Leadership Programs

FOCUS Impact Fellows

Launched as the next level of “hands-on” leadership development, the FOCUS Impact Fellows program is designed for participants to learn while doing.

The Impact Fellows program has distinguished itself among leadership programs by combining a project-based curriculum creating real-world impact with a core concentration on racial equity. The program leverages participants’ unique skills, networks, and resources, in collaboration with community organizations and experts, to create a tangible impact in the St. Louis region.

2023: Talent Attraction & Retention

Attracting and retaining talent is consistently named as one of St. Louis’ greatest challenges to economic growth. Since 2010, the region has lost more college-educated individuals than it has gained, a phenomenon sometimes referred to as “brain drain.” In a 2022 survey conducted by the St. Louis Business Journal, the reasons cited range from crime to inequality to poor leadership.

In 2021, Greater St. Louis, Inc. released the STL 2030 Jobs Plan, the first metro-wide jobs plan in a decade for St. Louis’ 15-county region. Now it’s time for leaders to put that plan into action.

Using the plan as a roadmap, our 2023 FOCUS Impact Fellows will work alongside community partners to identify opportunities for boosting inclusive growth for the benefit of both employers and residents. The possibilities for meaningful change are numerous – are you ready to be part of it?

Who Should Apply

If you are an experienced leader looking for meaningful civic engagement on issues critical to our region, you may be a great fit for Impact Fellows.

We seek:

  • A continuum of leaders with an interest in serving as catalyst of change in St. Louis region
  • Energetic visionaries with a desire to bring about meaningful positive change in our region that is impactful positively affects ALL in our community.
  • Community partner organizations who are ready to tap the energy of the next cohort on a specific issue or project to make an impact in St. Louis.

What to Expect

The FOCUS Impact Fellows experience is immersive, hands-on, challenging – and rewarding. As a result, you will:

  • Gain experience as a community leader providing solutions for tough civic challenges
  • Benefit from the opportunity to meet and work with the area’s top experts and key decision-makers
  • Gain significant experience in valuable leadership skills, including systems thinking, change management, critical reasoning, strategic planning, human-centered design, and group dynamics.

Impact Fellows is a nine-month program, with sessions held 1-2 days a month. You’ll also spend time outside of program days for individual and group work on the project(s).

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Apply to be part of our 2023-24 cohort of Impact Fellows.

Apply Now

How to Apply

Applications are open for the 2023-24 cohort of FOCUS Impact Fellows. The deadline to apply is Friday, April 14, 2023.

Learn more at the Impact Fellows Informational Session on Feb. 21, 2023. Reserve your spot here.

You can also nominate someone you know for the program and we’ll send them the application details.

Stay up-to-date throughout the recruiting cycle by signing up here.


Tuition for FOCUS Impact Fellows is $3,500 and includes a one-year FOCUS St. Louis membership.

Tuition is often covered in part or full by the participant’s employer. Partial scholarship assistance is available to those with demonstrated financial need. Scholarship application details will be provided to those selected for the cohort.


For More Information

Wally Siewert, Ph.D.
FOCUS Impact Fellows Director
tel: (314) 657-4026
Email Wally