Belle and George Strell Executive Leadership Fellows Program

To apply click below for:
Fellows Application

Extraordinary Leaders Do More than Manage

Human service organizations are experiencing a turbulent political and fiscal environment. These organizations face a steadily increased demand for services. Strong leaders are required to navigate the complexity and uncertainty of this landscape. They must have relationship-based management skills, a vision for improved services and social justice, and practical business acumen.

Social work leaders bring great value to human service organizations. The Silberman’s Belle and George Strell Executive Leadership Fellows Program is designed to create a pipeline of MSW leaders to fill future CEO positions.


Program Framework

The dynamic nine-month program consists of two monthly seminars, a leadership retreat, networking opportunities, and individual coaching. Seminars cover a wide range of relevant topics including governance and board recruitment; the hiring, development and retention of staff; financial planning and annual budgeting; creating and sustaining organizational culture; and preparation to enter a CEO search. Content is delivered in multiple formats:



  • Offered from the explicit perspective of an organization’s CEO.
  • Taught by an interdisciplinary group of prominent human service and business executives, renowned academics, and government officials, selected for their subject area mastery.
  • Facilitated using case studies focused on organizational culture and leadership taken from the Fellows’ current organizational challenges.


Relationship Building

  • Fellows meet with knowledgeable and experienced faculty, executive search firm leaders, top nonprofit executives, government officials and board members.
  • Networking with prominent and experienced human service leaders to build career long relationships.



  • Is predicated on mastering and refining skills tailored to the Fellows’ personal assessments of their skills and needs.
  • Carefully matches Fellows to a coach chosen from a cadre of prominent faculty, nonprofit executives, and government officials to provide skill building.


Admission Criteria and Credentials

The Strell Executive Leadership Fellows Program was created for high level senior managers of human service organizations. We are especially interested in applications from women and persons of color who wish to prepare for top leadership in the human services. All applications must include a letter of recommendation from your organization and a personal statement.

The program involves a significant commitment of time and attention. Once accepted as a Fellow, participants are expected to attend all sessions and complete ongoing projects.


Program Tuition

Program tuition is $3,500, which may be paid by organizations, individuals, or a combination of both.

Core components of this program are funded through the generosity of the Belle and George Strell Endowment.

Any questions please contact Jonathan Prince (Director) at


Curriculum Overview

Click here to see the curriculum.