George Leadership Fellowship

Made possible through a generous gift from the George Family Foundation, the George Leadership Fellowships support selected students in the joint program offered through Harvard Business School (HBS) and Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) with a $10,000 stipend. The fellowships reflect the foundation’s commitment to enhancing public service by investing in character formation and leadership development.

The George Leadership Fellowship is awarded based on the recipient’s potential to lead change for the common good. George Leadership Fellows have a strong moral compass and the capacity to work across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Special emphasis is placed on authentic leadership, character development, and ethical leadership. Applicants are asked to provide an example of a crucible moment in their lives that helped shape who they are as an authentic leader and how this experience shaped how they lead and empower others.

Application Information

Please complete the 2019-20 George Fellowship application here.

2019-20 George Fellowship application guidelines are availabe here.

Completed applications may be sent via mail to:

George Fellowship Selection Committee
c/o Brandon Ward

Center for Public Leadership
79 John F. Kennedy Street, Mailbox 124
Cambridge, MA 02138

Applications may be dropped off in person to:

George Fellowship Selection Committee
c/o Brandon Ward

Center for Public Leadership
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Taubman Building, First Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138

Application requirements:

  • Completed application form
  • Curriculum vitae/resume
  • One essay, as outlined in the application guidelines
  • One letter of recommendation
  • Interview conducted on the HBS campus

Program Information

What we offer

Made possible through a generous gift from the George Family Foundation, the George Fellowships support students in the joint program offered through Harvard Business School (HBS) and Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) with a $10,000 award.

The George Leadership Fellowship is awarded based on the recipient’s potential to lead change for the common good. George Leadership Fellows have a strong moral compass and the capacity to work across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Special emphasis is placed on authentic leadership, character development, and ethical leadership. Applicants are asked to provide an example of a crucible moment in their lives that helped shape who they are as an authentic leader and how this experience shaped how they lead and empower others.

Students may be considered for the award by filling out the application available on this website.

The fellowship experience

The fellows are expected to participate fully in the cocurricular program including the following specific events:

  • A welcome dinner for new fellows.
  • Thompson Island Outward Bound Program.
  • The CPL All-Fellows Retreat in September.
  • Monthly fellows-led co-curricular sessions during the academic year
  • Three dinners with Bill George (dinners are generally held in September, February, and April).

Fellows will also have the opportunity to participate in workshops and activities as part of the CPL community, with the exact schedule to be determined.

Commitment to Nondiscrimination   

As a matter of commitment, policy, and law, Harvard Kennedy School does not discriminate on the basis of gender, gender identity, color, race, age, sexual orientation, religion, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, intellectual focus, disability, or veteran status. The School strongly believes diversity enhances the value of all its activities, from research and teaching to degree programs and public events. The School encourages applications from candidates who are interested in careers in public service and acknowledges a special responsibility to train effective leaders in public policy and management.

Bill George is a Senior Fellow at Harvard Business School, and is the former Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Medtronic. He is the author of Discover Your True North and The Discover Your True North Fieldbook, Authentic Leadership, True North, Finding Your True North, 7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis and True North Groups. Bill currently serves as a director of the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities and is a Life Director of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.  Bill has previously served on the boards of Goldman Sachs, The Mayo Clinic, ExxonMobil, Target, Novartis and The World Economic Forum USA. In 2018, Bill was presented with the Larry Foster Award for Integrity in Public Communication by the Arthur W. Page Center. The Franklin Institute presented Bill with the Bower Award for Business Leadership in 2014. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2012 and was named one of "Top 25 Business Leaders of the Past 25 Years" by PBS. Mr. George received his BSIE with high honors from Georgia Tech, his MBA with high distinction from Harvard University, where he was a Baker Scholar. He has received honorary PhDs from Georgia Tech, Mayo Medical School, University of St. Thomas, Augsburg College, and Bryant University. 

Penny Pilgram George is board chair of the George Family Foundation in Minneapolis. Established in 1994 by Penny and Bill George, the foundation fosters wholeness in mind, body, spirit, and community by furthering the work of authentic leaders and transformative programs serving the common good. Dr. George is a pioneer and leader in the integrative health and medicine movement, working to transform society’s consciousness around health and wellbeing on both the institutional and community level. She is co-founder of the Bravewell Collaborative, a national collaboration of philanthropists dedicated to advancing the principles and practices of integrative medicine and co-founder of the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing at Allina Health, which is the clinical service line responsible for prevention, wellness and integrative medicine across the entire system. Dr. George currently sits the board of the Penny George Institute Foundation. As a consulting psychologist, she specialized for more than twenty years helping diverse organizations select and develop senior executives and build high-performing teams—expertise she draws upon in her philanthropic work and leadership roles. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Duke University, a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota and a doctorate in psychology from the University of St. Thomas.

 

1. What are the George Leadership Fellowships?
Made possible through a generous gift from the George Family Foundation, the George Fellowships support students in the joint program offered through Harvard Business School (HBS) and Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) with a $10,000 award. The fellowship reflects the foundation’s commitment to enhancing public service by investing in character formation and leadership development.

The fellowships are merit-based and administered by the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. The George Leadership Fellowship is awarded based on the recipient’s potential to lead change for the common good. George Leadership Fellows have a strong moral compass and the capacity to work across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Special emphasis is placed on authentic leadership, character development, and ethical leadership. Applicants are asked to provide an example of a crucible moment in their lives that helped shape who they are as an authentic leader and how this experience shaped how they lead and empower others.

2. What is the George Family Foundation?
The Minneapolis-based George Family Foundation was established in 1994 by Bill George, senior fellow at Harvard Business School, and his wife, Penny Pilgram George. The foundation is a grant-making philanthropic organization that funds integrative health and healing, authentic leadership development, mindfulness, youth development, environment, and community. For more information about the George Family Foundation, please visit www.georgefamilyfoundation.org.

 

3. What is required of the Fellows?
The fellows are expected to participate fully in the cocurricular program including the following specific events:

 

A welcome dinner for new fellows.
Thompson Island Outward Bound Program.
The CPL All-Fellows Retreat in September.
Monthly fellows-led co-curricular sessions during the academic year.
3 dinners with Bill George (September, February, and April).

 

Fellows will also have the opportunity to participate in workshops and activities as part of the CPL community, with the exact schedule to be determined.

 

4. What are the eligibility requirements?
Candidates for the George Leadership Fellowships are individuals who are currently enrolled in the joint degree program offered through Harvard Business School (HBS) and Harvard Kennedy School (HKS).

Applications are accepted from students only in the spring of the second year of the joint degree program. The George Leadership Fellowship is awarded for the third and final year of the joint degree.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the George Fellowship Selection Committee with any questions about eligibility before submitting their applications.

 

5. What are the criteria for selection?
The George Leadership Fellowship is awarded based on the recipient’s potential to lead change for the common good. George Leadership Fellows have a strong moral compass and the capacity to work across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Special emphasis is placed on authentic leadership, character development, and ethical leadership. Applicants are asked to provide an example of a crucible moment in their lives that helped shape who they are as an authentic leader and how this experience shaped how they lead and empower others.

 

6. How can I apply?
To be considered, candidates must fill out the George Leadership Fellowship application form and submit it to the George Fellowship Selection Committee. A Word version of the fellowship application and guidelines can be downloaded from the website. Please note that applications will not be accepted by facsimile. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Applications are typically made available in January to the second-year joint HBS/HKS degree program class for the following academic year. Applicants will also be required to participate in an in-person interview on the HBS campus.

 

7. Where do I send the application?
Completed applications may be sent via mail to:

George Fellowship Selection Committee
c/o Brandon Ward

Center for Public Leadership
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Mailbox 124
Cambridge, MA 02138


cpl_fellowships@hks.harvard.edu

 

Applications may be dropped off in person to:

George Fellowship Selection Committee
c/o Brandon Ward
Center for Public Leadership
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Taubman Building, First Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138

 

Alternatively, application materials may be emailed to cpl_fellowships@hks.harvard.edu. See #10 below for instructions for the letter of recommendation.

 

8. What are the application requirements?

Completed Application Form
Curriculum Vitae/Resume
One essay, as outlined in the Application Guidelines
One Letter of Recommendation
Interview conducted on the HBS campus

 

For additional information about the application and attachments, please consult the Application Guidelines available on the website.

 

9. Does it matter whether I am studying at HKS or HBS during my fellowship year?
Students must be in the third and final year of the joint degree program. Their coursework will be determined by the requirements of the joint degree and does not impact eligibility for the George Fellowship.

 

10. What are the guidelines for the letter of recommendation?
One letter of recommendation is required to support the application and should be written specifically for the fellowship. The recommendation should relate directly to the candidate’s interest and abilities based on the selection criteria. The most effective letter will explicitly reference the applicant’s leadership capacity and potential to potential to lead change for the common good.

 

The signed, original letter should be submitted on letterhead and in a sealed envelope with the recommender's signature signed across the back flap. The letter should be submitted with the application if possible, but it may be mailed directly to the committee office if necessary. If the letter of recommendation will be emailed, it must be sent directly by the recommender to cpl_fellowships@hks.harvard.edu. and should be in a PDF or scanned version on the recommender’s letterhead with signature included.

 

11. Who should write the recommendation letter?
The recommendation should be written by someone who is best able to describe the student’s leadership capabilities and interest in a multi-sector career.


12. When will interviews be scheduled?
Interviews will be conducted on the HBS campus in April, 2019.

 

13. What is the deadline for receiving applications?
The application deadline is 12 noon on March 8, 2019 for the 2019-20 academic year. Applications must be received by the George Fellowship Selection Committee before the deadline. Letters of recommendation should be submitted with the application when possible but if necessary may be delivered directly by the recommender.

 

14. How am I able to check the status of my application?
Candidates may email the selection committee via cpl_fellowships@hks.harvard.edu to confirm receipt of their fellowship application.

 

15. When will I be notified of the final selection of candidates?
The office will not release any information about the selection of George Fellows until the Fellows are selected in April, 2019 for the 2019-20 academic year. At that time, all applicants will receive written notice of the outcome of their applications.

 

16. I have other questions. Whom should I contact?
For questions about the fellowship application, guidelines, or eligibility requirements of the George Leadership Fellowship, please contact the fellowship committee via Barbara Best at barbara_best@hks.harvard.edu.