Call for Distinguished Fellow Nominations!

The team at the Athena Center for Leadership Studies is beginning the process of selecting our next cohort of Distinguished Fellows and are seeking your recommendations for candidates for this program. 

The Athena Distinguished Fellowship Program is open to renowned leaders from the most senior levels of the private and public sectors, including leaders in business, law, medicine, government or NGOs. Each fall, the Center selects a class of Fellows (up to six) who have attained recognized positions of leadership within their careers and communities and have demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of women leaders within the U.S. and/or across the globe.  Fellows come from diverse backgrounds and disciplines; they can be located in the United States or abroad, and they can identify as any gender.

Often Fellows are at an inflection point in their lives or careers—looking toward the broader role they might take on in passing down their experience and expertise to emerging women leaders. Fellowships range from nine months to two years. Candidates commit to sharing their expertise and experience with Barnard students and advocating for women’s leadership within their circles of influence and the local, national and international causes in which they participate. They are featured in our PowerTalk series on campus, are invited to participate in courses and the Athena Leadership Lab series, and contribute to the Barnard community. Fellows receive a stipend as part of this Fellowship.

Our current class of Distinguished Fellows includes:

Irin Carmon, MSNBC national reporter and bestselling author of The Notorious RBG
Saru Jayaraman, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley.
Shiza Shahid, Co-Founder of the Malala Fund
Minerva Tantoco, Advisor at Future/Perfect Ventures and Former Chief Technology Officer for the City of New York
Jackie Zehner, President of Women Moving Millions

We welcome your recommendations. You can send them directly to the Constance Hess Williams ’66 Director of the Athena Center, Kathryn Kolbert, at  Please submit a bio of the nominated candidate and a brief description of why you think they would be a good fit. Thank you for your help in selecting our next group of Distinguished Fellows at the Athena Center.