American Express NGen Fellows Program

The American Express NGen Fellows program provides changemakers, 40 and under, an exceptional opportunity to strengthen their leadership capacity and grow their personal and professional network.

The Fellows program advances Independent Sector’s mission to improve lives, heal our natural world, and strengthen democratic society by ensuring a continued wellspring of next-generation changemakers rise to meet today’s toughest challenges.

Every year the NGen Fellows program selects 12 individuals to participate in a nine-month leadership development program. The program centers on six core results. At the end of the Fellows experience changemakers will be able to:

  1. Articulate self-awareness of their purpose, influences, values, leadership styles, assets, and support needs as leaders, and use that awareness to engage and collaborate effectively
  2. Understand how to use a results-based, data-driven practice to define impact, develop strategies, measure performance, and be accountable for results
  3. Develop an analysis of system change levers, such as public policy, needed to achieve results, and tools and tactics for moving those levers
  4. Develop a practice of racial equity to analyze and address disparities in terms of the who, what, and how of their social change work
  5. Build adaptive leadership skills to engage in difficult conversations. solve complex problems with others, and manage change
  6. Develop a network of peers who support leadership and results, and gain access to influential leaders who can support their development and impact

Supported by

2018 Amex Leadership Academy Logo

2019 American Express NGen Fellows


Gabriella Barbosa
Director, Policy and Legislative Advocacy
Alliance for a Better Community
(Los Angeles, CA)

Atrayus Goode
President & CEO
MENTOR North Carolina
(Durham, NC)

Jasmine Khan
Executive Director
Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness
(Eagle River, AK)

Leon Leader Charge
Planning and Development Specialist, Office of Legislative Affairs
Rosebud Sioux Tribe
(Mission, SD)


Maia Maiden
Curator and Director
Maia Maiden Productions
(Minneapolis, MN)

Carolina Martínez Prohías
Mentes Puertorriqueñas en Acción
(Guaynabo, PR)

Shaunae Motley
President and CEO
United Way of Southwest Georgia
(Albany, GA)

Nitika Nautiyal
Co-Founder, Business Worker Services Coop
The Dividend Project
(Chicago, IL)


Andrew Plumley
Associate Director
Equity in the Center
(Washington, DC)

Adiel Suarez-Murias
Director, Communications & Marketing
Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement
(Washington, DC)

Jeannette Tremblay Chambers
Director, School and Studio Programs
Hyde Park Art Center
(Chicago, IL)

Selena Wilson
Vice President, Organizational Effectiveness
East Oakland Youth Development Center
(Oakland, CA)

Projects from Previous Program Years

2018: NGen Fellows / Upswell LA

Our 2018 American Express NGen Fellows program cohort had the opportunity to lead a workshop discussion about retaining next generation leaders of color at Upswell LA on November 14. Check back soon for more information and materials that came out of that discussion and the cohort's nine-month fellowship.

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2017: NGen Speaks

NGen Speaks, the 2017 American Express NGen Fellows' project, is a podcast series featuring emerging nonprofit leaders grappling with complex, sometimes controversial issues. Each leader brings an authentic voice to the conversation, based on personal views and lived experience.

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2016: Gender Equity in the Charitable Sector

As part of their collaborative project, the 2016 American Express NGen Fellows wrote Gender Equity in the Charitable Sector, a guide designed to be used to understand the issue of gender equity in the charitable sector, reflect on what gender equity means for the future of the sector, and act from a personal, organizational, and sector-wide level to support and promote gender equity.

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2015: The Necessary Challenge

The 2015 American Express NGen Fellows cohort explores the difference between the belief in transformative innovation both within and through the social sector, and the reality of attempting to create and maintain a culture of innovation in the (mostly) nonprofit space in The Necessary Challenge. The report includes findings and recommendations on how the social sector might mitigate barriers and encourage stronger, more sustainable innovation within the sector.

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2014: Strategies for Talent Diversity

The 2014 American Express NGen Fellows partnered with the National Audubon Society to refine and improve the organization’s diversity and inclusion goals of attracting, retaining and advancing leaders of color. They documented the effort in a case study, Strategies for Talent Diversity

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