Show/Hide more photosBingham Fellows offers leadership development and professional development for community leaders

Putting Leadership into Action, Solutions into Place.

About the Program

The Bingham Fellows program annually brings together 35-40 experienced Louisville leaders to address one of the region’s most critical issues. Participants are selected following a competitive application process. As part of the program, this cohort of professional peers meets with local stakeholders, and receives training in strategic change management. As their program year progresses, they put into practice skills that credential them as a leader of leaders.

Outcomes from over 25 years of Bingham Fellows projects demonstrate both imagination and practical gathering of critical resources to address obvious social needs. Learn about the outcomes of the 2018 class, whose topic was “A Safe and Thriving City: Strengthening our Community’s Ability to Prevent Violence

In recent years, they’ve contributed to the development of a long-term vision for our community, enhanced environmental responsibility through initiatives at the grassroots and policy levels, worked to attract and retain talent with an internship program now managed by Greater Louisville Inc. and helped form the Kentucky Indiana Exchange, a regional leadership coalition.  The impact of the Fellows goes back to the 1990s with the creation of The Housing Partnership, the working concept of the Sustain Louisville arm of Louisville Metro government, growth of local farmers’ markets and numerous other positive outcomes. See highlights of the Bingham Fellows outcomes since 1989.

Bingham Fellows was created in 1988 through a $500,000 endowment from Mary and Barry Bingham Sr.

Learn about the 2019 Bingham Fellows topic

The Bingham Fellows topic for 2019 will be: “It Takes a Village: Mobilizing Community for Student Success”
Applications for the 2019 Bingham Fellows class have closed.

  • “Bingham Fellows was an amazing opportunity to meet, learn from, and network with Louisville’s top leaders in every industry.  Additionally, I’m proud of the impact we were able to have on an important community issue, and look forward to seeing the results for many years to come.”
    Matthew Ayers (BF ’15), Chief Administrative Officer, Norton Hospital

  • “Bingham Fellows provided me an opportunity to collaborate with other community leaders who are passionate about making Louisville a world class city. As a Fellow, you learn a lot about the topic and the city in general, but the most rewarding aspect of the experience is the camaraderie with your classmates. When you have that much energy and interest together in one room, the sense of the possible is empowering.”
    Mary Ellen Wiederwohl (BF ’11), Chief, Louisville Forward, Louisville Metro Government

  • “To be a graduate of the Bingham Fellows means a lot to me, especially with the significant legacy of the program’s namesake.  I especially appreciate the opportunity to meet and work with so many of the new generation of leaders from our region.  We came together around one common goal, and with their energy and enthusiasm, I know that together we are able to help create a better Louisville and a better Kentucky!”
    Skipper Martin (BF ’15), Strategic Partner, McCarthy Strategic Solutions

  • “The Bingham Fellows experience has been terrific. I’ve really enjoyed working with such a talented and high energy group of people. The passion for improving Louisville and preparing our community for the future has been contagious. This experience has opened my eyes to the tremendous need for a vision, tools and a roadmap to enable our community to thrive in the future.”
    Wendy Brown (BF ’11), GM – Digital and ECommerce, GE Appliances, a Haier company

  • “Bingham Fellows provided an opportunity like no other to connect with top leadership around a community issue. My organization was able to contribute to a larger movement and have access to expertise and additional partners that will increase our impact in the community.”
    Steve Tarver (BF ’12), President and CEO, YMCA of Greater Louisville

How Individuals Benefit

• You’ll have the rare opportunity to make a significant difference while putting your leadership skills to the test.
• Gain recognition as a community leader providing solutions for tough civic challenges.
• You’ll work with a unique gathering of experts and civilians and gain insights from leaders on particular topics or issues.

Read what our Bingham Fellows bloggers say about the experience.

How Organizations Benefit

• Your organization will gain an insider’s view and new insights to particular community issues.
• There’s simply no better way to meet and work with the area’s top experts and key players.
• The program provides advanced leadership experience in thinking big and effecting change.

Who should Apply

Community leaders who have expertise or have a strong interest in the Bingham Fellows topic along with a commitment towards positive change should apply. Bingham Fellows participants are typically graduates of other Leadership Louisville Center programs including Focus Louisville, Ignite Louisville, Leadership Louisville and the Leadership Network. See the list of Bingham Fellows graduates since 1991. Graduates of other community and state leadership programs are also encouraged to participate.

Time commitment

Bingham Fellows participants must attend the mandatory orientation in January and are expected to attend each of the program days. The program also includes a mandatory two-day retreat, usually in April. (see 2019 Bingham Fellows program calendar)

Additionally, a considerable amount of time is spent outside of the program day in small groups to further explore the topic and implement solutions.


Tuition for the Bingham Fellows program is $4200, and includes overnight retreat lodging, meals and materials.

Limited scholarships are available based on need. You can request a scholarship via the Bingham Fellows application form.

How to Apply

Applications for the 2019 Bingham Fellows class are closed.

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See Frequently Asked Questions about Bingham Fellows or contact Jennifer Stevens at (502) 561-0458 or via email.