Leadership Fellows New York is the premier professional development opportunity for mid-career nonprofit practitioners in the metropolitan New York City region. The fellowship program represents a diverse, inclusive, and talented community of nonprofit leaders who are advancing social justice missions in New York and beyond.

Originally established in 2015 by The New York Community Trust in association with the Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College and its Center for Nonprofit Strategy and Management, the fellowship has supported over 400 leaders at more than 250 local and national nonprofit organizations.

Our Story

In 2014, the Trust’s program officers noted that a generation of executive directors had been retiring across its program areas. There were more incidences of leadership transition than they could ever recall. The Bridgespan Group had recently reported that approximately 60,000 nonprofit directors were retiring each year across the country. This leadership gap was especially severe in the nonprofit sector in the New York metropolitan area.

In response, the Trust created a professional leadership program for emerging practitioners, especially emerging BIPOC leaders, and invited the Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College to design it as a certificate program. Today, 400 new leaders have graduated from the program, representing 250 plus nonprofit organizations from New York City, Long Island, and Westchester.

Our Name Change

In October 2022, we adopted the new name Leadership Fellows New York to enable other foundations the opportunity to offer fellowships to their grantee partners.


  • “The Leadership Fellows Program provides a special gift; the ability to spend a quarter of the year, with like-minded peers and mentors, to reconceptualize and refresh your approach to the important challenges you face in providing equitable and inclusive services to New Yorkers.”

    Sherry Ryan
    Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs

  • “The intensive programming that this leadership program offers has been invaluable to the organization. The leadership program supported Exalt to successfully launch our adjunct pilot project.”

    Gisele Castro
    Executive Director
    Exalt Youth

  • “In New York, nonprofits are critical to so many aspects of urban life. Working with Baruch College, we’re starting to train the next generation of nonprofit leaders.”

    Patricia Swann
    Senior Program Officer
    New York Community Trust

  • “Today’s nonprofit leaders must act right now to make sure that their successors have the necessary knowledge to ensure the long-term sustainability of their organizations for the future benefit of all the residents of our metropolitan region.”

    Michael Seltzer
    The New York Community Trust Leadership Fellows