Mount Vernon Leadership Fellows

On hiatus for Summer 2022

The Mount Vernon Leadership Fellows Program is a highly selective six-week summer institute for rising college juniors offering unparalleled learning and networking opportunities at the home of America’s first president just outside our nation’s capital.

A key tenet of the mission of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association includes educating the world about the life and legacies of George Washington, so that his example of character and leadership will continue to inform and inspire future generations.

Since 2015, one of the programs that has most completely fulfilled this charge is the Mount Vernon Leadership Fellows. Our commitment to supporting the next generation of young Americans is steadfast and long-term, but owing to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, we regretfully announce we will not host the Mount Vernon Leadership Fellows program in 2022.

Sponsoring a summer fellowship for our nation’s brightest college leaders has been rewarding and inspiring, and we are hopeful this program will continue one day soon.

“The opportunity to be inspired by and learn from George Washington’s legacy cultivated a unique and rewarding experience. At Mount Vernon, I was encouraged to dream bigger, expect more from myself, and further develop my spirit of service.”

Chidinma Hannah Nnoromele Duke University ‘17

We offer an all-inclusive six week program that provides housing, transportation, meals and a $3000 stipend.

Frequently Asked Questions

Program Overview

  • Character-based Leadership and Decision Making

    The Mount Vernon Leadership Fellows program focuses on the tenets of civility, ethics, integrity, and credibility in leadership and decision-making as evidenced by George Washington throughout his life. Fellows will also explore their own character and how it shapes their ability to lead.

  • Tactical Leadership and Institution Building

    How do visions become a reality? Students learn how George Washington built institutions that carried out his strategic objectives and encouraged those around him to do the same. Washington learned early in his career that brilliant strategic thinking required well-crafted institutions to support and carry out broader objectives.

  • Strategic Leadership

    Utilizing specific examples from George Washington’s military and political career, fellows explore George Washington’s approach to the components of implementing a successful strategy. Strategic leadership necessitates prioritizing goals, organizing groups, and viewing the playing field through different perspectives. Fellows will study George Washington’s conceptions of power and discuss how he used that power to win the Revolutionary War, forge the Constitution, and sustain the nascent national government.

  • Strategic Execution

    Fellows will study how George Washington led the first executive branch of government and explore the intricacies of leading groups as they execute carefully developed strategic visions. Fellows present their Capstone projects, discussing how they will implement their vision, create institutions, and formulate a plan of action.

“The chance to spend my summer at Mount Vernon working on a project of my choice and really getting the tools I needed to enhance my own leadership for the future could not have been a better opportunity.”

Emerson Wells Brown University ‘18

Weekly Theme: Strategic Leadership


Shuttle to Mount Vernon


Chris Lu
Former White House Cabinet Secretary for President Obama
Deputy Secretary of Labor


"Genius of George Washington" by Edmund Morgan
Scott Miller, MVLF Facilitator


George Washington and Strategic Leadership in the Continental Army
Krysten Blackstone, Ph.D. candidate at The University of Edinburgh, Washington Library Academic Fellow


Lunch on Your Own


Overview of this week's offsite visits


Michael Morell
Former Acting Director and Deputy Director, CIA
CBS National Security Contributor


Ed Ryan, Deputy Director DIA
Mission briefing for next day’s Defense Intelligence Agency visit

previous Experiences and Speakers

“My favorite part of the program has definitely been interacting with so many amazing leaders, peers, Mount Vernon staff members, and all the speakers we met. I learned something from everyone, it was a really great opportunity to network.”

Garrett Kalt Washington State University ‘18
Capstones & Mentors

A highlight of the Leadership Fellows experience is learning how to take a personal passion and turn it into a blueprint for action in the form of a Capstone Project. Working with an assigned mentor, Leadership Fellows will be spending some of their time at Mount Vernon working on their individual capstones, culminating in a final presentation at the conclusion of the program.

Watch alumni presentations
Alumni & News

Our Mount Vernon Leadership Fellows are an accomplished group of passionate and dedicated student leaders. Meet our alumni and see Mount Vernon Leadership Fellows in the news.

  • Students who meet the following criteria are encouraged to apply:

    Currently enrolled college sophomore in good standing

    Proven leadership ability and involvement

    Keen interest in American history

    All majors welcome

    Demonstrated interest in proposed capstone project

    Cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher

    Current U.S. Citizen

  • Application requirements:


    Four (4) written essays and/or video statements (view questions)

    Two (2) letters of recommendation

    Current college transcript (applicants may use an unofficial transcript)

We will not be accepting applications for the summer of 2021.

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