The Kellogg Board Fellows Program is a student initiated and student-led experiential learning program. Launched in 2003, it has become a well-known feature of the Kellogg School of Management. Through a competitive admissions application, approximately 50 fellows are selected each year. Fellows come to the program with work experience and an abiding interest in nonprofit board governance.
Each fellow is matched with a Chicago-area nonprofit board of directors for 14 months, beginning at the end of the fellow’s first year at Kellogg and continuing through May of their second year. The fellow serves as a non-voting board member, actively contributing to the board’s work in a mutually agreed upon way that advances the work of the board. Each fellow is assigned a mentor from the organization’s board of directors; the mentor helps with the onboarding process and provides ongoing guidance and insight into the workings of the board.
In addition to gaining real-world experience on a board of directors, the fellow also studies nonprofit board governance through two courses taught by Kellogg faculty: Nonprofit Board Governance and Advanced Board Governance. These courses offer the fellow an opportunity to study best practices, examine trends in nonprofit governance, exchange insights with other fellows and learn how to become an effective board member.
The program’s unique combination of academic and real-world education helps fellows gain a deep understanding of the challenges and rewards of board service. Nonprofit boards benefit from the service of an enthusiastic and dedicated fellow, the network of the Kellogg community and the knowledge that they are helping develop business leaders who will understand the importance of civic leadership.