American Express Leadership Academy 2.0 at the Aspen Institute

July 16, 2018

A Fellowship for Emerging Nonprofit Leaders Announces the 2018 Cohort.

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Contact: Julie Guerrero Schor
Associate Director, Finance and Programs, Program on Philanthropy & Social Innovation
The Aspen Institute
(202) 736-3558 |

Washington, DC, July 16, 2018 — The Aspen Institute Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation, in partnership with American Express, announces the 2018 class of fellows participating in the American Express Leadership Academy 2.0. This values-based leadership development program strengthens the capacity of fifteen accomplished nonprofit leaders annually. Using the Aspen Institute method of text-based dialogue, the Fellowship offers participants a neutral forum in which to reflect on timeless human values, pursue common ground, and cultivate a richer understanding of the human condition.

Fellows are selected through a competitive process, with nominations submitted by American Express Leadership Academy partners and American Express grantees. The fellows represent a talented cohort of executive and management level nonprofit professionals and social entrepreneurs working in organizations that enrich communities and tackle pressing social issues. Participants hail from diverse, global backgrounds and share a proven commitment to serving the public good.

“Strong, effective leadership is essential for the social sector,” said Jane Wales, vice president, philanthropy and society, at the Aspen Institute. “This Fellowship program helps nonprofit leaders to become more self-aware and better prepared to lead as they confront society’s toughest challenges.”

“For more than a decade, the American Express Leadership Academy has developed emerging nonprofit and social purpose leaders from around the world,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president, American Express Foundation. “Now in its seventh year, the American Express Leadership Academy 2.0 is a vital next step in our alumni’s leadership journey – ensuring they have the tools and knowledge to tackle society’s most critical challenges.”

The fellows will come together for a week-long experience at the Aspen Institute’s Aspen Meadows campus from August 19 to August 24.  Surrounded by the natural beauty of Aspen, they will examine classical texts, including selections from Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and Plato’s The Republic, along with more contemporary readings, such as Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham City Jail and The Danger of A Single Story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Through textual analysis and discourse, the seminar explores tensions among fundamental values such as freedom, equality, justice, and community. The Fellowship provides these nonprofit professionals with the opportunity to move beyond daily operational concerns and take time for an enlightened exploration of the core values that animate their work – inspiring them to become more effective, innovative leaders.

The 2018 American Express Leadership Academy 2.0 Fellows are:

For bios and photos of all 15 extraordinary leaders, visit:


The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

About American Express: Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow
One of American Express’ three philanthropic platforms is Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow. Under this giving initiative, which recognizes the significance of strong leadership in the nonprofit and social purpose sectors, American Express makes grants focused on training high potential emerging leaders to tackle important issues in the 21st century. More than 70,000 emerging nonprofit and social sector leaders worldwide have benefitted from American Express leadership programs, including the American Express Leadership Academy among others. Launched in 2008, the American Express Leadership Academy addresses the growing deficit of leadership talent in the nonprofit sector by bringing together emerging leaders from a diverse set of nonprofit, social sector and non-governmental organizations. For leadership journey stories and additional resources, visit

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