CORO Fellows

To start your CORO journey, fill out an interest form.

The Fellows Program is a nine-month, full-time, graduate-level leadership training program that prepares early career professionals and recent graduates for effective and ethical leadership. The Northern California program runs from August to June and takes place in the San Francisco Bay Area. There are additional CORO Fellow programs in Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis.

The Fellows Program is founded on CORO’s unique curriculum of core leadership skills training paired with real-world experiences. Utilizing the urban environment as a classroom, CORO Fellows gain hands-on experience in order to develop an understanding of complex public issues, organizational analysis, collaborative communication, and problem solving. Though unconventional by traditional academic standards, the Fellows Program in Public Affairs is rigorous and demanding.

In addition to substantive skill-building and personal growth, Fellows also benefit from inclusion in an extensive professional network. CORO boasts over 10,000 alumni who represent all sectors of business, government, and community organizations.

CORO has partnered with a number of graduate institutions across the country to offer special credit, scholarships, and admissions consideration to CORO Fellows upon completion of the program.

Partnerships include

Carnegie Mellon University, Heinz School of Public Policy
Mills College, Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business and Public Policy
The New School, Milano School of Management and Urban Policy
University of San Francisco, Graduate Program in Public Affairs & Practical Politics
University of Southern California, USC Price School
Washington University (St. Louis), Brown School of Social Work

Meet the Current Class of Fellows

Learn more about our 2018 class of Fellows, here.

Learn more about the Fellows Program components:


Weekly seminars allow Fellows to reflect on their field placements and to develop leadership and project management skills. Facilitated by the Fellows trainer, skills-based seminars delve into decision-making, consensus building, public speaking, and team management. Fellows are challenged to examine their assumptions and to broaden their view of themselves and others using CORO Leadership Tools.

Watch the video below to hear about some of the CORO tools!


Each Fellow works in a series of six week-long, individually tailored assignments in various sectors that may include business, nonprofit, government, organized labor, political campaigns, or philanthropic organizations.

Examples of past placements:

  • San Francisco Department of Public Works
  • Port of Oakland
  • Bechtel
  • Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E)
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Domestic Workers Alliance
  • United Food and Commercial Workers Western States Council (UFCW)
  • Alphabet Energy
  • Walter & Elise Haas Fund
  • Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth


Fellows have the opportunity to conduct group informational interviews with leaders and decision-makers in all areas of public life, giving Fellows rare first-hand exposure to leadership from diverse perspectives. Recent interviews have included:

  • Jim Brulte, Chairman of the California Republican Party
  • David Chiu, President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
  • Christopher Gottschalk, Vice President of Blumberg Capital
  • Shelley Kessler, Executive Secretary and Treasurer of San Mateo Central Labor Council
  • Alonzo King, Director of Alonzo King Lines Ballet

Focus Weeks

Focus weeks are concentrated examinations of a particular sector or issue, which provide Fellows an opportunity for up-close and in-depth study. Fellows interact with leaders and advocates to better understand the issue or topic through interviews, site visits, and shadow placements. In San Francisco, recent focus week topics have included innovation, state government, agriculture, and social enterprise.

Hear about past participants’ favorite focus weeks in the video below.

For more information on the Fellows Program and the five other CORO centers, visit the Fellows Program website. Still have questions? Email