KIPP Leadership Design Fellowship

The KIPP Leadership Design Fellowship (KLDF) is an eight-month program designed for administrators of public school districts, charter school systems, and leadership training organizations to provide intensive, experiential, and collaborative training on KIPP’s school leader development model. 

Leaders from 70+ organizations (districts, states, CMOs, and talent organizations) serving over 8.7 million children have participated in the program to-date.

Round Table KIPP School Leadership Design Fellowship

The Fellowship is designed to: 

Share KIPP’s leadership practices
In-person summits are deliberately scheduled to coincide with national KIPP events, ensuring that the Fellows not just hear what KIPP does, but see programs in action.

Model what KIPP teaches
Taught by KIPP’s own instructors, KLDF sessions demonstrate the high quality, engaging, adult learning that KIPP incorporates into all of its principal training programs.

Forge a community of like-minded leaders among KLDF fellows
The structure of KLDF aims to replicate the cohort-based learning model that KIPP utilizes in its other leadership training programs in order to encourage fellows to build lasting relationships with each other—creating an expanded network of like-minded leaders.

Brainstorm KIPP School Leadership Design Fellowship

2016 Fellowship Details

Summit I: Principal Recruitment, Selection & Developing a Leadership Pipeline
March 22 - 24, 2016 in Houston (Travel Day on Monday, March 21)

Participants will explore effective practices in creating a leadership pipeline and recruiting talented candidates. Intensive sessions will focus on designing a selection process that reflects organizational values and aligned principal competencies. Participants will also join the KIPP Foundation staff for a portion of their annual principal selection process and will see KIPP principals in action during a school visit.

Summit II: Principal Development & Residencies
June 28 - 30, 2016 in Chicago (Travel Day on Monday, June 27)

Participants will explore effective practices in adult learning and formal programming components including residency experiences. Participants will also participate in a portion of KSLP Summer Institute for principal and emerging leader development.

Summit III: Principal Support & Evaluation
October 25-27, 2016 in Atlanta (Travel Day on Monday, October 24)

Participants will learn about effective on-going professional development and support for principals and explore effective practices in evaluating principals, schools, and programs. Participants will also participate in a simulated school review experience.


Tuition, travel, lodging, food, and all summit materials will be paid for by the KIPP Foundation.

Ideal Candidates

KIPP is looking for reform-minded public school districts, charter management organizations (CMOs), and school leadership training organizations that want to improve the selection and development of their principals. Two representatives from the organization should have the:

  • Belief that closing the achievement gap is possible through transformative school leadership
  • Desire to build new relationships and contribute to a close-knit communityof practice
  • Willingness and ability to share effective practices from their organization
  • Desire and capacity to impact and influence their organization’s current principal hiring practices and development programs and to share progress on key initiatives
  • Commitment and organizational support to attend and actively participate in all three summits (including pre-work, post-work and required travel days)

How to Apply

Acceptance into the fellowship is a highly-competitive rolling application process. We seek two candidates from each organization to jointly apply and commit to actively engaging in the entire fellowship experience.

Step 1: Letter of Interest

Submit a Letter of Interest to by Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at 7 pm EST. Please include in the letter:

  • Why the two candidates and the organization are interested in participating in this fellowship
  • An explanation of the two candidates’ ability to influence the organization’s current principal hiring and development practices
  • The commitment of the two candidates, with support from the organization, to travel and participate in all aspects of the program, especially through attending 100% of programming

Step 2: Interview

Select candidates will be invited to interview with the KLDF selection team to share additional context about their fit for the fellowship.

Step 3: Application

Based on the Letters of Interest, a limited number of candidates will be invited to formally apply to the KIPP Leadership Design Fellowship. The formal application will include letters of support from the organization superintendent or CEO, candidate resumes, and a self-reflection on the organization’s practices and individuals’ roles inthe organization.

Applicants will be notified of acceptance beginning January 28, 2016. Email if you have any questions. 


Reflections from Participants 

97% of fellows said their experience was "Extremely Valuable" and 100% said they would recommend the program to others.

“This is an extraordinary professional development experience and systems should send leaders with decision-making authority to enhance their leadership development programs.”
– Paul Miller, Los Angeles Unified School District

“You took a very traditional retired superintendent and opened his eyes to KIPP and a new way to do things that work.” 
– Mark Mitchell, Winthrop University 

“Developing highly effective leaders is such an important strategy in impacting student success. This program really allowed us to explore leadership and what it means. The work done here will definitely impact my work ahead. Thank you so much for the opportunity to be a fellow.” 
– Kimiko Cartwright, Austin Independent School District 

Learn more about previous participants: 

Cohort One  |  Cohort Two  | Cohort Three



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KIPP is committed to equal treatment for all individuals. KIPP does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, disability, age, religion, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin.
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