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Nomination and Selection Process

Note: Having recognized more than 150 outstanding community leaders over the past five years, the Ford Foundation and Leadership for a Changing World will be taking a pause from giving awards in 2006 so the program can be evaluated and we can reflect on what has been learned. During this period, we will work to find effective ways to continue to disseminate our learnings about leadership more broadly, which will enable us to further support community leaders and their leadership around the country. Please join our email announcement list to stay abreast of our activities during this reflection period and future developments with the Leadership for a Changing World program.

Who should be nominated for Leadership for a Changing World?

Nominators are invited to identify leaders who demonstrate many or all of the following characteristics:

  • Leaders who are tackling tough social problems with effective, systemic solutions.
  • Leadership that is strategic.
  • Leadership that gets results.
  • Leadership that brings different groups together.
  • Leaders largely unrecognized outside their field or community, but who, if recognized, would inspire many others.
  • Leadership that builds leadership in their community.
  • Leaders from whom one can learn important lessons; and leaders who want to learn from others.

Nominees must be:

  • Working on social justice issues (including but not limited to: economic development; community development; environment and environmental justice; human rights; citizen participation and government accountability; education reform; youth development; human development; sexual and reproductive health; religion and social change; arts and social action; and access to media including new technologies).
  • Working in organizations that do not focus on grant-making activities.
  • U.S. residents working on domestic issues
  • Leaders who are not widely known outside their immediate community or field.
  • Individual leaders or leadership groups. Leaders in leadership groups should be equally responsible for the governance or direction of an initiative, as distinct from individual leaders who collaborate closely with colleagues supporting their work but do not share leadership responsibilities. Nominations of organizations or boards without leadership descriptions of the individuals will not be accepted.
  • Working for at least four years in the area for which they are being nominated.
  • Nominated by someone other than the nominee, family member, current board member, staff or consultant of the nominee’s organization.
  • Leaders with clear evidence of on-going community collaboration.
  • Current leaders who will continue to make major contributions to social change.

    Leadership for a Changing World is not intended to be a celebration of the end of a career of excellence.

    Shared leadership is a concept of special interest to the Leadership for a Changing World program. We encourage nominations of teams no larger than four (4) members. Please note that if a leadership team of more than four members is nominated, only four of the team will be able to participate in Program-Wide Meetings.

    Because the program is targeted at leaders not recognized outside their immediate community or field, if candidates have already participated in national leadership programs or received significant leadership awards, the impact of those awards on their broad public recognition will be evaluated during the selection process.

    What is the nomination process for Leadership for a Changing World?

    Leaders must be nominated. A nominator should be someone who is well acquainted with the nominated leader or leadership group and can attest to their qualifications. Because Leadership for a Changing World wants to recognize leaders engaged in the community we require that the nominator be someone other than the nominee, family member or from the board, staff or consultant of the nominee’s organization. While not required, Leadership for a Changing World encourages nominators to collaborate with their nominees to put forth a strong, well-informed nomination. The nominator is responsible for submitting the nomination packet and must be available for possible follow-up inquiries by the selection committees. Leadership for a Changing World strives for full transparency of its selection process. To this end, nominators’ names may be made public.

    To nominate, please follow the directions under the Nominations Guidelines section of the nomination brochure.

    What is the selection process?

    Nominations must be completed and received by the Advocacy Institute office (1629 K St., NW Suite 200, Washington, DC 20006-1629) by 5 p.m. (EST) on January 7, 2005. Nominations will only be accepted by mail (including FedEx, UPS, etc.). Email or fax submissions will not be accepted. Incomplete and/or late nominations will not be considered.

    The selection process has multiple stages. A wide range of social justice leaders serve as reviewers for the process. The multitiered review process will involve site visits and reference checks. Only one nomination per nominee will be considered. The nominator will be the only person contacted if the nominee does not move forward after the first stage in the selection process. The first notification as to the status of the nominee will occur in mid-March. The program will contact the nominees directly whose nominations move forward in the selection process.

    Following a seven-month selection process, including reviews by a Regional Selection Committee, the Advocacy Institute, the Ford Foundation and a National Selection Committee, seventeen (17) awardees will be selected by mid-summer of 2005. The first meeting of awardees will take place in October 2005 in New York.

    Leadership for a Changing World reserves the right to modify these criteria and procedures as the program deems necessary.



    Nomination Guidelines FAQs


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