Berkeley Board Fellows Program Celebrates Banner Year

The Haas School’s Berkeley Board Fellows Program has offered a record 94 students this year the rare chance to serve as members on nonprofit boards of directors.

A recent grant from the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund helped the program increase the number of students served. The extracurricular, hands-on program launched with eight students serving as non-voting board members in 2003 and placed 68 students last year. The program is open to Berkeley MBA, public policy, and public health graduate students.

The program is designed to prepare future leaders of both nonprofits and for-profit companies to become effective board members and supporters of nonprofit organizations.

As a board fellow, Paul Maa, MBA 13, is doing more than just learning – he’s also contributing to the success of YMCA of San Francisco, one of this year’s 50 participating nonprofits. He and Dana Ledyard, MBA 12, are helping to develop a methodology for evaluating the organization’s programs at 14 locations in a holistic way, considering everything from finances to culture to connections to other programs.

“My own interest was to see how decisions are made at a very high level,” Maa says, “so it’s been great to get access to CEO-level executives.”

The Berkeley Board Fellows Program is managed by the Haas School’s Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership. Students and nonprofit organizations interested in participating can contact [email protected] or visit for more information. Applications to participate next year will be out in late spring.

The Center is currently looking for Berkeley-Haas alumni who sit on a nonprofit board to invite their organizations to the program and mentor a Board Fellow in the 2012-2013 academic year. Please contact the center at [email protected].