Selection Process

The Selection Process for Advanced Leadership Fellows

The Advanced Leadership Fellowship is designed for accomplished leaders with a track record of at least 20-25 years of innovation and achievement in their primary career. Candidates for the fellowship should be  motivated to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing communities around the world. They should recognize the value that engagement with Harvard University can add as they prepare for their next phase of life’s work. Advanced Leadership Fellows work with students as guides, mentors, and team leaders. The faculty thus seeks leaders of the highest character and integrity who can serve as role models to the University community.

Advanced Leadership Fellows are invited to join the program for a calendar year. The process of identifying promising candidates begins approximately a year in advance and continues over 6-9 months in several rounds. Interested candidates may opt in at any time, including late in the process, by sending information to the “Introduce Yourself” section of the Advanced Leadership website.

Selection is done by a Faculty Selection Committee representing diverse parts of Harvard University.

Timetable for Selection and Initial Consideration

The fellowship program is for a calendar year, with the bulk of formal activities in the first five months and more open-ended opportunities for the remainder of the year. For 2016, the program begins on January 25, 2016, following a 2-1/2 day “Introduction to Harvard” in early December, 2015. 

Candidates for the fellowship are asked to submit an expression of interest and a detailed C.V., resume or bio at the “Introduce Yourself” section of the Advanced Leadership website as soon as possible.

Candidates for appointment as Advanced Leadership Fellows are considered in several rounds. Although a few leaders of unusual distinction might also be invited at other times at the discretion of the Chair and Faculty Selection Committee.  The deadlines for candidates for the 2016 AL Fellowship year are:

Decision Round                        Date for Submission of Expression of Interest and C.V.

May                                                March 31, 2015

June                                               April 30, 2015

July                                                May 31, 2015

Late                                               June - September, 2015

The chances of selection are greatest in the earlier rounds, as the number of places for Advanced Leadership Fellows is limited and the number of candidates continues to increase.  The AL Fellowship Office is available to answer questions regarding the submission of an expression of interest and other materials. Please contact or directly at +1 617 496 2452+1 617 496 2452 with any questions. Our goal is to provide helpful information at all stages in the process.

Next Steps in the Selection Process

Following a careful review of the initial information submitted by the deadlines above, the Advanced Leadership Initiative will contact those candidates whose accomplishments indicate a potential match with the nature of the AL Fellowship and expectations for AL Fellows. Some candidates will be asked to complete a Letter of Interest which further describes their interests, aspirations, and motivations for pursuing the AL Fellowship. As we continue our conversations, a number of candidates will be invited to visit the Harvard campus, speak with the Advanced Leadership team, and converse with a member of the Advanced Leadership faculty. A faculty conversation is required of all finalists for the AL Fellowship and may be conducted by telephone or video meeting, if the candidate is unable to travel to campus in the desired timeframe.

Each decision round, a group of finalists will have their dossiers presented for consideration by the Faculty Selection Committee. Finalists presented for Committee review are asked to first confirm that they have the ability to accept, fund, and join the AL Fellowship if invited to do so, and that they meet the high ethical standards of Harvard. Program costs for the AL Fellowship are comparable to a year of graduate study at one of Harvard's professional schools.

Following the Faculty's review of dossiers, finalists will be informed of their status, and a number may be invited to become an Advanced Leadership Fellow. Strong candidates may be put on a “Hold” status pending the review of the broader pool. A small group of individuals may be placed on a waiting list. Candidates placed on the waiting list will be notified of their status as soon as final information is available, which may occur shortly before the start of the next year's program.

The Faculty do not grant deferrals to join a future cohort.