The Aspen Institute's Finance Leaders Fellowship seeks to develop a community of high-integrity leaders in the global finance industry. This two-year program is modeled on the Henry Crown Fellowship which was established in 1996. Using the Aspen Institute method of text-based dialogue, and building upon the Institute's commitment to values-based, action-oriented leadership, the program will spur selected Finance Fellows to consider values and perspectives necessary for effective, enlightened leadership in finance—and in society at-large.

The key objectives of the Fellowship are to:
  • Convene accomplished leaders in finance who will advance the industry to serve "at its very best" as Fellows.
  • Engage Fellows in a thought-provoking journey of personal exploration—to stretch themselves further.
  • Encourage Fellows to reflect on the historical importance of finance in well-functioning societies and current challenges in the sector—and commit themselves to playing an active role in shaping its future.

The Fellowship

Fellows must be nominated by a third party and selected by the Aspen Institute to participate in the program. Each class will consist of 22 Fellows who will participate in four seminars of 5-7 days each under the guidance of the skilled moderators of the Institute. Fellows must commit to attending all 4 seminars in their entirety, for a total of approximately 26 days of seminar meetings. They also must commit to designing and launching a required leadership venture of their own design to advance the role of finance in society. The Fellows' participation will be without cost to them or their organizations, with the exception of their travel costs and any incidental expenses they incur. Limited financial assistance may be provided for travel on a case by case basis.

Becoming a Fellow

Nomination Information

Ideal candidates are senior or executive business leaders in the broad finance ecosystem, from savers and users, to intermediates and stewards of capital. Learn more about becoming a candidate by reviewing the guidelines and watching videos of Fellows sharing their experiences.
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Are you a nominator or candidate with questions about the process? Read our FAQs. 
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Fellows in Program

About the Finance Leaders Fellowship

The Finance Leaders Fellowship was made possible by the lead underwriting support of the CFA Institute and Christopher Varelas, and major support from David McCormick, Ranji Nagaswami and Bo Hopkins, Lisa Shalett, the Pactolus Family Foundation, and the Ferguson Nazareth Family Charitable Fund.

CFA Institute

Conceived by Henry Crown Fellow Ranji Nagaswami, the program was initially developed in concept by the Aspen Institute's Business & Society Program and is now the newest Leadership Initiative of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.


Jennifer Simpson, Managing Director
Jennifer Simpson is the managing director of the Aspen Finance Leaders Fellowship. She has worked in the finance field most of her career, including private equity and debt investing at The Gladstone Companies, leadership roles in leveraged lending and credit at National City Bank and debt arrangement at Morgenthaler Partners. Most recently she was the EVP of Finance and Operations at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Jennifer began her career as a platoon leader in the U.S. Army’s Medical Service Corps and earned a bachelor's degree in Economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, financing it with a four-year Army ROTC scholarship. Her MBA is from Case Western Reserve University.

Kathy Kim, Program Associate
Kathy Kim is the program associate for the Aspen Finance Leaders Fellowship. She has prior experience with research and project management at the Millennium Challenge Corporation, Institute of International Finance, and Aspen Institute Philanthropy and Social Innovation program. Kathy holds a bachelor's degree in international studies from the School of International Service, American University in Washington, DC. She has also studied at the University of Michigan, La Universidad de las Americas Puebla in Mexico, and Yonsei University in South Korea.

Ashley Sillaro, Program Coordinator
​Ashley Sillaro is the program coordinator for the Aspen Finance Leaders Fellowship. She has prior experience with program development, event coordination, and data management. She has previously worked at the Institute of International Education and the American Red Cross. Ashley holds a bachelor's degree in international studies from the School of International Service, American University in Washington, D.C.

For more information about the Fellowship, contact Ashley Sillaro