The 2022 U.S. Leadership Journey Application is now live!

The 2022 U.S. Leadership Journey

Program Dates: March 2022 – March 2023
Format: Hybrid (both virtual and in-person elements)*
Cost: None
Apply By: November 19, 2021

The fully-funded, 12-month WomenLift Health U.S. Leadership Journey is a candid, exploratory, and results-driven experience for mid-career women in health whose work and partnerships serve target populations in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Applicants should be ready and eager to expand their leadership impact and pay it forward to their organization and community.

The program imparts contextualized tools & frameworks to address the individual, organizational, and societal challenges that women leaders in global health face today. 

*Covid Caveats: At this time, the program includes two in-person residences as well as once-a-month virtual touchpoints, but due to uncertainties caused by Covid-19, please note that the programming, including the in-person events, may need to be converted to an all-virtual format.

Designed for professional women leaders, the Journey was thoughtfully crafted for participants to be fully present & engaged. We recognize the importance of work-life harmony.

On This Page: 

“The Leadership Journey has just been so transformative for me - I learned more about myself, my environment, and the influence and power that I could unlock. I was equipped with a support group of other women leaders who helped push me forward. I'm still on a journey, but I feel I have the tools, the skills, the attitude, and the authenticity to bring out my best self. Having been thrown into one of the most complex public health issues around Covid-19, I'm deploying those skills every day.” — FOLAKE OLAYINKA, Immunization Team Lead at USAID

“I want to thank the Leadership Journey for giving me the time and the space to really think about leadership and what my leadership style and role might be. I think perhaps most important to me, has been the fact that I had the opportunity to have 22 beloved colleagues, plus a mentor, a coach, and all the WomenLift Health folks holding up this beautiful little mirror so that I could see the things that they saw that I often have a really tough time seeing myself.” — CHERYL MOYER, Associate Professor at University of Michigan Medical School

03 Improve Exec Presence 1

Meet the Current Cohort

06 Mentor Relationshop 1

2022 Mentors & Coaches

01 Build Confidence 1

2022 Application

Highlights From Lift-Off

2020 Cohort’s Lift-Off Presentations

Watch inspiring highlights and presentations by the 2020 Cohort Members about their Leadership Project and Leadership Journey reflections. 

Phases of the Leadership Journey

 Participants engage in two intensive in-person experiential learning residencies (Immersion and Lift-Off)*, in addition to virtual learning touchpoints, virtual group mentoring, virtual one-on-one coaching sessions, and importantly, a self-directed leadership project – all the while being supported by their Leadership Journey community and experts in the global health sector.

The Curriculum

The Journey is uniquely designed to deliver contextualized skills for these key leadership styles:

Authentic Leadership

Discovered through an exploration of one’s self and purpose while building on awareness of and trust in one’s abilities. This exploration enhances the insight, energy, and resilience that is key to leading as the most true and impactful version of oneself.

Inclusive Leadership

Encourages an intentional exploration of power and privilege and how it manifests in interpersonal and institutional dynamics. It builds trusting, sustainable connections with colleagues and community by including and giving voice to individuals of diverse identities at all levels of decision-making to build an environment that allows everyone to be successful. at all levels of decision-making to build an environment that allows everyone to be successful.

Strategic Leadership

Rooted in an understanding of one’s influence and how to leverage it to capture collective energy and facilitate change within institutions and the global health community. Crucial to this is building an inclusive cultural dynamic that is based on trust and inspires action toward a better future.

Impactful Leadership

Inspires gender equality and leads to better health through a crystalized understanding of the power of one’s leadership and the critical importance of developing others for greater impact.

As a result of this Leadership Journey, participants will be effectively positioned and equipped to:

  • Confidently rise up as a stronger leader and increase impact
  • Collaborate with and leverage the support of peers, mentors, male allies, and other women leaders through the collective power of diverse networks
  • Raise awareness to drive conversations and strategies that promote gender equality in institutions around the world
  • Internalize that global health is only truly global when those in positions of power make space to expand and diversify leadership
The 2022 Leadership Journey will take place from March 2022 – March 2023. Exact dates are subject to change. The in-person residences include the 3-day Immersion (May 24-26, 2022) and the 2-day Lift-Off (February 15-16, 2023). The in-person residencies are planned to take place in Greensboro, North Carolina. 

You are eligible for consideration if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • Identify as a woman
  • Work in a role that focuses on global health (your work and partnerships serve target populations in LMICs)
  • Possess sufficient years (10+ years) of experience in global health
  • Reside and work in the United States (any nationality is welcome)

We require participants to be living in U.S. time zones during at least 75% of the program as we believe time zone compatibility is essential to your ability to participate at the touchpoints and to engage with your peers within and outside of the sessions.

30 applicants will be selected for participation in the cohort. WomenLift Health is committed to selecting diverse cohort members, representing different sectors (public, private, academia, NGO, philanthropy), disciplines, and cultural backgrounds.

There is NO cost to participate if you are selected. Proficiency in English is expected as all sessions will be conducted in English.

Apply here by November 19, 2021, close of business.

If accepted, you will be required to attend each virtual and in-person learning residency* as detailed in the 2022 Calendar and to complete the deliverables associated with the Leadership Project. The time commitment for the required Leadership Journey activities (all virtual touchpoints, intersession activities) ranges from between 3 to 4.5 hours each month with the exception of the months of the in-person residencies. This estimate does not include the time required for the design, planning, and implementation phases of your Leadership Project, so please consider that in your decision to participate in the program.

Please ensure you have access to a computer and internet in order to attend the virtual touchpoints.

You will also be asked to complete a “360-evaluation” and other leadership style assessments, which will inform your understanding of your leadership strengths and growth areas. The 360-evaluation will involve soliciting feedback from your boss, peers, direct reports, and others. 

While the following are not technical requirements, our hope is that you will bring your drive, passion, and commitment to the program, engage actively with your peers, mentors, and coaches, and take full advantage of the resources provided. As our approach involves human-centered design, we will ask you to evaluate your experience and contribute ideas for how to enhance the Leadership Journey for future cohorts. One of the most important takeaways of this Journey are the relationships you form during this year. As many of our alumnae would say, “Behind every successful woman is an amazing group chat.”

Download our Application FAQ here.

Within the application, you will be asked to describe your Leadership Project idea.

The Leadership Project, required of each cohort member, is an opportunity to design and lead an effort that taps into your passion, expertise, and network and helps to realize a critical aspect of WomenLift Health’s Theory of Change which is based on the belief that individual action galvanizes change at the institutional and societal levels for better health.

There are only 4 rules for the Leadership Project:

  • It should focus on improving outcomes at the intersection of health and gender equality, or take a gendered lens on a global health issue
  • It should leverage your leadership skills
  • It should be within your scope of control or influence, but also stretch you beyond your day-to-day work requirements
  • You should be passionate about it

Your Leadership Project could accomplish one or more of the following, but is not limited to:

  • Answering a research question
  • Promoting health or gender education in a particular group
  • Developing a new or better technology
  • Innovating a better way to collect/analyze/use health/gender data
  • Improving a gender or health-related process/system in your organization
  • Empowering or enabling women in your community or organization to be successful
  • Incorporating a gendered lens into a policy, practice or research project where it was absent

Refer to this page for more Leadership Project details. See examples of Leadership Projects from the 2020 Cohort here.

Please include a letter of recommendation from your supervisor. If unable to obtain a letter of recommendation from your direct supervisor, you may submit a letter written by a senior leader at your current organization or a leader in the global health community who has experience working with you.

The letter of recommendation may speak to:

  • The significant contributions you have made to your professional field that demonstrate leadership capacity
  • Your strongest personal quality which distinguishes and qualifies you for selection to participate in this Leadership Journey
  • How this Leadership Journey will help you enhance your leadership knowledge and skills

Open Application Period: Application period closes on November 19, 2021, close of business. 

Notification Period: We will notify applicants of their acceptance status in late January 2022.

Acceptance & Pre-Orientation Period: Accepted candidates will be asked to confirm their participation by early February 2022, after which we will begin pre-Journey onboarding. 

Leadership Journey Launch: Orientation commences the week of March 7, 2022.

This program brings the considerable resources of the New Venture Fund (NVF), a 501(c)(3) public charity that incubates new and innovative public-interest projects and grant-making programs. Our sponsor, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has provided the funds to enable this movement. Our Leadership Journey curriculum design partner and touchpoint facilitator is the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL).

Ready to Apply?

Applications must be submitted by November 19, 2021. 

Past Cohort’s Feedback

“My whole life, I always had this idea that leaders had to be assertive and visionary and those are traits that I associated with white men and not with myself or people who look like me. During the program, I had a mindset shift and finally realized that leadership looks so different, and that we need those other traits and skills that women truly embody. I see now that no matter where I sit in any organization, the role that I can play is helping lift up other women and I know that the world of global health will be better.” — BINDIYA PATEL, Managing Director, Programs and Innovation Division at PATH

"I'm so full of gratitude to this journey for giving me the time, space, and support to be intentional about how I want to show up as a leader, how I want to lift up other women, and how I want to contribute to the changes that we have to make in the field of global health, including shifting power, in some cases, away from us. This journey didn't give me all the answers, but I think it gave me something more valuable, which is the ability to ask better questions. And I will continue to ask those better questions." — CALLIE SIMON, Senior Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Advisor and Team Lead at Save the Children