ADL and Aspen Institute Announce Open Nominations for Civil Society Fellowship

January 28, 2020

Calls for nominations open for second class of multi-year leadership development program for emerging leaders from across the U.S.

ADL, Jake Hyman

                Aspen Institute, Philip Javellana

New York, NY and Washington, D.C., January 28, 2020 – ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) and the Aspen Institute today announced a call for nominations for the second class of the Civil Society Fellowship. This Fellowship, part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN), aims to prepare and engage the next generation of community leaders and problem solvers from across the political and ideological spectrum.

Civil Society Fellows will spend five weeks over the course of two-and-a-half years in structured retreat – exploring their leadership, and core values, as well as their desired legacies. Seminars created in text-based dialogue and experiential engagement will take place in Aspen, CO, Washington D.C., Europe, the Middle East, and culminate in the southern United States to explore how issues of freedom, security, liberty and diversity play out in different contexts. Each Fellow will launch a leadership venture tackling a societal problem of their choosing that will stretch them and make a positive impact on their communities, their country and the world. Nominations can be submitted at

The inaugural class of Civil Society Fellows included 22 leaders aged 25-45, selected from a pool of over 200 nominees from across the country. These Fellows are journalists, entrepreneurs, government officials, lawyers, educators and designers. They have worked for private industry, nonprofits and in government, including law enforcement. All are proven leaders with a broad array of concerns who have reached an inflection point in their lives where they are ready to apply their talent and skills to build a more civil society.

The Fellowship is intended to provide this group of Fellows with a foundation to work toward greater discourse across divides. The inaugural class reflects a diverse mosaic representing a broad geographical, religious, political and ideological swath of the United States.

“In this current politically charged climate, especially as we head into what will be a heated election year, it is crucially important that we make a concerted effort to bring together the brightest and most innovative minds from across the political and ideological spectrum to help build mutual understanding and generate solutions to solve some of the biggest issues facing our communities, our country and our society at large,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. “We are incredibly excited to see what this next class of fellows can bring to the table and continue to build on the great work of our inaugural group.”

“Our first class of Fellows embodies the energy and diversity of the full American mosaic and we are looking for that in the next class as well. It has been inspiring to see so many connections being built across the supposed divides of difference and to accompany these changemakers on their leadership journeys,” said Dan Porterfield, President and CEO, the Aspen Institute. “The Civil Society Fellowship is an investment in the future national leadership of this country, and the seminar experience is just the beginning of what we expect to be a lifetime of listening, learning, and impact.”

“The Fellowship has masterfully pulled together a diverse tapestry of individuals who are committed to diving deep and working collaboratively to create a more just, equitable and civil society. Peeling back the labels, stepping away from the stereotypes and focusing on the shared humanity that each individual brings to the table sharpened our conversations and prepared our hearts and minds to do the hard work that lays ahead.” – Jenifer Sarver, Sarver Strategies, Austin, TX, Civil Society Fellow Class of 2019

“Following a stellar inaugural Civil Society Fellowship class, we anticipate a competitive process that will look for leaders with demonstrated commitment to making measurable difference at local, state and national levels in the United States,” said Nike Irvin, Managing Director of the Civil Society Fellowship. “We want to set a seminar table with people of different political views and different issue priorities. It’s important for us to find leaders who can articulate a cause they’ve invested in and who show a capacity to make a deep commitment to building and sustaining civil discourse at a time when our nation’s ability to engage across differences has faltered. This Fellowship is for leaders who are at an inflection point, and ready to elevate their leadership journey to a new level.”

The Fellowship seeks candidates between 25 and 45 years old who have already demonstrated a capacity to build a community, movement, organization or an idea. Each class will consist of 20 to 23 individuals and will span two-and-a-half to three years. Diversity is a critical goal and it is encouraged that Fellows challenge one another’s ideas respectfully.

Nominations for the second class are open from January 28 – March 31, 2020. An Executive Committee is charged with oversight of the program; an Advisory Committee of national leaders representing diverse perspectives help to source nominees for the class. The combined approach of both committees ensures the non-partisan nature of the Fellowship in keeping with the Aspen Institute’s tradition of values-based leadership development. For more information about the Civil Society Fellowship and to submit nominations visit

About the Civil Society Fellowship
The Civil Society Fellowship: A Partnership of ADL and the Aspen Institute is a leadership development program preparing the next generation of community leaders and problem solvers from across the political spectrum. The Fellowship provides participants the opportunity to engage in experiential learning and text-based dialogue, build trust among a diverse class of leaders based on shared insights and mutual respect, and put ideas into action through a required leadership venture. The Fellowship will launch a new class annually. For more information visit

About ADL
ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur.  ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate. For more information, visit

About The Aspen Institute
The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

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