Clean Energy Leadership Institute

Fellowship Program


2019 Fellowship overview

Washington, DC + San Francisco, CA | March 22 - August 17, 2019

CELI’s signature Fellowship Program attracts young professionals with diverse backgrounds and equips them with technical knowledge of the clean energy sector and leadership development training.

Beginning in 2019, CELI will be moving to an annual Fellowship model, offering a highly selective 21-week program for working professionals taught by influential thought leaders and expert practitioners in the field. Fellows are challenged to think critically about current energy policy and market structures, to identify existing barriers to clean energy deployment and innovation, and to formulate and propose new solutions.

Beyond the 21-week program, CELI Fellows join an active, connected network of 400+ alumni. Fellows continue to play an active role in the CELI community by hosting discussions, publishing blogs, attending ongoing leadership and professional development trainings, and participating in regular social and networking events. In addition, CELI facilitates connections between our Fellows and a robust professional network to enable career mentorship. 

Curriculum Overview


Over the course of 21 weeks, CELI Fellows will receive training across the fundamentals of clean energy technology, policy, and finance, plus leadership development and skills trainings in areas such as public speaking, persuasive writing, business pitching, and advocacy. The program structure includes:

  • An opening orientation, where Fellows will gather in-person for two days to connect with one another, learn some of the values and approaches of leading in clean energy, set goals for our work together in the coming year, and dive right into content through our Evolution of the U.S. Energy Systems sessions.

  • Weekly in-person sessions where experts and practitioners in the field will provide lectures and lead group discussions and exercises to dive deeper into each topic. Sessions are followed by optional happy hours to further the conversation and foster further connections.

  • Three Fellowship projects through which each member of the cohort will actively hone their own skills as a clean energy leader:

    • Writing Requirement: By week 10 of the program, each Fellow will be required to publish a blog post or informational memo for CELI’s internal Resource Library.

    • Capstone Presentation: A requirement of the program, Fellows may choose to provide either a Ted-Style Presentation or Business Pitch in front of CELI’s extended network. The highest rated Capstone speakers will be invited to present at CELI’s annual emPOWER Conference in 2019.

    • Grid of the Future Debate: Designed as a group project, Fellows will work in assigned teams throughout the cohort in preparation for an end-of-year debate on the Grid of the Future. The debate allows Fellows to exercise the knowledge gained over the course of the entire program.

  • A mid-cycle Saturday offsite session focused on leadership development and community building.

  • closing residency, where Fellows will participate in the Grid of the Future Debate, present final Capstone Presentations, and reflect on insights gained and lessons learned through the year.  Fellows will also have a chance to help CELI shape its future programming.

Curriculum AT-A-Glance

Orientation: March 22 - 23, 2019

  • Introduction to CELI and Goals of the Fellowship Program

  • Introduction to CELI’s Approach to Leadership + Development

  • Evolution of the U.S. Energy System: Fundamentals of the Electricity System

  • Evolution of the U.S. Energy System: Fundamentals of Oil + Gas

Technology Module: March 27 - April 10, 2019 (Wednesday Evening Sessions)

  • Fundamentals of Clean Energy Technologies Part One

  • Fundamentals of Clean Energy Technologies Part Two

  • Fundamentals of Grid Technology and Demand-side Management

Markets + Finance Module: April 24 - May 8, 2019 (Wednesday Evening Sessions)

  • Fundamentals of Electricity Wholesale Markets

  • Fundamentals of Electricity Retail Markets and Rate Design

  • Fundamentals of Clean Energy Project Finance

Policy Module: May 22 - June 12, 2019 (Wednesday Evening Sessions)

  • Federal Policy: Clean Energy + Climate Change

  • State Policy: Best Practices and State-level Actors

  • Local Policy: What’s Happening in my Backyard

Deep Decarbonization Module: June 26 - July 17, 2019 (Wednesday Evening Sessions)

  • Transportation of the Future: Electrification and New Mobility Services

  • Decarbonizing Buildings + Industrial Sectors

  • The Road to Deep Decarbonization

Social Adaptation Module: July 31 - August 14, 2019 (Wednesday Evening Sessions)

  • The Corporate View

  • Resilience + Energy Security

  • Equitable Transitions

Closing Residency: August 16 - August 17, 2019

  • Grid of the Future Debate

  • Capstone Presentations

  • Leadership Reflection

Leadership + Skill Development: Ongoing Throughout Program (Wednesday Evening Sessions)

  • Writing Workshop

  • Public Speaking Workshop

  • Business Pitch 101

  • Advocacy 101

  • Leadership Offsite + Energy Tour (Saturday, June 8, 2019)

CELI will observe the Memorial Day + Fourth of July Holidays

No sessions will be scheduled for the weeks of May 29 or July 3 2019

Note: Curriculum + dates subject to minor changes at the discretion of CELI

Who Should Apply

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For each Fellowship cohort, CELI brings together a group of dedicated, passionate and engaged young professionals who have the desire to advance the clean energy economy and the aptitude to be a next-generation leader.

Fellowship Eligibility Requirements:

3 - 7 Years of Professional Experience in Clean Energy - We seek individuals with unique backgrounds including, but not limited to:

  • Policy expertise in government, academia, non-profit or law

  • Business acumen or analytical skills in for-profit companies and organizations

  • Clean energy technology development

  • Communications expertise from consulting, speech writing, and journalism

  • Grassroots organizing and advocacy

  • Entrepreneurship and business development 


5+ Years of Professional Experience in a Related Field - While CELI is designed for clean energy professionals, we understand professionals in adjacent fields (e.g. military service, policy, finance, etc) are transitioning into clean energy. Applicants who clearly articulate their intentions to begin a career clean energy sector will be considered for the program.

Competitive applicants will possess:

  • Passion for the future of clean energy and conviction that a new generation of leaders is needed to advance the transition to a clean energy economy.

  • Aspiration to lead and a commitment to deepen their knowledge of clean energy policy, regulation, finance, and innovation. These are individuals who understand the importance of collaboration and actively seek out others whose expertise may be outside their own.

  • Belief in the value of a strong community, especially as it may serve to enhance personal and professional goals. CELI members are committed to building ties and friendships that will endure throughout their professional lives.

Additional Requirements:

  • Pay $25 Application Fee

  • If Accepted, Pay 2019 Fellowship Tuition By March 15, 2019 (Please see information about Scholarships and Payment Plans in FAQ Section)

  • Mandatory Attendance for Orientation (March 22-23, 2019) + Closing Residency (August 16-17, 2019)

  • Attendance Policy: Fellows are expected to attend every session. Missing more than four sessions will result in removal from the program.

Frequently asked questions 

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What is the tuition for CELI’s Fellowship Program?

Tuition for CELI’s 2019 Fellowship Program is $1,450, due no later than March 15, 2019 for accepted applicants. This tuition covers the cost of 21 in-person sessions, access to CELI’s member portal, all Fellowship reading materials and required online energy subscriptions, and support in the development of your Fellowship projects. Applicants who apply by December 31, 2018 are eligible for an early-bird tuition rate of $1,250 upon acceptance.

Does CELI offer scholarships or payment plans?

Yes! CANDIDATES SHOULD NOT LET THE COST OF THE PROGRAM PREVENT THEM FROM APPLYING. We are deeply committed to ensuring that every accepted applicant is able to attend the Fellowship program regardless of financial need. For Fellows who are unable to meet the program costs and cannot access professional development funds through their employer, CELI is able to provide scholarships, ranging from full to partial reductions in the program fee, thanks to the generous support of our donors and sponsors. We kindly ask that requests for scholarships be reserved for applicants who do not have professional development funding available.

In addition, CELI offers a flexible payment plan ($250 deposit + monthly installments) and will work with each applicant individually upon acceptance to determine payment requirements.

What are the weekly Fellowship sessions like?

Our weekly sessions are held every Wednesday evening from 6:30 – 8:30 PM. The sessions are typically a lecture format followed by a Q&A. Each cohort has no more than 35 Fellows. Each session is followed by an optional post-lecture happy hour to further the conversation and foster connections.

How much time should I expect to spend on the program?

In addition to the weekly sessions, Fellows should expect to spend an additional 2-3 hours a week to stay current with lecture material and connect with other CELI Fellows + Alumni. For the writing and presentation requirements, Fellows spend somewhere between 10-20 hours (project development, editing, + practice sessions) to produce the final deliverable.

While the Fellowship is designed to fit with your current work and personal schedule, we also believe that you get out what you put in. The value you and your organization get from the program is directly correlated with the amount of recurring time and participation you're able to dedicate to the experience.

What is the interview process like?

Qualified applicants will be invited to a 30-minute, in-person interview held in the evening (6:00 – 9:00 PM). Members of our community conduct the interviews. The purpose of these interviews is to get to know you better as a potential Fellow, as well as answer any of your questions about the program.

If I don’t work in the clean energy sector, should I still apply?

Yes, however, we strongly prefer individuals looking to transition into clean the energy sector who would benefit from our program and network. We expect individuals to stay abreast of clean energy topics and have a functional understanding of the issues.

If I don’t live in the Washington, DC or San Francisco metro areas, should I still apply? Can I participate remotely?

Sadly, we are only able to offer the fellowship to applicants who reside in the areas where we host cohorts at this time. We intentionally build groups who will develop relationships within the communities we serve and our hope is to expand to additional cities in the future. We highly encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter for future events like our recent emPOWER Conference and hope we can find ways to connect soon! 

Are there events I can attend if I am not a Fellow?

Yes! CELI will host several recruitment events that are a great opportunity to meet current Fellows and ask questions about the program/application. We also host educational events (i.e. panel discussions, clean energy 101 bootcamps, etc.). Please sign up for our newsletter below and check our our events page for more information!


2019 Fellowship Application

Washington, DC + San Francisco, CA | March 22 - August 17, 2019

Applications for CELI’s 2019 Fellowship closed on January 13, 2019. Please subscribe to our newsletter below and check out our Events Page to join us for clean energy events this year.

Applications for CELI’s 2020 Fellowship will open in November 2019.