Mentors are critical to the leadership development of diverse mid-career professionals who aspire to leadership in urban affairs public policy making and management. Our mentors are an invaluable component of the National Urban Fellows leadership development program.

National Urban Fellows' mentors are committed to the National Urban Fellows mission. They are accomplished leaders committed to sharing essential knowledge, skills and insights with Fellows who are the leaders of tomorrow's institutions. National Urban Fellows' mentors exemplify the highest level of leadership and, in turn, create leadership opportunities.

Mentors are senior executives and top leaders in public and nonprofit organizations. They have been mayors, governors, city and county managers, members of Congress, commissioners, and directors of major nonprofit and philanthropic organizations.

A growing number of National Urban Fellows alumni now serve in similar positions and have added their names to our roster of mentors.

The National Urban Fellows' mentorship program is designed to build on the academic component of the leadership development program, enhance professional competence and to open up new areas of interest and employment for Fellows. The mentor assignment provides Fellows with an invaluable opportunity to experience public policy planning and implementation and, in a broader perspective, to examine local, regional, and national issues.

The nine-month mentorship assignment begins in September and concludes at the end of May.


National Urban Fellows' mentors have the distinct privilege of helping to prepare today's multiethnic, multicultural professionals for leadership positions of tomorrow. Mentors receive many other personal and professional benefits including:

  • Demonstrating their companies' goodwill and commitment to diversity, while nurturing the future civic leaders of the nation
  • Utilizing the insights from Fellows’ backgrounds and experiences to enhance organizational success
  • Experiencing the satisfaction of sharing their expertise and leadership