McKinsey & Company and the Australian Scholarships Foundation are offering seasoned executives from the not-for-profit sector the opportunity to apply for a scholarship to attend McKinsey Executive Leadership Program, beginning in May 2022. 

Program overview

Build the critical capabilities required to lead and thrive in a world of increasing uncertainty and volatility 

Our leaders are under enormous pressure to balance instinct with insight, fortitude with flexibility, and performance with recovery. The Executive Leadership Program (ELP) is a ‘hands on’ leadership development program that develops self-aware leaders who have the capability and conviction to lead in the age of complexity and disruption. 

Leadership cannot be taught like a language. It requires nurturing through inspiration, intervention, opportunity, and practice. This program accelerates the development of senior talent by increasing self-awareness, exploring topics with a diverse faculty of leaders and coaches, and personalising insights within groups of external peers. 

What to expect

In-Person events

Residential weeks are immersive experiences spent in multiple group settings from full cohort to peer learning groups, with exposure to new stimulus and opportunity to reflect and reset.

A group of more than 40 faculty members—equal in gender and diverse in background—collectively work to create individual and actionable insight for our participants.

(In-person attendance is subject to updated COVID-19 guidance, closer to the event date).

Personal Board of Directors

Each participant becomes a member of a small and diverse group of external peers. ‘Mini-Boards’ are essentially each leader’s own personal Board of Directors, established to challenge support and collectively pursue leadership development together.

Leadership Assessment

A baseline diagnostic is run prior to commencing ELP as part of the pre-work, and participants will have the opportunity to debrief their results with their peer learning group.

Program format

This program is delivered as a 3-part blended learning journey:

  • Week 1: Leaders develop new perspectives and interact with peers facing similar challenges in leading self and leading their teams.
  • Remote learning and coaching sessions with peer learning group, getting to depth with each leader’s aspiration and personal journey.
  • Week 2: Leaders integrate tools and learnings from the journey to explore broader systems leadership topics.


The health and wellbeing of our scholars remains our utmost priority, as do our efforts in protecting our broader community. McKinsey are monitoring this situation very closely and will ensure all course activities adhere to current government guidelines. Should COVID-19 affect the program dates, delivery mode or scholarship availability, all attendees will be notified immediately and every effort will be made to limit the impact on our scholarship recipients. If you have any questions or concerns prior to submitting your application, please contact the Australian Scholarships Foundation

Nicolas-Brown headshot

“This course dug deeper than I expected and was certainly not just about theory or management principles. It was a time to reflect on my role not only within batyr but across broader society as well. A great opportunity and one I’m really grateful for.”

Nicolas Brown – McKinsey Executive Leadership Program scholarship winner 2021. Nicolas Brown is Chief Executive Officer with batyr Australia Ltd. Read the full 2021 McKinsey winner list.

Course dates for 2022

Week 1: Monday, 9 May – Friday, 13 May 2022, in-person forum at Intercontinental, Sanctuary Cove, QLD

Remote learning: Details to be confirmed

Week 2: Monday, 1 August – Friday, 5 August 2022, in-person forum at Twin Waters Novotel, Sunshine Coast, QLD

All in-person events are subject to Government Covid-19 guidelines and public health measures.

Who should apply

The Executive Leadership Program is designed to benefit high potential seasoned leaders who are seeking personal and professional growth. A typical participant leads, or is on track to lead an organisation, significant business unit or function. They may be a CEO, or in a role where they report to a top team member. Each year, the class comprises 200 seasoned executives from 50+ organisations drawn from private, public, NFP and social sectors. 

Just starting on your leadership journey? You may be interested in the McKinsey Young Leaders Forum.

Scholarship inclusions

There are 40 scholarships available to staff of charitable not-for-profit organisations Australia-wide thanks to McKinsey’s generous contribution and commitment to not-for-profit development. Each scholarship is valued at $20,000 and will grant recipients full access to the Executive Leadership Program. 

Employer contribution 

This scholarship requires an Employer Contribution from each recipient’s supporting not-for-profit organisation according to their annual turnover, as follows: 

  • Less than $1m p.a. = not applicable, ineligible  
  • $1m – $5m p.a. = $2,000 contribution + GST
  • $5m – $25m p.a. = $3,000 contribution + GST
  • More than $25m p.a. = $4,000 contribution + GST

This amount is payable to Australian Scholarships Foundation following written acceptance from the scholarship recipient and upon receipt of an invoice. 

What is the Employer Contribution?  The Employer Contribution is paid directly to the Australian Scholarships Foundation and allows us to expand the number of high-quality programs we can provide, assists with service delivery costs and enables us to invest in research and development that strengthens the NFP sector. The Employer Contribution is a way for not-for-profits to facilitate learning and development for their organisation via a small contribution to any scholarships the Australian Scholarships Foundation awards to their employees. McKinsey does not receive any portion of this contribution.

Find out more about the Employer Contribution here.

Travel / Accommodation 

Travel and/or accommodation (if necessary) are to be covered by the successful candidates or their supporting NFP organisation to attend the 2 x five-day forums in Sanctuary Cove and Sunshine Coast. We estimate this cost at $0-$2,500 for each forum depending on your location and travel needs. 

Key scholarship dates

10 January 2022Applications open
14 February 2022Applications close 9am AEDT
11 March 2022Scholarship awarded 
15 March 2022Written acceptance from scholarship recipients due
9 – 13 May 2022ELP Week 1* 
1 – 5 August 2022ELP Week 2* 

*Scholars are required to attendbothforums in May and August. All in-person events are subject to Government Covid-19 guidelines and public health measures.

Please reserve these important dates in your calendar.For more program dates, see the Course Dates section above. 

“It’s no exaggeration to say that the McKinsey Executive Leadership Program is life-changing (if you let it). I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of such a progressive, modern and unique leadership and adult development program.”

Elizabeth McKinnon – McKinsey Executive Leadership Program scholarship winner 2021. Elizabeth is Co-Chief Executive Officer with Environmental Justice Australia.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must: 

  • Be an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Be currently employed by an Australian not-for-profit organisation, with an annual turnover greater than $1m
  • Be a seasoned leader, currently (or on track to) leading an organisation, significant business unit or function
  • Fulfil Australian Scholarships Foundation’s general eligibility requirements available on our FAQs page.

Application process

To apply for a scholarship, please complete the following steps:

  1. Click ‘APPLY NOW‘ at the top of the page
  2. Follow the prompts to sign in or create a profile (this will be a hub from which you can apply for any scholarships in future)
  3. Complete the online application form
  4. Follow the prompts to upload an endorsement letter*
  5. You will receive an automated confirmation email once you’ve submitted your application successfully

* Please see #12 of our FAQ’s page for some tips on what to include.

More information

For more information about the program, please click here or download the brochure here. 

Have questions?Check our FAQs page for answers to the most common questions. If you need assistance with the scholarship application process, please contact Australian Scholarships Foundation via [email protected]

Applications for the 2022 McKinsey Executive Leadership Program scholarships closed on Monday 14 February 2022 at 9.00am AEDT.

Large field of brownish yellow grass against a bright cloudy sky

2022 winners announced

The McKinsey Executive Leadership Program were announced in March 2022. This year over 30 scholarships have been awarded to not-for-profit executive leaders to join this leadership development program. Read the full list of winners here.