KIPP Leadership Design Fellowship

A six-month program, designed for administrators of public school districts, charter school systems, and leadership training organizations, that provides intensive, experiential, and collaborative training on KIPP’s approach to leadership development.

Program Objectives

Centering Racial Equity in Leadership


Participate in a cohort experience that dives into KIPP’s approach to leadership development. While interacting with the technical content, participants will also be asked to examine their own identities to determine personal shifts they need to make that will support our collective work towards racial justice.

Design Thinking

Learn how to improve our design process through a lens of equity to generate leadership development solutions that are impactful, equitable, and inclusive. These solutions will ensure that we are providing the highest-quality outcomes for all students.

Collaborative Community

Be part of a diverse professional community of leaders from around the country with whom to collaborate beyond this fellowship experience.

Program Details

Over the course of four virtual learning experiences, asynchronous learning courses, and small group meet-ups, participants will get an in-depth look at KIPP’s leadership development approach. Fellows will participate in courses to build their own capacity as leaders for racial equity. They will also learn how to design leadership development systems that are impactful, equitable, and inclusive. Participants will join a cohort of reform-minded education leaders and have the opportunity to apply their learning in smaller learning teams.


December 11, 2020

Participants will kick off the Fellowship experience by building relationships, creating community agreements and diving into equitable design thinking.

Summit I: Building Internal Excellence

January 27 – 29, 2021

Participants will explore effective practices in creating a leadership pipeline. Sessions will focus on building internal pipelines that are equitable and inclusive.

Summit II: Selecting for Excellence

April 7 – 9, 2021

Participants will explore how KIPP support our regions in designing selection. Sessions will focus on designing a selection process that reflects equity, organizational values, and aligned leadership competencies.

Summit III: Developing for Excellence

June 16 – 18, 2021

Participants will explore KIPP’s approach to leadership coaching which focuses on the adaptive skills needed to be a successful leader.

All summits will involve training on Leading for Racial Equity, Equity Meets Design, and will also provide time for each participant to engage in an individualized application consultancy with a small group of peers.

Ongoing Asynchronous Learning & Application

February, May, and July, 2021

In-between summits, participants will continue their Equity Meets Design learning through the completion of online learning modules. They will also meet with their small groups to continue working on the application of learning to their own organizations.


All content-related costs (tuition and materials) will be fully paid for by the KIPP Foundation.

How to Apply

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the decision to cancel the Fellowship in March, the 2021 Cohort will be comprised of members of the 2020 Cohort. We will be recruiting members for the 2022 cohort in the fall of 2021. Please come back to this website for more information about our process. We also welcome you to complete the info form below to be added to our mailing list, which will receive updates when we begin recruitment for the 2022 Cohort.

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 leaders. Two representatives from the organization should have the:

  • Belief that closing the achievement gap is possible through transformative leadership
  • Desire and capacity to impact and influence their organization’s current principal hiring practices and leadership development programs and to share progress on key initiatives
  • Willingness and ability to share effective practices from their organization
  • Desire to learn about how to infuse racial equity into school culture and leadership development
  • Commitment and organizational support to attend and actively participate in all three summits (including pre-work, post-work and required travel days)

Need More Information?

Reflections from Fellows

Over 315 leaders from 110+ organizations (districts, CMOs, and talent organizations) serving 11.8 million children have participated in KLDF to-date. 97% of KDLF participants 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

KIPP Leadership Design Participants

School Districts

  • Achievement School District
  • Alum Rock School District
  • Ascension Parish
  • Atlanta Public Schools
  • Austin Independent School District
  • Baltimore City Public Schools
  • Boston Public Schools
  • Camden City School District
  • Charleston County School District
  • Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools
  • Chicago Public Schools
  • Columbus City Schools
  • Dallas ISD
  • Deming Public Schools
  • Denver Public Schools
  • District of Columbia Public Schools
  • Duval County Public Schools
  • El Paso Independent School District
  • Fort Bend Independent School District (FBISD)
  • Fulton County Public Schools
  • Hartford Public Schools
  • Houston Independent School District
  • Indianapolis Public Schools
  • Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Miami-Dade County Public Schools
  • Memphis City Schools
  • Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
  • Minneapolis Public Schools
  • New Haven Public Schools
  • New York City Department of Education, Office of Leadership
  • Newark Public Schools
  • Oakland Unified School District
  • Oklahoma City Public Schools
  • Orange County Public School
  • Reynoldsburg City Schools
  • Saint Louis Public School District
  • Salem Public Schools
  • San Antonio Independent School District
  • San Francisco Unified School District
  • School District of Philadelphia
  • Spring Branch Independent School District
  • Tulsa Public Schools
  • West Contra Costa Unified School District

State Departments of Education

  • Delaware Department of Education
  • Florida Department of Education
  • Hawaii Department of Education
  • New Jersey Department of Education

Leadership Training and Education Organizations

  • Aptus Chile
  • Alliance to Reform Education Leadership (AREL)
  • Arkansas Leadership Academy
  • Arkansas Public School Resource Center
  • Chicago Leadership Collaborative
  • Expeditionary Learning
  • Future Leaders Incubator
  • Get Smart Schools
  • Indiana University, Bloomington School of Public and Environmental Affairs and School of Education
  • Innovative Schools: The Center for School Innovation (Delaware)
  • Leading Educators
  • Louisiana Tech University
  • Loyola University
  • Lynch Leadership Academy, Boston College
  • Marian University: Academy for Teaching & Learning Leadership
  • Mike & Gillian Goodrich Foundation
  • National Association of Charter School Authorities (NACSA)
  • New Leaders for Chicago
  • New Schools for Baton Rouge
  • New Schools for Phoenix
  • ORG Bahamas Foundation
  • Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation
  • Reframe Labs
  • REEP – Rice University Education Entrepreneurship Program
  • Roanoke River Valley Education Consortium (RRVEC)
  • School Leaders Network
  • Schools That Can Milwaukee
  • South Carolina Education Leadership and Policy Institute
  • Teach for America
  • Teach for America Detroit
  • Teaching Trust
  • Tennessee Charter School Incubator
  • The Alliance for Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame
  • The Mind Trust
  • The New Teacher Project
  • Winthrop University

Charter Management Organizations

  • Achievement First
  • Achievement Prep
  • Alliance College-Ready Public Schools
  • Alpha Public Schools
  • Arizona Charter Schools Association
  • Ascend Public Charter Schools
  • Aspire Public Schools
  • Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy
  • Breakthrough Charter Schools
  • Brilla Schools Network
  • Collegiate Academies
  • Coney Island Preparatory Public Charter School
  • Education for Change Public Schools
  • Harmony Public Schools
  • IDEA Public Schools
  • Independence Mission Schools
  • Ivy Preparatory Academies
  • Leadership Public Schools
  • LEARN Charter School Network
  • Lighthouse Academies
  • Mastery Charter Schools
  • NACA-Inspired Schools Network
  • Neighborhood Charter Schools
  • Noble Network of Charter Schools
  • Para Los Niños
  • Rocketship Education
  • Scholar Academies
  • Uncommon Schools
  • UP Education Network
  • Uplift Education
  • Voices College-Bound Language Academies