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2020 Bush Fellows

Meet the 2020 Bush Fellows

June 9, 2020

Introducing the 2020 Bush Fellows, 24 visionary leaders who are thinking big about how to solve problems and shape a better future for their communities. The 24 Fellows hail from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography.

The Bush Fellowship is an investment in individual leaders. It provides Fellows with up to $100,000 over 12 to 24 months to pursue formal and informal learning experiences that help them develop the skills, attributes and relationships they need to become more effective, equitable leaders who can drive change in their communities and region as a whole. The Fellowship is distinctive in its flexibility, allowing Fellows to articulate what they need to become more effective and agile leaders. Fellows can use the funding to pursue advanced education, networking opportunities, and leadership resources, workshops and trainings.

“The Bush Foundation believes that strong and equitable leaders are necessary for our communities to be places where every person can thrive. These 24 Fellows have demonstrated tremendous capacity to lead change, and we believe in their potential to make an even greater difference.”

Bush Foundation Leadership Programs Director Anita Patel

A total of 746 people applied for the 2020 Bush Fellowship. The 24 Fellows were selected through a multi-stage process involving Bush Fellowship alumni, Bush Foundation staff and established regional leaders. Applicants described their leadership vision and passion and how a Bush Fellowship would help them think bigger and become more effective leaders.

The Bush Foundation will accept applications for the 2021 Bush Fellowship beginning August 18, 2020. 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 geography.

More than 2,325 people have taken advantage of the Fellowship to become better leaders through a self-designed learning experience, academic program, or travel and research to build connections with thought leaders on topics critical to their community. The Bush Fellowship counts among its alumni playwright August Wilson; James Beard Foundation Book Award winner Sean Sherman; former Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson; author and storyteller Kevin Kling; Amelia Franck Meyer, named one of People Magazine’s 25 Women Changing the World; South Dakota poet laureate Lee Ann Roripaugh; Minneapolis City Council Member Andrea Jenkins; and former special assistant to President Obama for Native American affairs Jodi Archambault.

Click on the illustrations below to learn more about each Bush Fellow. 
Illustrations by Hawwa Youngmark, produced in partnership with Pollen Studio.