Charting the future course of the industry.
Reconnecting finance and society.

The Aspen Institute's Finance Leaders Fellowship develops a community of enlightened leaders to chart the course of the global finance industry. Fellows strengthen their companies' cultures, look for ways to improve system stability, and innovate to ensure global financial inclusion.

Using the Aspen Institute method of text-based dialogue, building a strong community of Fellows, and leveraging the Institute's commitment to high-integrity, action-oriented leadership, the program inspires selected Finance Fellows to consider values and perspectives necessary for effective, enlightened leadership in financeand in society at-large. Fellows also undertake a leadership venture of their own designed to challenge themselves and advance the role of finance in society. See a list of all the Finance Leaders Fellowship here.

The Fellowship Experience:
  • Engages Fellows in a thought-provoking journey of personal exploration and understanding of what their definition of "the good society" is.
  • Forges a global network of finance leaders deeply committed to each other and the betterment of society.
  • Encourages Fellows to reflect on the historical importance of finance in well-functioning societies and current challenges in the sector, inspiring them to play an active role in shaping its future.

Pillars of the Fellowship

Developing Leaders

The Finance Leaders Fellows attend a series of four seminars where they reflect on their own role and responsibility as leaders. In each seminar, they discuss different themes: challenges of leadership, their role in creating the “good society”, complexities of leading in the global community, and legacy through leadership ventures.

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Building Community

The Fellowship encourages a community where Fellows challenge and support one another for life. These Fellows include senior or executive leaders in the broad finance ecosystem, from savers and users, to intermediates and stewards of capital. Finance Leaders Fellows are also part of the larger Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN), a world-wide community of successful, high-integrity, entrepreneurial leaders committed to making the world a better place. 
Finance Leaders Community
AGLN Network

Taking Action

An integral part of the program is undertaking a Leadership Venture by each of the Fellows - a chance to put values into action. They aim to reconnect finance and society by charting the future course of the industry and using the power of their platforms in finance to address societal issues.

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Finance Leaders Fellowship News

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.

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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, Executive Director
Jennifer Simpson is the executive 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.

Ashley Sillaro, Senior Program Coordinator
​Ashley Sillaro is the senior 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. 

Sean Barry, Program Coordinator
​Sean Barry is a program coordinator for the Aspen Finance Leaders Fellowship. Prior to joining the Aspen Institute, Sean interned at Morgan Stanley and gained experience in data management and analysis, sourcing, and research and due diligence. He also has experience in private equity and government relations. In 2018, he graduated from Georgetown University where he majored in Government and served as Captain of the crew team.

For more information about the Fellowship, contact Ashley Sillaro.