Leadership Development Program Aimed at Making Philanthropy More Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Now Accepting Applications

The Council on Foundations is pleased to announce the application period for its flagship leadership development program, Career Pathways, is open now through October 31, 2016. Through Career Pathways, the Council seeks to increase the number of candidates from diverse backgrounds in the leadership pipeline and develop a generation of diverse leaders who are committed to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion within their own organizations and the broader philanthropic sector.

“We are looking for people passionate about philanthropy and eager to learn from and eventually join an incredible network of leading CEOs, trustees, and senior leaders in service to philanthropy and committed to the principals of diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Council President and CEO Vikki Spruill. “Two Career Pathways alumni—Ken Jones, Vice President and CFO of The Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Tonya Allen, President and CEO of The Skillman Foundation—now serve on the Council’s board of directors, which is a testament to the caliber of our graduates and the degree to which we believe in this program.”

Over the course of a year, 24 selected candidates will participate in virtual and in-person learning, networking events, and career training. Sessions are facilitated by expert faculty representing senior executives and trustees in the field of philanthropy as well as experts from other sectors, and all participants are matched with executive coaches. Program graduates are invited to participate in alumni activities and leverage their knowledge and talents to support other emerging leaders from diverse backgrounds.

During the program’s three-year pilot, Career Pathways graduated 37 leaders from 35 distinct philanthropic institutions who have gone on to become well-regarded and accomplished CEOs, CFOs, and trustees of foundations, other grantmaking institutions, and nonprofits all across the U.S. and world. 

To be eligible for the Career Pathways program, applicants must:

  • Be an employee of a grantmaking organization, foundation, or a philanthropic institution
  • Have at least five to seven years of mid- to senior-level experience
  • Have a serious interest in a senior and/or executive-level position in the field of philanthropy
  • Receive a recommendation by the employee’s home institution (submitted during application process or emailed directly to
  • Submit a completed application to the Council on Foundations by October 31, 2016.

To learn more about the program and submit an application, please visit


About the Council on Foundations

An active philanthropic network, the Council on Foundations (, founded in 1949, is a nonprofit leadership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. It provides the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance and sustain their ability to advance the common good. With members from all foundation types and sizes, the Council empowers professionals in philanthropy to meet today’s toughest challenges and advances a culture of charitable giving in the U.S. and globally. 

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Leadership Development
Professional Development


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