The Water Innovation Leadership Development (WILD) program is a year-long, cohort-based executive education program designed for emerging leaders in small- or mid-sized city/municipal water services management. Through transformative leadership training, the program empowers rising water utility leaders to embrace new practices and implement innovative, equitable solutions to water infrastructure challenges, particularly in circumstances of change.
We seek the entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and innovators who are keen to lead water utilities into the future. Applicants should be current employees of a water service provider (water or wastewater utility; water authority; or water company) in the U.S. We particularly seek emerging leaders in small or mid-sized city/municipal water management.
After completing this leadership program, participants will:
Upon completing the program, fellows will earn a Certificate of Completion from the Nicholas School of the Environment.
The total 2021 cost of the yearlong program per student is estimated at $14,000. Due to generous support from our funders, we are able to offer full scholarships to 15 fellows per year. Scholarships include the tuition for all sessions, as well as travel and lodging for in-person workshops.
Fellows join a small cohort of 15 that will learn together over the course of 12 months. The program format follows a hybrid-learning model based on the top-ranked DEL-MEM distance learning program: in-depth campus workshops supported by facilitated online sessions.
–The leadership cohort will meet in person twice, each time for a three-day workshop held on the Duke campus in Durham, NC*.
–Over the year, there will be approximately six online sessions, each lasting one hour. The synchronous online sessions are led by a program leadership facilitator.
–Work between online sessions is expected to be 5-10 hours per month.
All modules (both in-person and online) will rely extensively on peer-to-peer learning, team-based sessions, and building a community of practice. Fellows will each have opportunities to lead and co-lead sessions and be accountable to each other.
During the workshops at the Duke campus*, fellows will be fully immersed in the fundamentals of leadership through intensive collaborations with course facilitators and the other fellows. Fellows will consult with peers and experts, particularly through workshopping projects or challenges from their own work.
Online group leadership sessions are designed to support fellows on their journey, help them track their skill development, and provide peer and facilitated support and coaching.
Each fellow would also be responsible for completing a solo capstone project, in line with career goals or their current professional or work projects.
Application Deadline: October 15, 2020
To ensure that Fellows are able to minimize work disruptions, in-person workshops will be held Fridays through Sundays. Online sessions are planned for Tuesday evenings 8:00-9:00 pm Eastern (5:00-6:00 pm Pacific), once a month on the months listed above.
Applicants should be current employees of a water service provider (water authority, water or wastewater utility, or water company) in the U.S. We particularly seek emerging leaders in small or mid-sized city/municipal water management.
Fellows will need to be able to commit to attending the in-person and online sessions. Because fellows will need to take approximately 4 days per year for the in-person workshops (including travel), employers must also demonstrate a commitment to allow the employee to travel and fully engage in the workshops during this time period.
–Applicants from utilities with fewer than 200,000 customers will be given preference when possible.
–Preference will be given to those who have not previously received formal leadership training. However, we encourage all to apply regardless of previous training experience.
–We seek to build a cohort that reflects leaders of diverse geographies, identities, and communities. We strongly encourage minority and female candidates.
–We also encourage applications from emerging leaders in utilities that primarily work with underserved communities, including majority-minority communities and under-resourced communities.
We are currently accepting applicants for our first 2021 cohort. Applications for priority consideration will be due October 15, 2020.
Applicants who apply by October 15 will be notified by November 15 of application status.
Are you planning to apply? If you are interested in learning more about this program, join our email list for program updates, timely deadline reminders and tips for preparing your application.
If you have questions about the program or the application process, please contact Laura Lipps, Assistant Director of Executive Education, Nicholas School of the Environment, at email@example.com
We also invite you to join our email list to receive updates, deadline reminders and more information about this program.
*Due to the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, we plan to hold the first sessions online, and in-person workshops later in 2021. We are actively monitoring evolving conditions in concert with Duke leadership and public health authorities; schedule or format is subject to change if necessary for the health and safety of our Fellows and Facilitators. We are mindful of Fellows’ work schedules as well that may be impacted during critical response periods.
The Water Innovation and Leadership Development (WILD) Program is a leadership curriculum developed by Duke University faculty, leadership practitioners and leaders in water utility management. The WILD program is an offering of the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment’s Executive Education program.