Archie Bush understood that great ideas need people to power them. That belief continues to drive the Foundation’s investment in individuals through the Bush Fellowship program.
The Foundation’s 2015 Bush Fellows are 23 leaders with records of achievement and extraordinary potential to make significant contributions in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and 23 Native nations that share the same geography.
The Bush Fellowship is distinctive in its flexibility, allowing Fellows to articulate what they need to become a better leader and providing them with the support to make it happen. Fellows receive up to $100,000 over 12–24 months to pursue learning experiences that help them develop leadership skills and attributes. The Fellowship can be used for advanced education, extensive opportunities for networking, and access to leadership resources, workshops and training.
“We are thrilled to invest in this extraordinary group of leaders,” said Bush Foundation President Jennifer Ford Reedy. “Bush Fellows have a unique opportunity to pursue the knowledge, connections and experiences that they believe are necessary to become more effective leaders. Investing in individual leadership is investing in the future well-being of our region. The extraordinary accomplishments of Fellows over the last 50 years are a testament to that.”
More than 2,200 people have taken advantage of the Fellowship to become better leaders through a self-designed learning experience, academic program or travel across the country to build connections with thought leaders on topics critical to their community. The Bush Fellowship counts among its alumni former Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson, Fond du Lac Tribal Chairwoman Karen Diver, New York Times best-selling writer Kathleen Norris, and noted storyteller Mary Louise Defender Wilson.
More than 600 people applied for the 2015 Bush Fellowship. A selection committee of 24 regional leaders and Bush Fellows alumni selected the 23 Fellows from a pool of 30 finalists after a half-day of interviews. Applicants described their vision and passion for transforming their communities, their capacity to be a transformational leader and how a Bush Fellowship would help them achieve their vision and grow their capacity.
The Bush Foundation will accept applications for the 2016 Bush Fellowship beginning in July 2015. The Bush Fellowship is open to anyone age 24 years and older who lives in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota or one of the 23 Native nations that shares the same geographic area.