transforming‘, but transforming is exactly the word that best describes my experience as a Fellow. The other descriptor I would easily use is ‘affirming.’ As for being transformed, I like Webster’s definition as it relates to physics: “to change one form of energy into another.” I came to the program with tremendous energy. The program helped me reshape, channel, and direct that energy to better support my career and life goals. And yes, the experience was affirming. How filled it was with feedback centered in the positive, that boldly and firmly asserted the truth about the power of woman!”
Marsha Sampson Johnson, USA (2000/01)
“For me, life will never be the same. I’m embarking on my future with confidence and strategic leadership skills.”
Grace Bantebya Kyomuhendo, Uganda (2007/08)
“The IWF network is an incredible group of high-powered, creative, and impressive women who are committed to making a difference and helping women trace a unique path in their respective fields and communities.”
Maria Rendon Labadan, Phillipines (2008/09)
“I can truly say that the fellowship year is one of transition and transformation…People will start to notice your increased presence and personal strength, and they will be inspired.”
Hestie Loots, South Africa (2010/11)
“The Fellows Program brought my different talents, wisdom and experience together on a journey to reach new heights and push beyond boundaries. I built a strong and honorable support network totally focused on just one goal – the realization of my full potential.”
Vivian Lau, Hong Kong (2006/07)
“Through this program I was able to recognize that I’ve been an accidental leader, now I’m a deliberate leader, armed with confidence and courage.”
LeeAnne Linderman, USA (2007/08)
“My participation in the Fellows Program has been one of the most transformational experiences in my life, both personally and professionally, through an excellent combination of self awareness, skills and networking.”
Ivonne Monteagudo, Mexico (2004/05)
“The program has re-branded me to become a better leader and a better person to take up the responsibility of mentoring, and lifting others up.”
Bridget Omafuvbe, Nigeria (2009/10)
“For me, the IWF experience continues to reveal and challenge, unveiling new leadership and life possibilities and compelling me to apply my whole self in the process. It seems every day I can link something I say or do to a discussion or learning point covered during the IWF program year.”
Mary Thompson, USA (2010/11)
“Through the Fellows Program, I found the courage to do things I would never have thought I could and a new compass not just for my career, but also my life.”
Leslie Woo, Canada (2011/12)
2015-2016 Fellows Program application deadline is June 1, 2015.
All Fellows Program candidates are judged on the same selection criteria. Tuition for the Fellows Program is $27,500 USD.
The Fellows Program tuition includes:
- One week of Orientation, specialized Fellows Program training
- Registration fees for IWF’s World Leadership Conference
- Customized training at Harvard Business School
- Customized training at INSEAD
- Expenses associated with visits to the Fellow’s IWF Mentor
- All meals and accommodations
- All course materials
- All ground transportation (air travel is not included)
Please do not hesitate to contact the Leadership Foundation with any questions regarding the application or selection process.
The Leadership Foundation seeks to select a geographically, culturally, ethnically, and professionally diverse group of women who have established themselves in their spheres of interest.
The Leadership Foundation Fellows Program Selection Committee will choose Fellows using the following guidelines:
- Substantive professional/work experience and significant direct accomplishments.
- Superior intellectual ability, as evidenced by academic history and distinctions, recommendations, and essays.
- Current and potential leadership, indicated by professional, volunteer, and other activities, as well as through recommendations.
- Strength of character, motivation, and commitment to goals.
- Intention to participate fully in all activities and programs of the Leadership Foundation Fellows Program during the fellowship year, as well as a commitment to the Legacy component of the program.
- Fellows are not recent college graduates or even recent graduates of advanced degree programs. The optimal Fellows candidate will have achieved considerable success in her field, yet would benefit from this program.
- Expectation of at least 10 years of continuing professional activity and leadership contribution following the fellowship. Candidates are judged, in part, on their ability to leverage and maximize the fellowship over time.
Within the context of reviewing “Program Eligibility Requirements,” the Leadership Foundation looks for evidence of the following traits (principally as expressed on the recommendation forms by those recommending the candidate):
- Professional potential
- Writing ability (communication skills)
- Quality of oral expressions (communication skills)
- Commitment to goals
- Professional integrity
- Ability to work with others
- Commitment to civic, community, and volunteer activities
- Intellectual ability
- Sense of humor