The Legado Fellows Initiative

The Legado Fellows are emerging leaders who excel at using a multidisciplinary approach to conserving the natural world and driving positive change for human societies.

Targeting university students as well as junior staff of NGOs and government agencies, the Legado Fellows Initiative provides integrated, multidisciplinary training to cultivate a dynamic and connected approach to conservation, science, economic development, and leadership.

Through careful selection of international cohorts of applicants, the initiative increases exposure of its fellows to diverse sectors, approaches and viewpoints. The approach also enables fellows to build a network of professional contacts, including with other fellows and experts and leaders in the field. Our program builds on the success of our 2015 Symposium, composed of twenty-seven African Fellows (over 50% from Mozambique and others from Namibia, Zimbabwe, and South America) and six US Fellows.




Why Now?

The big conservation and development challenges in our world require strong future leaders.

Our Goal: by 2019, at least 100 emerging leaders have increased capacity to work and lead in the conservation and development sectors. These leaders excel in thinking and working constructively across scales, from communities to government agencies, across fields of work and study, and across national borders and even continents.




Breaking it Down

Here’s how we’re approaching building the next generation of outstanding leaders in conservation and development:

1. Hands-on Training

The cornerstone of the Legado Fellows Initiative is the biennial symposium that convenes conservation and development leaders from around the world. At the 12-day Legado Fellows Symposium, African and American students convene at a priority conservation area to be trained in cutting edge conservation planning and management principles, leadership development models, Leave No Trace environmental stewardship techniques, and examinations of real-world challenges facing conservation and development.

After the symposium, assignments, networking events and access to unique research and study opportunities continue to build participants’ capacity and cultivate the valuable, professional connections established at the symposium.

Learn more about our first Legado Fellows cohort’s experience at the 2015 Next Gen Symposium.

Become a 2018 Legado Fellow

2. Career Development and Mentorship

While the symposium is the catalyst for the Fellows’ development, the enduring legacy of the initiative comes from the fieldwork, further education and internship opportunities that follow.

“By gaining knowledge of innovative and industry standard planning, leadership, and stewardship approaches, the Legado Fellows will speak the same basic language as those leading conservation and development around the world. We hope that will not only give them a leg up when they enter the workforce, but also jump start their grasp of the complexity of driving social change and the innovation, multi-disciplinary collaboration, and rigor it requires.”

–Elizabeth O’Neil, Specialist in International Conservation Planning and
Evaluation and Legado Fellows Faculty


Legado Fellows: 2014-2015

Meet some of our 2015 Legado Fellows and hear them share about one of their course modules: Leave No Trace…