Do You Know the Next Liberty Fellow?

In South Carolina’s 46 counties, there are dynamic, grassroots leaders who have the drive, proven success, and desire to make a difference. The hitch is they can’t nominate themselves. Nominators play a critical role by nominating leaders who they know well and who meet the selection criteria. If you think you know the next Liberty Fellow, explore our nomination criteria and process in more detail below.

Nomination Criteria

Liberty Fellowship nominees must:

Be a South Carolina resident

Be between the ages of 30 and 47

Be intellectually curious and open to ideas

Be an accomplished leader with a history of significant community engagement

Be at an “inflection point,” willing to reflect deeply on their leadership role in society

Be willing to challenge existing normative behaviors with actionable ideas to create positive change

Have a breadth of experience and level of maturity that will enable them to contribute effectively to the seminar experience by listening to and learning from their peers

If selected, the nominee will be expected to engage in civil discourse. Liberty Fellowship expects and encourages Fellows to challenge one another’s ideas respectfully in conjunction with our commitment toward engaging a multitude of perspectives. However, the Fellowship will not accept nominees who express hate or intolerance toward others based on their particular ideas or identities.

Nomination Process

Nomination Form

You must submit a nomination form for each nominee.  If you have previously submitted a nomination form, you do not need to submit a new one. Your nominee will remain in the pool for consideration until they no longer meet the criteria. We do encourage you to send updates about your nominee to Janice Wilkins.

Nominations for Liberty Fellowship will reopen in spring 2025.


After our nomination cycle concludes, our team reviews all new and existing nominations and selects nominees for interviews with our CEO, Ann Marie Stieritz. The interview process takes several months. We do not give out information prior to the final selection, so we respectfully ask nominators and nominees to be patient.

Class Selection

There are more bright and competent nominees than spots available.  For each Class, there may be 400 – 600 new and existing nominations in the pool for consideration.

When selecting our Classes, we aim to create a vibrant Mosaic. Considerations include creating an optimum cross section of gender, geographic, urban/rural, political, social, occupational and ethnic characteristics. A critical task is to weave together the strongest candidates in a class that–as a whole–reflects South Carolina in all its rich diversity. Our goal is that each Fellow will have something to teach and to learn from the other.

Once we have made our final selection, we let every nominator and their candidate know the outcome prior to making a public announcement.

Commitment to Seminar Dates

Prior to selection, the nominee commits to be available for all seminar dates and times. Arriving late or leaving early is not permitted.

The seminar schedule for the Class of 2025 is:

  • March 19-23, 2024: The Challenge of Leadership, South Carolina 
  • October 14-20, 2024: The Aspen Seminar, South Carolina  
  • January 2025 – March 2025: Leading in an Era of Globalization, in the U.S. or abroad 
  • June 3-6, 2025: The Promise of Leadership, South Carolina  
  • September 15-18, 2025: The Call to Action Seminar, South Carolina

Frequently Asked Questions

We open nominations every two years. Nominations will open again in spring 2025.

South Carolina residents between the ages of 30 and 47 are eligible. The nominee must not have turned 48 by January 1st in the year the Class begins seminars. For example, nominees for the Class of 2025 must not have turned 48 before January 1, 2024.

None. Education of Fellows ranges from no college degree to post-doctoral work.

There are no specific employment requirements. However, the majority of each Class comes from the business sector.

Successful nominees will have a history of meaningful civic and community engagement that includes positions of leadership. We are looking for leaders who are at an “inflection point”- looking toward the broader role they might take on in their communities. By this we mean that they are ready and able to pause, re-evaluate the things that matter to them most, and dedicate time and energy to making a difference.

Successful nominees will have a history of meaningful civic and community engagement that includes positions of leadership.

No. There are no “bonus points” for the credentials of the nominator. All that matters is that you see the potential for leadership and can provide an in-depth look into your nominees’ background, values and readiness to take full advantage of this opportunity. Your answers to the nomination questions are very important. We ask that you share personal details, including struggles or hardships the nominee has had, that you may not normally put into a typical recommendation. The strongest nominations are those that help us understand the nominee’s inflection point and why this is the right time for them to take full advantage of the Fellowship.

There are two initial requirements:

  1. Five, multi-day seminars over the course of 18 months in the U.S. and abroad. Fellows must participate 100% in each seminar. No late arrivals or early departures. No offers of “just missing a bit” or “calling in,” and  Fellows must also complete required readings before the seminars take place.
  2. An individual impact venture. Each Fellow commits to an individual leadership venture that will be underway by the end of the 18-month seminar experience.

Once the initial requirements are complete, Liberty Fellows do not “graduate” from the program. Liberty Fellows must be willing to articulate and follow through on the actions they will take to make South Carolina a stronger state. They join a community of 330 Liberty Fellows across the state, in addition to the 3,000 members of the Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN), working individually and collectively to have a positive impact in South Carolina and the world. Liberty Fellowship and AGLN provides multiple opportunities for leaders to stay engaged throughout their lifelong leadership journeys.

Learn more about the commitment required to be a Liberty Fellow.

It varies, but about 100 leaders are nominated each year. In addition to new nominees, all previous nominees are considered as long as they continue to meet the requirements. For any Class, as many as 400-600 nominees might be in the pool for consideration.

The good news is that every nominee remains in the active candidate pool until they no longer meet the eligibility requirements. Many nominees are selected three, four or even five years after they were first nominated.

No. However, you are encouraged to submit updates – particularly in the areas of career and community or state engagement – to Janice Wilkins .

This happens. Unfortunately, many highly qualified leaders may not fit the Mosaic for a specific year or years. The good news is that they can become a part of the Liberty Fellowship community by making nominations and potentially acting as Mentors.

No. Unfortunately, we are not able to accept nominees who are Fellows of other Aspen Global Leadership Network programs.

Nomination Form

Nominations for Liberty Fellowship are currently closed. Nominations will reopen in spring 2025. Please contact Janice Wilkins with questions.