National Fellowship

IMPORTANT PROGRAM UPDATE: In March, ELP responded to the COVID-19 global pandemic by temporarily suspending all in-person retreats and invested in a virtual retreat platform. We've worked hard (through iterations, learnings, and feedback) on refining what we feel has translated into what we still are hearing is an engaging and transformational Fellowship experience that also builds authentic connections. 

Inspired and heartened by feedback and experiences of our 2020 Regional Program Fellows, we are excited to announce that this year's National Fellowship will be going fully virtual!

A few program highlights to share:

  • New Application Deadline of Monday, September 14, 2020 at midnight EST
  • The virtual retreats will begin in early December 2020 and run through Spring 2021.
  • The Fellowship will involve virtual participation using a Zoom platform and breakout rooms, as well as pre and interim retreat assignments and interspersed with recurring virtual opportunities.
  • To accommodate multiple time zones in the United States, all meetings will be held between the hours of 12-5pm EST/9-2pm PST.

"I am excited to witness the teachings experienced through ELP come alive in my work, with coworkers, project-based partnerships, and my personal inner journeys --- just, life in itself. Thank you endlessly for making this such a thoughtful, beautiful retreat while being virtual due to COVID-19 and giving us space to navigate through such challenging times together. You each inspire me and are phenomenal!" --Nagiarry Porcena-Meneus, 2020 Fellow

The Virtual National Fellowship participation fee is $2,200. This includes:

  • Multiple days of virtual training and community building
  • Curriculum including topics of Diversity/Equity/Inclusion, Strength Based Leadership, Happiness, Network Weaving, and Building/Maintaining Learning Organizations and High Functioning Teams
  • All related materials and supplies;
  • 4 hours of professional 1:1 coaching;
  • Access to our network of over 1,300 Senior Fellows; and 
  • Membership to ELP's lifelong learning community

A few needs based scholarships will be available. Fellows may choose to pay their tuition in full at the time of being selected or through a payment plan. Completion of payments is not due until December 2021. To learn more about creative payment options click HERE.

In the coming weeks, we'll be sharing further information and outlining all required virtual retreat dates. Stay tuned! 


ELP's National Fellowship Program offers intensive leadership and skills training, national networking opportunities, and time for personal and professional reflection. Through immersive retreats, our curriculum helps emerging leaders hone their leadership styles, improve their strategy and organizational development, and strengthen their outreach to diverse constituencies. With the assistance of professional coaching and peer learning, each Fellow develops a Personal Leadership Plan.


All Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Work or reside in the United States;
  • Have a minimum of three years work experience or are enrolled in graduate-level academic studies;
  • Have demonstrated leadership capacity; and can
  • Articulate how their work fits connect to social and environmental change.


In addition to the above, applicants will be evaluated on the basis of their:

  • Passion to respond to social and environmental challenges'
  • Leadership capacity (i.e have been willing and able to take “responsibility for helping people achieve shared purpose”)'
  • The nature of their work or area of expertise. Attention will be given to the applicant's accomplishments, background, and professional progress as shown in their resume and the clarity, breadth, and thoughtfulness of responses to the narrative questions in the application and in the interview;
  • Eagerness to connect with and learn from others; willingness to actively contribute to the program as well as take advantage of its benefits;
  • Commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and justice within the environmental and social change fields; commitment to working with diverse constituencies;
  • Awareness of the interdependence of environmental and social problems; ability to convey a coherent vision for environmental progress and interest in how their work fits in with the big picture; and their
  • Ability to clearly articulate how participating in this leadership program will further their personal and professional development.

Particular attention will be given to the applicant's accomplishments, background, and professional progress as shown in their resume and the clarity, breadth, and thoughtfulness of responses to the narrative questions in the application.


To apply for the National Fellowship Program, applicants must:

1. Complete an Application (a very short online questionnaire including contact information and demographics)
2. Follow the instructions to submit a resume and the following essay. What is the most significant leadership challenge that you are personally facing, either current or something that you see on the horizon? (500 words maximum)


Applications are reviewed by a selection team of ELP Senior Fellows (alumni of ELP fellowships) and staff.

Interviews: A subset of applicants are interviewed in the 10 days following the application deadline. Interviews are conducted over the phone and are approximately 25 minutes long. Interviews are also an opportunity for applicants to ask any questions about the program and the Senior Fellow community.

Selection process:  Our selection teams review the applicant's accomplishments, background, and professional progress as shown in their resume. We also focus on the clarity, breadth, and thoughtfulness of responses to the narrative question in the application and the phone interview. We aim to select the best cohort for each program - which means giving attention to the diversity and balance of the class - in terms of work (sector, issue), identities (gender, ethnicity, etc.) and personalities.

Notification: Following the selection of the class (usually 2 weeks following the application deadline), applicants are notified of their status via a phone call and/or email. An applicant is either invited into the program (in which case they are expected to confirm within 48 hours), wait-listed, or invited to apply for another program.