David Bohnett Leaders Fellowship

The mission of the David Bohnett Leaders Fellowship is to develop a strong cohort of LGBTQ public officials. LGBTQ Victory Institute, in collaboration with The David Bohnett Foundation, has sent over 150 outstanding LGBTQ leaders to the Harvard Kennedy School’s Senior Executives in State and Local Government program since 2002, and connects these alumni to opportunities for further leadership development.

About the Program

Designed for all senior-level executives working with state and local governments — including government officials and elected officeholders — this intensive, three-week Executive Education program at the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, hones skills and furthers the leadership potential of accomplished individuals from across the United States. Sessions are held in June and July.

The Bohnett Fellowship provides partial financial assistance to help strong LGBTQ officials cover the costs of attendance, programming that complements the Senior Executives program and a growing network of Bohnett Fellowship alumni.

Find out more about the Senior Executives program at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Sign up to be notified when the application opens.

Apply to the Bohnett Fellowship

To apply for the Bohnett Fellowship, you must apply to both the Harvard Kennedy School and the Victory Institute.

Applicants can choose between two identical sessions of the Senior Executives program: June or July. Programming for Bohnett fellows starts the day before the session begins.

2019 Program Application

Please read about the following process for applying. The 2019 program sessions are June 3-21 and July 8-26. Applications for 2019 are officially open!

  1. Learn about the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program through the Harvard website.
  2. The Bohnett Fellowship is open to people of all genders, orientations, abilities, races, and political affiliations. Read the FAQ for more information about the Bohnett Fellowship and email LeadershipTeam@victoryinstitute.org with any questions.
  3. Find and speak to a Bohnett Fellowship alum about your interests and ask questions about the process.
  4. Apply to Harvard Kennedy School’s Senior Executives in State and Local Government program. In response to the “Who will be the financial sponsor of your participation?” question, type “Bohnett”. Because of the timing of our committee process, the deadline for the Victory Institute is earlier than the Harvard Kennedy School deadline.
  5. Apply to the Victory Institute with two letters of reference (one from someone who has completed the Senior Executives in State in Local Government program, preferably a Bohnett Fellow, and one from someone who knows and can speak to your leadership/participation within the LGBTQ movement), and a short paragraph (100 words or less) detailing how you have expressed your commitment to leadership within the LGBTQ community.
  6. You will be notified of the decision for the Fellowship in early May.


Not ready to apply?

Sign up for a reminder to apply next year.

The 2018 Bohnett Fellows

Park Cannon, Georgia House of Representatives, District 58

Gregory Ford, Wake County (NC) Board of Commissioners, District 6

Ron Galperin, Los Angeles City Controller

Jess Herbst, former Mayor of New Hope (TX)

Andrea Jenkins, Minneapolis City Council

Byron Macfarlane, Howard County Register of Wills (MD)

Fernando Ramirez, Special Assistant/Policy Advisor, Office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas

Read more about the 2018 fellows.

See the Complete List of Bohnett Fellowship alumni.