Putting Leadership into Action, Solutions into Place.

The Bingham Fellows program annually brings together about 45 experienced Louisville leaders to address one of the region’s most critical issues. Considered our most advanced leadership program, a diverse class of participants is selected following a competitive application process to ensure the class includes content experts and unique voices representing all parts of the community.


For community leaders who have expertise
or a strong interest in the topic

Participants are typically grads of other
LLC or state leadership programs

Year-long program (see calendar)

Classroom instruction & hands-on application


The cohort meets with topic experts and local stakeholders and experience a practicum in change management and group dynamics. As their program year progresses, they form project teams to take action and create positive social change.

Interested in learning more?

The best way to find out if the program is a good fit for you is by scheduling time to talk with our Engagement Manager, Sara Bowman.
sbowman@leadershiplouisville.org | (502) 753-1492
Schedule a Quick 15-Minute Call



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Who should apply

Details & Tuition

How Individuals Benefit

How Organizations Benefit

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Apply

Program Calendar

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Every year, a new topic is chosen – providing focus and a pathway for meaningful action. Outcomes from 30 years of Bingham Fellows projects demonstrate both imagination and practical gathering of critical resources to address obvious social needs.

The topic for our upcoming 2024 class is Safer City: Creating a Thriving City for All, and will focus on making Louisville a safe and vibrant city. Application deadline is October 14, 2023.
Learn More about the 2024 Topic

Take a look at the topics and outcomes for our past few years:

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Many projects from our Bingham Fellows teams have gone on to have a lasting impact in the community, moving the needle long after participants have completed their program time. Some of these projects have included:

  • The West Louisville community development organization OneWest
  • Regular Café Louie conversations with elected officials at Louisville Free Public Library locations
  • A sustainable model for neighborhood ‘Little Free Libraries’
  • City Champs, a talent attraction and retention program now managed by Greater Louisville Inc.
  • The creation of The Housing Partnership
  • Construction of the Presbyterian Community Center
  • Growth of local farmers’ markets

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.

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Who Should Apply

The Bingham Fellows program is considered our most advanced leadership course. Community leaders who have the expertise or have a strong interest in the Bingham Fellows topic along with a commitment toward positive change are encouraged to apply. Bingham Fellows participants can be graduates of other Leadership Louisville Center programs, but participation in previous programs is not required. Graduates of other community and state leadership programs are also invited to apply.

If the tuition of this program is a barrier, tuition support can be requested as part of the application process. Requests for tuition support do not diminish your chance of being accepted into the cohort. See the list of Bingham Fellows graduates since 1991.

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Details and Tuition

Time Commitment: Bingham Fellows is a year-long program, with monthly program days, a mandatory opening session in January, and a mandatory overnight retreat in May. Class members are expected to attend each of the program days, which typically take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (see the full 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. Groups are formed and begin meeting outside of program days beginning in May.

Tuition: Tuition for the Bingham Fellows program is $4,800 and includes overnight retreat lodging, meals, and materials. Tuition support is available if the cost is a barrier. You can request support through the Bingham Fellows application form. A typical award would not exceed half of the tuition cost.

If you have questions about any of these details, please see our Frequently Asked Questions or reach out to Sara Bowman at sbowman@leadershiplouisville.org.

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How Individuals Benefit

  • You’ll have the rare opportunity to make a significant difference while learning advanced strategic change management skills.
  • Gain recognition as a community leader providing solutions for tough civic challenges.
  • Take a deep dive into the issue and gain a greater understanding of your community by engaging with subject matter experts.
  • Grow your network by collaborating with a diverse group of professionals to solve complex problems.

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  • “The class experience gave me the opportunity to create new relationships in the community with a group of engaged citizens while strengthening existing relationships. The class shared diverse opinions and insights but always centered on a common purpose.”
    Brad Smith (BF ’20), Managing Partner, MCM CPAs & Advisors

  • “Bingham Fellows was a commitment, but I enjoyed the process and it stretched me professionally. I benefitted most from the deep exposure to the topic, critical thinking opportunities, and the cross-section of professionals in the class.”
    Kathy Knotts (BF ’19), Grants Officer, Gheens Foundation

  • “My Bingham Fellows class provided me an opportunity to learn about an important civic issue (modernization of Kentucky’s Constitution) and to chair a follow-on nonprofit to educate Kentuckians about this significant topic.”
    Todd P. Lowe, CFA (BF ’20), President, Parthenon LLC

  • “Bingham Fellows gave me the opportunity to develop as a leader alongside an awesome group of people who represent all sectors of our community. I learned so much from the experts brought in as speakers and the meaningful dialogues we had as a class. I gained lifetime friends and was reminded of the beauty in diverse perspectives.”
    Maryam Ahmed (BF ’18), Senior Associate for City Outreach and Engagement, Cities United

  • “I loved my Bingham Fellow experience. I developed new relationships with great people, and got to work on an issue that our community needed to address. The Bingham Fellow experience is about people coming together getting the facts and then taking action to make a positive impact in our hometown!”
    William Summers (BF ’18), Senior VP Chief Community Development Officer, Republic Bank

  • “Bingham Fellows introduced me to a wonderful group of diverse professionals that I might not have met and learned from without participating in this class. The speakers and information gathering sessions were also extremely valuable.”
    Kellie Watson (BF ’19), Equity & Compliance Officer, Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District

  • “My Bingham Fellows experience directly influenced the lives of citizens through outcomes such as new academic agreements with local businesses to benefit students. As a non-profit community and technical college, we have limited funds to send our leadership team to programs like this one. Yet, this experience allowed me to ‘connect the dots’ between industry and education. It created a safe place to ask tough questions about workforce development and the tough issues in Louisville and allowed me to leverage these connections and experiences for measurable change.”
    Telly Sellars (BF ’17), Dean of Technical Education, JCTCS

  • “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 Healthcare

  • “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), Former 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 Organizations Benefit

By sending a representative from your organization to participate in the Bingham Fellows, your company will:

  • Grow its reach and collaborate with a unique cross-section of organizations in our city.
  • Benefit from the opportunity to meet and work with the area’s top experts and key decision-makers.
  • Gain access to advanced leadership techniques in thinking big and effecting change.

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How to Apply

Applications for the 2024 Bingham Fellows class are now open. Our selection committee considers experience, community service, responses to essay questions, and approval from your employer/supervisor. The application consists of two parts:

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Have questions about the program? See Frequently Asked Questions about Bingham Fellows or feel free to reach out to Sara Bowman, and she’ll help you determine if this program is a good fit for you:

sbowman@leadershiplouisville.org | (502) 753-1492
Schedule a Meeting or Call

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