Diana Davis Spencer Fellowship

Developing Social Entrepreneurs Solving Challenges Affecting Americans, Age 50+



According to an Urban Institute study published last year, American workers in their fifties are about 20% less likely than workers ages 25-34 to become re-employed. Furthermore, nearly two-thirds of unemployed workers age 55 and older say they have been actively searching for a job for more than one year compared to just one-third of younger workers, according to a recent survey by the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University. Increasingly left out of employment opportunities, their skills, experiences and wisdom have also been lost in the process, to the detriment of the US economy.

Such findings challenged The Global Good Fund to address this timely and poignant question: How could we support, help and enable professionals over age 50 to find sustainable and gainful employment?

In response, The Global Good Fund partnered with the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation to create a specialized fellowship program focused on identifying entrepreneurs who were addressing the challenge of increasingly unemployable workers over the age of 50. These entrepreneurs could be over the age of 50 themselves, or there could be younger entrepreneurs who were passionate about creating job opportunities explicitly targeting those aging workers. 

The Global Good Fund supports these entrepreneurs in growing their enterprises through leadership development, executive mentoring and the provision of USD $20,000 in targeted capital, which in turn will enhance their expansion, reach and scale. The ultimate social impact will be a marked increase in the employment of workers within the United States over the age of 50.



The Diana Davis Spencer Fellowship is a 12-month program supporting the leadership development of social entrepreneurs who are dedicated to creating sustainable jobs for under- and unemployed Americans over the age of 50.


The Global Good Fund works closely with the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation to invest in these innovators by pairing them with executives who serve as Mentors, and by providing leadership assessment resources, a network of peers, sector expertise, and targeted financial capital.


  • Assessment
  • Development Plan
  • Mentor Engagement
  • Development Activities
  • Long Term Assessment

The Global Good Fund supports our Fellows in their natural work environments through a first-of-its-kind 360 leadership assessment tool, the 360 MIRROR, specifically designed for social entrepreneurs. This tool is a behavior-based assessment of the skills and values associated with great leaders.

The results of the assessment and conversations with a Global Good Fund Leadership Development Coach form the basis for a Leadership Development Plan to be implemented with support of a Global Good Fund Mentor. In the case of the Diana Davis Spencer Fellowship, each entrepreneur creates an individulized plan that explicitly focuses on the creation of sustainable employment for Americans over the age of 50.

The network of Mentors includes leaders like Ted Leonsis, Owner & CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, Tracy Fitzsimmons, President of Shenandoah University, Sami Inkinen, Co-Founder of Trulia, Lydia Thomas, former CEO of Noblis, and Pete Smith, CEO of Al Tayyar Energy.

Fellows will be exposed to various activities throughout the year, such as our annual Summit, a four-day curated leadership development experience for the Fellows and Alumni. They will also receive leadership services and materials from The John Maxwell Foundation and take part in supplemental webinars and conferences focused on engagement, recruitment, and retention of 50+ Americans.

Each Fellow retakes the leadership assessment at the end of the Fellowship and then 1, 3, 5, and 10 years post Fellowship to track his/her growth.


360° Assessment

We administer the 360 MIRROR, leadership assessment tool ​designed specifically for social entrepreneurs to ​ deriv​e​ feedback from their board, staff, peers, and stakeholders as well as the Fellow. The Fellow will retake the leadership assessment at the end of the Fellowship and then 1, 3, 5, and 10 years post Fellowship to track his/her growth.

Leadership Development Plan

The results of the 360 MIRROR are used by each Fellow with his/her Leadership Development Coach (​LDC). The LDC serves as an executive coach. The 360 MIRROR data points combined with one-on-one LDC interactions over 3 months result in each Fellow creating a personalized Leadership Development Plan (LDP).

Executive Mentoring

Each Fellow is paired with an Executive Mentor who is an established business or non-profit leader. The Fellow-Mentor relationship spans nine months with the goal of implementing the LDP and leveraging the Mentor's leadership insights​. Fellow-Mentor check-ins occur every two to three weeks​ through virtual meetings. The Fellow-Mentor relationship may continue after the Fellowship if the Fellow and Executive Mentor so choose.

Annual Summit

Fellows participate in an annual Global Good Fund Summit each spring. This 4-day event provides a platform for networking between Fellows, LDCs, ​Coaches, Alumni, and The Global Good Fund staff. The Summit is a curated leadership development experience for each Fellow.

Targeted Funds

Each Fellow receives a leadership development grant of up to $20,000. These funds are used explicitly for LDP implementation and leadership development with a special focus on experiential learning.

Peer and Subject Matter Expert Network

Fellows are part of a global cohort of social entrepreneurs. The Global Good Fund facilitates regular interaction among the Fellows. Fellows are encouraged to engage each other, Alumni, and Content Experts in tackling leadership development challenges. The Global Good Fund intentionally connects Fellows with Content Experts to address specific functional, sector, or geographic issues faced by each Fellow.